With the COVID pandemic having a ripple effect on the economy, millions of employees are getting unemployed amid this crisis, even the data scientists and analytics professionals. A lot of this could be reasoned with companies trying to cut down costs to stabilise their finances in order to sustain in the post-COVID world. In fact, in a recent news report, it has been noted that India has crossed a record of 27.1% unemployment rate, which is way higher than the US data.
Alongside, due to automation, businesses are looking for professionals only with advanced skill sets, which again makes the position of data scientists vulnerable in organisations. Another study has stated that the United States has shed approximately 20.5 million jobs during this pandemic, including data scientists and data engineers.
As a matter of fact, Swapnil Jadhav, Principal Scientist of Applied Research at DailyHunt, wrote in his Medium post that, “People need to understand that data science is nothing special than any other IT related field. Furthermore, it is a non-essential work. I firmly believe that data science people will get fired first than engineers in any company’s worst situation” like COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that it has been established that data scientists are also susceptible to layoff, it is then crucial for them to have a plan to strategies their career in order to bounce back post a layoff. Here are a few ways data scientists and analytics professionals can bring back their career on track after getting laid off amid this crisis.
Also Read: Are We Seeing The Data Science Bubble Burst?
Continue To Upskill
The data science landscape is competitive as well as ever-changing, and therefore after a layoff, with the time off, analytics professionals should focus on restarting their career by learning new skills and enhancing the old ones. Upskilling will not only help them get noticed for their new job role but also understand the latest trends in the industry. By reskilling themselves, analytics professionals can fill the gap in their resume for which they have actually been laid off in the first place. To help these laid-off professionals, many ed-tech companies have also started providing industry-ready courses to help them enhance their skill sets on relevant technologies. In fact, according to a survey, it has been noted that 64% of Indian IT professionals will focus on learning and stay productive to steer through this unprecedented time. Alongside upskilling would help laid-off analytics professionals to gain a different perspective of the industry and will also provide necessary confidence for data scientists to make their career move.
Create New Projects To Enhance Your Portfolio
This time off can also provide an opportunity for analytics professionals to enhance their portfolio to stand a better chance in the next job interview. And the best way for data scientists to add more weight to their portfolio is by working on new projects, which will showcase their diverse knowledge of data science skills.
Working on various projects will also allow laid employees to work with diverse raw data to find insights, build multiple systems and increase their domain expertise and specialisation. While interviewing it is always not possible for a recruiter to understand all your data science knowledge, and therefore working on several projects would act more effectively than a resume and will highlight those skills and aptitude. According to the experts from the industry, the better the projects are in your kitty, the more relevant you are for companies.
Participate In Hackathons To Have More Exposure
A layoff always leaves an eerie feel which makes employees demotivated, and therefore it is critical to understand the self-worth in order to gain the motivation back. One easy way for analytics professionals to prove their worth post a layoff is by participating in competitions and hackathons. These hackathons, where programmers and developers get to compete with the best of the minds from the industry will not only add value to your resume but will also boost the confidence that has been lost after being laid off.
Many a time, data scientists get fired from the companies due to their poor financial health amid this crisis. But, to the world, it may seem that laid-off professionals lacked skills. Consequently, laid-off analytics professionals and data scientists should keep participating in hackathons to showcase their skills to their potential employers as well as prove that they are worth hiring. One of the platforms to apply for participating in hackathons is MachineHack, hosted by Analytics India Magazine, which conducts weekly competitions that can keep these laid-off data scientists motivated as well help them learn new skills.
Mentorship Can Provide Proper Guidance
Despite the pandemic outbreak, mentorship proved to be extremely beneficial for data scientists who are either laid-off or trying to kick start their career in data science. A lay-off can be immensely demotivating for analytics professionals, and therefore mentorship can keep them stay motivated as well as guide them along their career path. Also, with a mentor’s guidance, analytics professionals can identify the key reasons for their layoff and can fill those gaps with proper support from experts. Not only they will provide continuous feedback which will help laid-off employees analyse their progress but will also help them connect with potential employers of the industry. However, in this ever-changing competitive landscape, it gets challenging to find a right mentor for your career enhancement, but with AIM’s Mentoring Circle, data scientists can discover good mentorship to enhance their data science career.
Heavy Networking Is A Must
Networking has always proved to be the best way for getting your career back on track post a layoff, and that is why having a robust data science network is critical for professionals of this industry. A strong network can guide data scientists with new job leads and can also help them focus their attention on the necessary aspects. It isn’t always possible to reach out to every recruiter around and therefore having a strong network can help spread the word around and check for better leads. For this, data scientists should start with building their resume and optimising their LinkedIn profile which will help them get noticed among their network. With the help of a strong LinkedIn profile and massive networking, data scientists and analytics professionals can also reach out to HR managers and recruiters of their proffered companies. One can also use their social media platforms to network with people from a different field, as no one knows, what can turn into an opportunity.