Closing My Skills Gap With Data Science
An interview with Jan Cuppens, Applied Data Science Bootcamp graduate.
Find out how he spotted a personal skills gap and decided to upskill himself to remain up to date on the job market. You'll also find how he transitioned from a Data Analyst role to becoming an Applied Data Scientist.
What were you doing before you enrolled in the Bootcamp?
I was working as a data analyst for a pricing consultant firm, after graduating from a masters degree in applied economic science. My role involved analysing transactional data in order to develop, implement and maintain dynamic pricing solutions.
"With an interest in future employment, I felt an increasing gap between my skill set and market expectations."
What challenges or friction did you encounter with your existing skillset?
My job was heavily based on SQL and Excel, which got the job done. However, with an interest in future employment, I felt an increasing gap between my skill set and market expectations. The gap was twofold. Firstly, I had little experience with other coding languages and needed to get familiar with other tech stacks. Secondly, the industry and clients’ needs shifted towards machine learning. Hype or not, my background in econometrics became less valuable.
"The Cambridge Spark Bootcamp appealed most to me as it was well-balanced between theoretical essentials and up-to-date business application, with a focus on the latter."
Why did you choose Cambridge Spark as your learning provider?
As a recent graduate, I was not eager to sign-up for another full-time degree as I was learning way too much on the job. Pursuing a certificate whilst working full-time allowed me to maximise my learning curve on both fronts. The Cambridge Spark Bootcamp appealed most to me as it was well-balanced between theoretical essentials and up-to-date business application, with a focus on the latter.
What did you enjoy most about the Bootcamp?
In a nutshell, learning about cutting edge machine learning approaches whilst meeting great people.
The teachers and peers were brilliant. The Bootcamp is packed with socials. I had the best time during and outside of the course."
How would you sum up your overall experience of Cambridge Spark?
The beginning was quite intimidating, I felt a bit out of place as there was a lot to wrap my head around. I was learning new coding languages whilst picking up the slack in terms of mathematics. However, along the way, I got more confident in my coding skills and increased my understanding of ML and data science. Once I did, I started moving beyond pure applications and move towards grasping the concepts and their limitations. I now find myself being able to identify the correct approach, implement and optimise them. Of course, I am still learning and nowhere near of being an expert, however, Cambridge Spark ensured I have to right toolkit and knowledge to hit the ground running.
Additionally, the teachers and peers were brilliant. The Bootcamp is packed with socials. I had the best time during and outside of the course.
What advice would you give for those considering the Bootcamp?
Firstly, make sure you know how to code in Python before starting the course. You want to focus on learning how and when to use the concepts. Secondly, take the exercises seriously. They are instrumental to your education and allow you to build a portfolio showing a breadth of experience. Lastly, go to all the socials and have fun.
"Cambridge Spark equipped me with the skills and know-how to land the job and add value from the start on."
What are you doing now? How did Cambridge Spark help?
I am currently working as an applied data scientist for a global leader in customer insights. Cambridge Spark equipped me with the skills and know-how to land the job and add value from the start on.
What does the future hold for your career?
If only I knew. For now, my focus is on gaining more experience in the application of machine learning and production-level coding.
Could you sum up your perspective on the data science field?
Unavoidable - There is a tremendous amount of potential yet to be mined. Few businesses & industries have been able to fully reap the benefits of Data Science.
"Learning with Cambridge Spark has led me to find previously closed doors, opened."
Looking to kick-start your Data Science career?
Whether you're looking to upskill to access promotions, reskill to remain relevant in your field, or transition to a Data Science career, our Applied Data Science Bootcamp (London) can help you achieve your career objectives.
Please complete the form to the right of this text with your details and we'll get in touch and to talk through your objectives, suitability and the bootcamp.
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