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How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 12:03pm On Jun 12, 2021
I'm making this thread to shed some light on the journey to becoming a data scientist in Nigeria.

Coming from a non-IT background, being a female, and not having IT professionals to look up to for guidance I mostly had to navigate the entire process myself. It can be tough moving into data science when you have no clue what programming is all about ( I even pronounced Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) as Zero Zero Programming- It was that bad).

I had spent 5 years in Business Development across various industries and had got to a point where I knew that to remain relevant and to get the kind of income/financial freedom I desired then a career switch was inevitable.

Switching to IT was/is the best decision I have made in my career I am elated by my journey and looking back it's hard to believe that the person who had to google pronunciation of programming terms can now write a Python program.

I'm doing this so women or anyone who finds the process intimidating will realize that it's not impossible and it's a step that is so worth it.

16 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Karleb(m): 12:11pm On Jun 12, 2021
Nice! I also watched a video of a lady who has spent 6 years in this industry, she studied computer science though. She now works for Microsoft and I'm sure her salary is nothing less than $10, 000.

3 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 12:14pm On Jun 12, 2021
I find that most people who want to start a career in Data Science pretty much don't understand what they are getting into (my opinion) and I think it's because we have lots of people selling courses like: "Become a Data Scientist in 4 weeks!" I honestly don't know how that is possible (If you have achieved this feat please let me know) But if you approach a career change that way one thing is certain, You will get frustrated.

Learning programming is not easy
Learning programming requires exercising mental strength
It's very normal to have headaches if you're new to programming it doesn't mean it's not your thing, it just means you're pushing your brain to do more than it's used to doing.
Lastly learning to program takes time for some months, others years before they land their first job.

As much as you can have healthy expectations.

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Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by whodeyhere: 12:17pm On Jun 12, 2021
This is good, please tell us how you switch. How did you start? How long does it take you? What are the key watch out and sacrifices you made? I am currently switching to web development but will eventually move to data science. I just want to be at a comfortable level in my web development journey first.

Kudos to you!!!

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by SportsHD: 12:23pm On Jun 12, 2021
Sleeq?
Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 12:24pm On Jun 12, 2021
The first thing that crosses your mind when you have made the decision to change careers is

HOW DO I START
First I would recommend that you start with taking an online FREE course. You're new and just testing the waters, You're most probably still pumped from all the motivational talk and from seeing how much Data scientists earn. This way you get to be sure that you want to go all the way before putting time and resources into it.

2 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 12:40pm On Jun 12, 2021
You're done with the Free course and have decided that this is for you.

A little digress, (Just in case someone is a bit intimidated and feel programming is for younger people, I made the decision to switch at 29 and have turned 30 so don't let age deter you)

Determine how you will become a Data scientist
1. By paying your way through (Buying good courses, Industry Certifications, Bootcamps, etc): This shortens the process to a large extent but can be expensive.

2. By being a cheapskate (lol) going for online courses (Youtube is a great place to start- You just need data, enrolling in online interactive platforms like: Freecodecamp, codeacademy, Analyticsvidya, etc) This is self-paced but can be slow to get you to become a data scientist especially if you choose not to pay. If you lack drive and you're easily distracted, this might not be for you.

3. Lastly a blend of 1 and 2. This is what I did I first started with option 2 then moved to option 1 then went back to option 2.

3 Likes 4 Shares

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 12:51pm On Jun 12, 2021
The Next Question you would need to answer is

What should I learn?

This is very dependent on what it is your aiming to do,
If all you want to do is become an Analyst and don't want to ever code in a medium-sized company that would not need to work with tonnes of data (which is by far many companies in Nigeria) then all you'll need is Advanced knowledge of Excel, Tableau, MySQL, and Statistics you can work with third-party scrapping tools if you need to get external data from the internet if ever the need arises.

But if your goal to become a data scientist/architect/engineer etc and get into Machine learning, AI, DL then you need to learn Python alongside the above listed.

8 Likes 2 Shares

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 1:07pm On Jun 12, 2021
whodeyhere:
This is good, please tell us how you switch. How did you start? How long does it take you? What are the key watch out and sacrifices you made? Kudos to you!!!

