Why You Should Become a Data Scientist in a Tier One Consulting Firm | by Sofiejuel | Dec, 2020
If you are about to land your first job as a data scientist here are 5 reasons why being a data scientist in a consulting firm is fantastic and something you should consider!
Looking for your first job as a data scientist can be challenging. At this point, you may consider multiple options such as being a data scientist in a corporate company, startup, or consulting firm.
Data scientists are in high demand and it is worth exploring your options to maximize the probability of making the right choice. Remember, no place fits all.
I faced the same challenges by the end of my master’s degree a year ago. I decided to explore my options before making my final decision. After a coffee chat at the office of my current workplace, I was sure that working as a data scientist in a Tier One consultancy was the right fit for me.
Here are 5 reasons why this was such a great fit for me.
Consulting is all about creating value for the client. This requires a ton of problem-solving sessions often with a small dedicated team. These sessions are all about finding the optimal data science solution for a problem given key criteria such as:
- Simplicity vs. Accuracy
- Interpretation vs. Accuracy
- Production time vs. Accuracy
Problem-solving sessions are a great opportunity to develop the skill of critical thinking. In general, no one should add complexity to any problem without being able to justify how this can improve the model. Simplicity is strongly preferred to limit the amount of black-box modeling which can be difficult to justify to the client
In these sessions, you always broaden your horizon and upgrade your problem-solving skills.
Personal and professional development is a top priority within consulting. I was very surprised to what extent this is prioritized. Currently, I have mentor sessions with a senior manager each week. This is fantastic!
“I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people” — Henry Ford
Always having someone above you or an external mentor to help you move forward is something everyone should prioritize throughout their carrier.
While on a project feedback sessions are currently arranged at least every other week. Here we discuss workflow, current performance, and immediate next steps. Currently, the preferred strategy is 3+3 — 3 high-performance areas followed by 3 development areas.
After a finished project, a detailed feedback overview is performed. This is of great value. Everyone benefit from being evaluated and receive feedback to further develop in their career.
Working with a broad range of clients is great when it comes to expanding your network. I personally have always been more of an introverted person which can be a barrier when it comes to networking skills.
Working in consulting you are very client-facing and work closely with the client. Given this, you build a relationship with the client over a longer period of time. This result is a range of clients which will remember the service provided by the company but even more importantly remember the person behind the job — You.
The field of data science is moving at a very fast pace. One must always stay on top of the newest trends and techniques to continuously perform.
In between project one can upgrade their skills by entering training sessions online from both internal and external services. Further, knowledge sharing sessions and guidelines are continuously created to always improve on the technical level and secure production-quality code.
In general, the spirit is that everyone can learn a particular new skill as long one is having the optimal training being curious
The discussion of skills required to become a great data scientist has for long been centered around hard skills like programming and deployment skills. Let’s not forget about the soft skills needed to succeed as a data scientist.
Soft skills or non-technical skills include among other communication skills, presentation skills, creativity, skepticism to data, and business acumen. These skills are just as important as the technical skills if you ask me but are often not prioritized. Within consulting this is not the case. Here you are constantly tested on your soft skills.
If you cannot explain why you are suggestion something the client will most likely not be convinced that the action will bring value to them.
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