What to expect after completing a Data Science Certification Program?

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1 in 3 ads we see now, sell ‘Certification Courses’ that would transform careers. There is hardly any talk about what to expect once we complete an online certification program/course, especially to change one’s line of profession. It is essential to understand and manage our expectations accordingly.

Why is it crucial?

In this generation of instant gratification, we want everything now! This mindset could be the result of the ability to score instant validation via Facebook “likes” or Instagram “hearts”, the rush of success from completing challenges in video games, or a combination of them all. Delays would lead to disappointment or frustration. To manage disappointment constructively, we need to learn to differentiate between situations that are within our control and factors beyond it. Being able to recognize this difference will help us deal with our frustrations appropriately.

Are our expectations reasonable or realistic?

For Data Science enthusiasts that means

  1. Setting CTC expectations right. The DS role is not as new as it was 4 or 5 years ago. With changing times, our expectations of what the market demands need to be corrected as well. Higher % hikes did hold true for Data Science roles; however, in current times, that is an exception to the rule. The broad range of hikes offered during career switch is anywhere between 20% and 40% (depending on one’s interview performance and/or company budget allocation).
  2. The same applies to the job role/title – ‘Data Scientist’ is not the only title that is available for those who love working with data. (You might want to check out at least 50 different titles mentioned here.)
  3. Getting shortlisted for interviews is quite a hassle. Having the right kind of resumés will help. (For more details check this out). Building such resumés will take time – one needs to actively contribute and explore projects via Github or HackerEarth or Analytics Vidhya or Kaggle, etc.
  4. Working on internships is a quick way to gain relevant experience; and so is collaborating on freelance projects. These would come in handy, as practical experience helps one in relating better to a given scenario during interviews. This is especially true in the case of freshers or those choosing to restart careers after a break.

The most important aspect to keep in mind is that the transition from program completion to having a job offer in hand takes time.

The instant gratification mindset does not help in this case. It may take a few weeks since course completion or months! Understanding this is vital to maintain a healthy mind and/or confidence level during interview performance. Allowing oneself to deteriorate into depression or apathy is no solution at all. Hence, finding ways to deal with this constructively takes patience and a positive attitude.

Things that really matter, like love, job fulfillment, joy, self-confidence, sense of achievement, take time. Sometimes one can expedite certain aspects of it, but the overall journey takes effort and most importantly, time.

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