Career changes will require sacrifices no doubt I knew that Data science was the career I wanted and since my long-term goal is to leave the country with this new skill I was willing to pay any price.

Firstly I knew that learning a new skill would require time and my current job was not giving me enough time I decided to find a job that would give me that time. I took up a job that was paying 40% of my current job in exchange for time. Before I did this I had also put myself on a learning target because I also knew that I could not afford an income cut for a long time.

Reading time was and still is 4 hours daily
I deleted all social media apps from my phone for 5 months.

Now if you have a computer science background, you might not see the sense in this.
I was taking courses in statistics, Data structures, and a whole lot to get foundational Data science knowledge and I was self tutoring.

3 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by tensazangetsu20(m): 1:50pm On Jun 12, 2021
Kshe:


Career changes will require sacrifices no doubt I knew that Data science was the career I wanted and since my long-term goal is to leave the country with this new skill I was willing to pay any price.

Firstly I knew that learning a new skill would require time and my current job was not giving me enough time I decided to find a job that would give me that time. I took up a job that was paying 40% of my current job in exchange for time. Before I did this I had also put myself on a learning target because I also knew that I could not afford an income cut for a long time.

Reading time was and still is 4 hours daily
I deleted all social media apps from my phone for 5 months.

Now if you have a computer science background, you might not see the sense in this.
I was taking courses in statistics, Data structures, and a whole lot to get foundational Data science knowledge and I was self tutoring.

The absolute same reason I learnt to code. Leaving Nigeria. It was my inspiration even when I found it absolutely boring.

9 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 2:52pm On Jun 12, 2021
Now that you know what to focus on learning another thing you must consider is
How to learn Data Science

There are two parts to Data Science:
Cognitive Part and The Technical Part.

They are equally important and complementary but the cognitive part just requires studying while the technical part requires lots of hands-on which can take months to master.

The best way to learn to program is to actually write programs as much as you can don't dwell on just learning without implementing.
Learn the basics and grow with projects of your own.

this will do two things for you:

firstly it will help you write better codes and build mental power

secondly it will help build your portfolio in getting your first job.

3 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by All4good: 6:18pm On Jun 12, 2021
Kshe:
The Next Question you would need to answer is

What should I learn?

all you'll need is Advanced knowledge of Excel, Tableau, MySQL, and Statistics you can work with third-party scrapping tools if you need to get external data from the internet if ever the need arises.

But if your goal to become a data scientist/architect/engineer etc and get into Machine learning, AI, DL then you need to learn Python alongside the above listed.

Correct.
Excel and Statistics can't be over-emphasized

1 Like 1 Share

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by All4good: 6:33pm On Jun 12, 2021
Kshe:
Now that you know what to focus on learning another thing you must consider is
How to learn Data Science

the cognitive part just requires studying while the technical part requires lots of hands-on which can take months to master.

The best way to learn to program is to actually write programs as much as you can don't dwell on just learning without implementing.
Learn the basics and grow with projects of your own.

this will do two things for you:

firstly it will help you write better codes and build mental power

secondly it will help build your portfolio in getting your first job.

Getting project ideas at the beginning could be a drag. Then juggling writing codes for Web development plus daily tasks to earn a living could be absolutely draining.
But it is still do able if you just take a day at a time. Make allowances for distraction, ensuring you don't via off the track for too long. This has been my fate.

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by LegitLexLuthor(m): 9:29pm On Jun 12, 2021
Kshe:

I deleted all social media apps from my phone for 5 month's
wish I could do something like this as well but it's not easy but I'm smart enough not to let them distract me from learning, even though it's taking more time than I expected but I'm pretty sure I'll achieve it no matter a how long it'll take.

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 9:42pm On Jun 12, 2021
All4good:


Getting project ideas at the beginning could be a drag. Then juggling writing codes for Web development plus daily tasks to earn a living could be absolutely draining.
But it is still do able if you just take a day at a time. Make allowances for distraction, ensuring you don't via off the track for too long. This has been my fate.

I can so relate there have been days I had nothing to do with learning Data Science and all I wanted to do was stay far away from the computer, It's very ok to take occasional breaks for sanity sakes as long as you get back on track, after all, you're not in competition with anybody.

