Data scientists are in demand despite the ongoing pandemic. Reports suggest that the number of open data science jobs stands at 93,500 as of August 2020. A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that companies are witnessing an onward trend in utilising data to develop and refine business models and products amid uncertain times. Several businesses are accelerating insights-driven decision making to deal with the pandemic. The demand for data science professionals is therefore on the rise, regardless of the economic situation.
As data science candidates are looking to apply for these jobs, they need to find the right company that offers them growth, exposure, and job satisfaction, among other attributes. This article deep dives into how data science professionals — both experienced and fresher — can find a company that not only gives stability in times of current crisis but accelerates their career to newer heights.
Trust — How To Look Through The Facade?
From finding data scientists well-versed in using tools such as Python, Java, BI tools, Spark, SQL to building tools and creating reports, job descriptions for data scientist roles may be different for different companies. It is crucial to read between the lines and understand these job roles thoroughly. Many companies may offer challenging roles such as building complex AI algorithms but end up assigning tasks such as assembling datasets or maintaining data pipelines. It may especially be true in the case of companies that are unable to generate enough data or lack the required infrastructure.
It is, therefore, essential to find a company that keeps promises. Pick an organisation that believes in offering data scientists challenging yet exciting projects, and actually lives up to it. In an earlier interaction with Analytics India Magazine, Ugam, a Merkle Company had said that the company focuses on placing employees on projects that present them with exciting opportunities such as working with cutting-edge AI-ML technologies.
Portfolio– Do They Keep Good Company?
Another crucial attribute while picking a company for a data science role is to go through the client portfolio and the industries it serves. Some of the questions that you should ask are — is it serving Fortune 500 companies, startups or SMEs? What kind of sectors are they serving — retail, FMCG, IT, food & beverages, travel or others? It is crucial to analyse these attributes, especially as the world is grappling with COVID-19, and most businesses have uncertainties around it.
Companies that operate in diversified verticals have an advantage. In addition, the services of companies that have proven to be integral to their clients’ business success, result in long-tenured client relationships for the company.
Network — Do They Have A Thriving Ecosystem?
It is important to analyse the kind of people and employees that a company is built on. Some of the questions that you should ask are — what is the attrition rate, what is the boomerang rate, how has the company performed during times of crisis, has the leadership been stable, is there room for data scientists to move around and take up different roles, does it provide growth opportunities, does it allow you to take up newer responsibilities, among others. The organisations with an ecosystem that fosters growth will have a long way in shaping your career.
Care — Do They Walk The Talk?
Another important attribute is — care. It is of value to gauge how a company touches upon not only the life of an employee but the society in the form of sustained initiatives and CSR efforts. Especially in times of economic slowdown, how has the company treated its employees — have there been layoffs, salary-cuts, and more – are all good indicators to assess.
Companies such as IBM, AWS, PayPal, Ugam and others have been able to ensure that no employees are laid off due to COVID-19.
“It was reassuring to see the leadership take prompt control of the crisis situation which included providing visibility into business performance, growth areas, and vision for the future. They were also proactive in addressing questions from employees around job safety, business performance, etc. Having been with the company for over 15 years, I’ve observed that the company stands the test of time and truly cares about us and our families, even when the going gets tough,” shared a data scientist employed at Ugam.
Culture — Is It Just On Paper?
Lastly, one of the essential attributes to analyse while picking a company is its culture. Look for an organisation that focuses on work ethics, work-life balance, empathy, transparency, and others to ensure a productive workplace. In addition, companies that promote a fun environment while ensuring the overall well-being of employees by promoting mental, physical, and financial well-being, will help you in the long run.
Unique to every organisation, culture is by design and deliberate practice and not by chance. It is often difficult to gauge as it is anchored in unspoken behaviours, practices and mindsets. Observe attentively, check for leadership involvement during the interview, and speak to people within the company to assess – is it exemplified by leadership, is there a feedback mechanism or recognition for those who uphold cultural traits, is it reflected in the company policies.
Many lucrative data science jobs open each week, and analysing the attributes discussed above will help you pick the right company that ensures good career growth.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.