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5 Ways That Becoming a Data Science Mentor Can Drive Your Professional Development

Data science is the place to be, right? While the field is still relatively new, it is expected to grow to $140.9 billion by 2024, and there has been a 29% annual increase in demand for data scientists from companies across the globe.

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But — as you may know — it’s rare to break into the field alone. Most successful data scientists have reached their peak with the help of a career mentor— and in a dynamic and evolving field like data science, mentors are invaluable.

Have you ‘made it’ in the world of tech and/or data science? Do you have a passion for developing others? Then maybe you’d make a perfect data science mentor.

What is a data science mentor?

Armed with years of experience and a wealth of industry know-how, a data science mentor is the key to building a successful career trajectory.

Taking lead from the client themselves, the mentor assesses their mentees’ skills and thought processes to provide them with the guidance they need to succeed in their data science career.

But, in truth, mentorship is a two way street — mentors themselves usually end up learning a thing or two, about their own skill set and capabilities. In this way, becoming a data science mentor can be as much a development experience for you, as it is for your mentee.

How being a data science mentor can actually help you

Data science mentorship has many surprising benefits. While you may think you’ve made it to the ‘top’ of your career arc, much more awaits — if you’re willing to embrace it.

Helping others walk the path you have taken to success is an enriching experience, but it has potential to drive your professional growth, too. Here’s how:

1. Enhance your expertise

Whether they’re a 30-something professional looking for a challenging data science role or a fresh university grad wanting to dive in at the deep end, every mentee has a bank of different skills from which you can feed.

Perhaps your match is proficient in Python, but needs to up their game when it comes to model building. Maybe, by chance, you’re fantastic at model building but have always struggled with the nit and grit of Python.

This allows for a mutual benefit from the mentor-mentee relationship whereby you’re both teaching each other new skills. After all, two heads are better than one.

What’s more, even if you’re well versed in all areas of data science, there’s no better way to consolidate your knowledge than through explaining concepts to beginners.

Laying everything out in its simplest form often exposes all its complexities, helping you to acquire a profound understanding of the basics of data science and elevate your expertise further.

2. Gain access to upcoming talent

Being a port of call for hungry, fresh-faced data scientists is massively advantageous in a selfish way, too.

Recognized an impressive, untapped talent in a mentee? Feel like you could put that talent to good use in your own organization? Great!

Not only will this give someone the much-needed break they deserve, but it will win you some serious brownie points from your seniors.

3. Keep your finger on the pulse

As a data science mentor, it’s super important to stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments. Whether that’s a new piece of technology or a new way to teach code, it’s imperative to keep your mind up to speed with an ever-changing industry outlook if you’re to help shape a newbie’s career — and grow as a professional.

Not only will this teach you good forward-thinking habits, like checking daily newsletters and doing thorough research, but it will ensure your coaching curriculum is fresh, diverse and engaging.

4. It makes you look good…

By joining an online mentorship program, data science mentors gain entry into an elite club of experts.

You’ll be networking in a circle with esteemed data scientists, who may have valuable opportunities to help you further your career.

This is also beneficial for mentor job satisfaction. Why? Because it will provide you with a tight-knit community of like-minded professionals who can discuss any qualms or worries you may have — drawing on their own, extensive experience in mentorship.

5. Help improve the data science field

As a data science mentor, you are working side by side with the next generation of data scientists.

You have direct influence on their career; using your knowledge to better their experiences and push them to be the most proficient data scientist they can be. The result? An exciting, promising future for the data science industry as a whole.

Now that’s a legacy to be known for!

How to become a data science mentor

Becoming a data science mentor is easy, once you know how.

All it takes is a little time, dedication, experience and empathy.

  • Time: Here at MentorCruise, we are flexible in how much time you want to invest. Depending on what you provide, this can be between five minutes per day and some hours per week.

  • Dedication: As a mentor, you’re in a trusted position of authority. If you can’t commit to checking in once every day or two, this might not be for you.

  • Experience: Don’t dive straight into mentorship if you’re fresh from grad school. Gain a little industry experience first, and then pursue it. However, that’s not to say you need a fancy degree — our mentor team includes high school dropouts and PhDs, to Junior Web Devs and Senior Product Managers. If you can help people, we can help you.

  • Empathy: During your time as a mentor, you’ll meet people from all backgrounds and situations. There is no space for elitism or judgement. Being open, and understanding people’s needs, is a must.

Sound do-able? Great. Let’s start a conversation today.

Apply to begin your mentoring journey at MentorCruise now and open up a wealth of opportunities — for you, and everyone you mentor.

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