Regarding finding projects the trick is to start small.
One of the mistakes I did make was after learning I went on Kaggle to get datasets to start practising, mehn! all it did was kill my spirit (lol) I'm not saying Kaggle is not a good place on the contrary it is but as a budding data scientist, it is important that you have small wins, It motivates you and pushes you to know and do more then you can pick up bigger projects as you go.

If you start with trying to achieve big things it would only kill your confidence and could create self-doubt, as much as you're trying to do great feats it's important to be kind to yourself.

3 Likes 2 Shares

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by All4good: 7:30am On Jun 13, 2021
Kshe:

after all, you're not in competition with anybody.
Yes ooo.

Let me drop the link below for you and your readers. Might be helpful for someone wishing to build their portfolio :

33 Github Projects:
https://dev.to/devdefinitive/33-github-projects-i-have-bookmarked-and-you-should-298o

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by whodeyhere: 9:20am On Jun 13, 2021
Kshe:


Career changes will require sacrifices no doubt I knew that Data science was the career I wanted and since my long-term goal is to leave the country with this new skill I was willing to pay any price.

Firstly I knew that learning a new skill would require time and my current job was not giving me enough time I decided to find a job that would give me that time. I took up a job that was paying 40% of my current job in exchange for time. Before I did this I had also put myself on a learning target because I also knew that I could not afford an income cut for a long time.

Reading time was and still is 4 hours daily
I deleted all social media apps from my phone for 5 months.

Now if you have a computer science background, you might not see the sense in this.
I was taking courses in statistics, Data structures, and a whole lot to get foundational Data science knowledge and I was self tutoring.

Now this is some how similar to my current situation, different for me is that I have full day to myself for the next few months. I work on a construction site that is closed for now so I want to use that idle time to upskill and probably move out of the country later when I become proficient.

Do you have like sequential time table of reading and could you direct me to best online free material to read. I also don't mind paying for some of them too. I just want to be able to find direction before end of my waiting period. Btw like I mentioned up there, I am currently learning HTML,CSS & Javascript.

Thanks for sharing your Journey with us..

3 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 10:54am On Jun 13, 2021
whodeyhere:

Do you have like sequential time table of reading and could you direct me to best online free material to read. I also don't mind paying for some of them too. I just want to be able to find direction before end of my waiting period. Btw like I mentioned up there, I am currently learning HTML,CSS & Javascript.

For reading, I think it's understanding the time of the day you can make the most of. In my situation, the only time I'm able to get enough time for myself is from 8 pm till 12midnight and I make the most of my weekends. I occasionally use the library- only when I was on work leave (GTB Library at Yaba if you live around the axis it's free and open weekdays 8 am till 4 pm) and these things are also influenced by other factors like if you live alone, are married, etc. You would have to learn to structure your days so it creates room for you, it doesn't have to be 4 hours at a stretch it could be 2-hour intervals. 2 hours because you really can't do much if you choose to go lower.

I did learn HTML and CSS albeit just the basics to give me a conceptual knowledge of it I did on Freecodecamp.com What they have is pretty elementary but I think it's important to focus on the Five projects they give you and try to do them on your own no short cuts. It will greatly help you. I did this and with the knowledge I gained, I was able to get a remote job as a site manager for a small business in the US.
When I encounter an issue on the job omo I google the thing (lol) I'm learning as I go.

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Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 10:59am On Jun 13, 2021
All4good:

Yes ooo.

Let me drop the link below for you and your readers. Might be helpful for someone wishing to build their portfolio :

33 Github Projects:
https://dev.to/devdefinitive/33-github-projects-i-have-bookmarked-and-you-should-298o

Thanks a lot, I will look into it.
Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by whodeyhere: 11:26am On Jun 13, 2021
Kshe:


For reading, I think it's understanding the time of the day you can make the most of. In my situation, the only time I'm able to get enough time for myself is from 8 pm till 12midnight and I make the most of my weekends. I occasionally use the library- only when I was on work leave (GTB Library at Yaba if you live around the axis it's free and open weekdays 8 am till 4 pm) and these things are also influenced by other factors like if you live alone, are married, etc. You would have to learn to structure your days so it creates room for you, it doesn't have to be 4 hours at a stretch it could be 2-hour intervals. 2 hours because you really can't do much if you choose to go lower.

I did learn HTML and CSS albeit just the basics to give me a conceptual knowledge of it I did on Freecodecamp.com What they have is pretty elementary but I think it's important to focus on the Five projects they give you and try to do them on your own no short cuts. It will greatly help you. I did this and with the knowledge I gained, I was able to get a remote job as a site manager for a small business in the US.
When I encounter an issue on the job omo I google the thing (lol) I'm learning as I go.

Your journey is inspiring, lot of work definitely. Thank you.

2 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by randomShek: 12:37pm On Jun 13, 2021
Kshe:
The Next Question you would need to answer is

What should I learn?

This is very dependent on what it is your aiming to do,
If all you want to do is become an Analyst and don't want to ever code in a medium-sized company that would not need to work with tonnes of data (which is by far many companies in Nigeria) then all you'll need is Advanced knowledge of Excel, Tableau, MySQL, and Statistics you can work with third-party scrapping tools if you need to get external data from the internet if ever the need arises.

But if your goal to become a data scientist/architect/engineer etc and get into Machine learning, AI, DL then you need to learn Python alongside the above listed.
Following!

Glad to hear from a fellow DS (or DA?) that I’m on the right track. I’m more focused on Data Analytics and Business Intelligence so I’ve covered Excel, SQL, Statistics and Tableau/PowerBI.

Currently on Python - already covered numpy and pandas, still pushing to cover all visualization/ scraping libraries.

Hopefully I’ll be more than ready for the job market after school cool

6 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 2:56pm On Jun 13, 2021
So I'm getting connection request mails and people trying to reach me for mentoring and networking.

Well, I would like to say that I'm not in a position to mentor anyone, I actually feel awkward about it because I honestly don't know how that is done and if I am in a position to do so, however, I understand the importance of having a community of like minds with people working together to make themselves and the next person better, So I am considering a Facebook or Telegram group (Not yet decided - Still thinking of the best medium)

And maybe some conditions/rules etc. to give the group some purpose

1. It would most likely be a female thing only (No offense to the men in this thread but I think it's much easier for men to navigate the Tech world than women)
2. It would be for Data Analysts/ Scientists who have actually started their journey or currently in the industry. (There's no point having people with just intentions).
3. There would be active participation and contribution from everyone (Look at it like you are coming to build the community not just take from it- It would be a joint effort.)
4. The group would be about starting a career in Data Science, Finding Project partners, Finding career opportunities for Data Scientists Inside and Outside Nigeria.

Let me know if this is something you want, I'm open to your opinions.
Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by PeaceJoyLove: 3:10pm On Jun 13, 2021
Kshe:
So I'm getting connection request mails and people trying to reach me for mentoring and networking.

Well, I would like to say that I'm not in a position to mentor anyone, I actually feel awkward about it because I honestly don't know how that is done and if I am in a position to do so, however, I understand the importance of having a community of like minds with people working together to make themselves and the next person better, So I am considering a Facebook or Telegram group (Not yet decided - Still thinking of the best medium)

And maybe some conditions/rules etc. to give the group some purpose

1. It would most likely be a female thing only (No offense to the men in this thread but I think it's much easier for men to navigate the Tech world than women)
2. It would be for Data Analysts/ Scientists who have actually started their journey or currently in the industry. (There's no point having people with just intentions).
3. There would be active participation and contribution from everyone (Look at it like you are coming to build the community not just take from it- It would be a joint effort.)
4. The group would be about starting a career in Data Science, Finding Project partners, Finding career opportunities for Data Scientists Inside and Outside Nigeria.

Let me know if this is something you want, I'm open to your opinions.
You learn faster and your brain works exponentially when you step into "mentoring" position. Mentoring in your case is what you are about doing if you take the next step - opening a group. You will find yourself navigating many areas, learning new things, people will start networking with you. All you need to do is teach people the steps you took. They can relate with you than someone who is comfortable in the western world. You really dont have to be a genius to start leading.

Goodluck!

2 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Karleb(m): 3:14pm On Jun 13, 2021
@Kshe

I'm not interested in DA or your group but it doesn't make sense making it an all female group.

Tech only seems to Favour men because they are rugged. Tech actually Favour women more because they, in many cases might get hired out of pity or simply based on their gender as women are not much in tech.

Besides, well behaved women in tech hardly get sacked even if they don't deliver.

2 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 3:27pm On Jun 13, 2021
PeaceJoyLove:

You learn faster and your brain works exponentially when you step into "mentoring" position. Mentoring in your case is what you are about doing if you take the next step - opening a group. You will find yourself navigating many areas, learning new things, people will start networking with you. All you need to do is teach people the steps you took. They can relate with you than someone who is comfortable in the western world. You really dont have to be a genius to start leading.

Goodluck!
This makes a lot of sense also, Thank you.
Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 3:38pm On Jun 13, 2021
Karleb:
@Kshe

I'm not interested in DA or your group but it doesn't make sense making it an all female group.

Tech only seems to Favour men because they are rugged. Tech actually Favour women more because they, in many cases might get hired out of pity or simply based on their gender as women are not much in tech.

Besides, well behaved women in tech hardly get sacked even if they don't deliver.

I don't think this is about the gender the IT industry favors,
It's about creating a space for women to do and be more,
You just highlighted that we have fewer women in Tech and I believe this is because many don't know how to navigate or think it's beyond their reach.
How about women being employed because we can actually give value not for gender balance.
I'm sorry it doesn't make sense to you but It does make sense to me though.

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by wolement: 7:49pm On Jun 14, 2021
randomShek:
Following!

Glad to hear from a fellow DS (or DA?) that I’m on the right track. I’m more focused on Data Analytics and Business Intelligence so I’ve covered Excel, SQL, Statistics and Tableau/PowerBI.

Currently on Python - already covered numpy and pandas, still pushing to cover all visualization/ scraping libraries.

Hopefully I’ll be more than ready for the job market after school cool


With all this things you have learn. What have you build? Learning with creativity in programming is ...

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by randomShek: 8:12pm On Jun 14, 2021
wolement:


With all this things you have learn. What have you build? Learning with creativity in programming is ...
Fiverr keeps me busy enough to make sure that I’m always sharpening my skills

1 Like

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by belovez(m): 9:02pm On Jun 14, 2021
You can check this thread also, very inspiring.


https://www.nairaland.com/5485400/chronicle-data-scientist-analyst

Do well to read all the pages

3 Likes

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by lovelybobo: 10:12am On Jun 15, 2021
These are rules that have helped me to learn new things very quickly and progress very fast

1 No single learning material will give you everything you want. I therefore recommend you get 3 to 4 materials on the same topic or subject matter from different sources and learn with all together at the same time.

2 Assuming you want to learn VLOOKUP in Excel, Get materials on the topic from 3 or 4 different people or sources and get their individual perspectives. People teach based on their knowledge of the subject matter and communication skills.

3 Any learning material that has no real life dataset is a NO NO for me.

4 Once you have mastered a topic or subject build something with it and add it to your portfolio.

5 Get a Hard cover notebook, write codes, steps, commands and functions used in building the portfolio or solving a particular problem, They will help you in real work and job interview preparation.

6 With this method I realized that no matter the dataset, while using python, you will need about 20 to 25 functions and attributes to understand a dataset. with time these functions and attributes become second nature to you and you can work very fast.

It has helped my own learning process

11 Likes 1 Share

Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by Kshe(f): 2:35pm On Jun 15, 2021
lovelybobo:
These are rules that have helped me to learn new things very quickly and progress very fast

5 Get a Hard cover notebook, write codes, steps, commands and functions used in building the portfolio or solving a particular problem, They will help you in real work and job interview preparation.

6 With this method I realized that no matter the dataset, while using python, you will need about 20 to 25 functions and attributes to understand a dataset. with time these functions and attributes become second nature to you and you can work very fast.

It has helped my own learning process
Thank you for this would try writing codes on hardback.
Re: How I Switched To Data Science From A Non IT Background - My Learning Experience by alextywo(m): 8:01pm On Jun 17, 2021
Please highlight the list of apps I needed to install so as to run python programming successfully on my Android phone. Thanks

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