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Many CS majors at Williams secure software engineer jobs or internships in the industry while others pursue a career at a start-up or in multi-media. Some Ephs will be computer science majors, and other students will major in Statistics, Economics, Studio Art, Math, Psychology, or English. See the importance of your liberal arts degree in the technology field.
Tech innovation continues to boom in every direction and in every industry. From machine learning, robotics, computer programming, AI, aerospace, and blockchain to social media communications, fin-tech, video games, and invention in medicine. There are diverse career journeys, even ones you may not have thought of, connecting technical innovation with creative industries. Check out Why Innovation Needs Both Art and Science. Do you like tech & writing? Be a Technical Writer at Google! Want to be the brains behind the scenes developing the newest version of your favorite video game? A video-game designer or programmer may be in your future. Love the sales process? Consider tech sales.
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Data Analyst @ Sofi (Econ/Stats major)
Data Scientist @ Uber (Math major)
Business Intelligence: Business Operations and Strategy Associate @ Google (Economics major)
Engineering Manager, Data [email protected] Github (Political Economy major)
User Experience Researcher @ Google (Phd. Social-Personality Psychology)
Internship and Job Search
There is an increasing number of internship opportunities in different industries and company types in Data Science and Analytics, including marketing, consulting, finance, consumer products, startups, and, of course, all kinds of technology companies.
While internships in Business Analytics or Data Science are not required prerequisites for either field, they help make students more competitive for entry-level jobs in the field. To be competitive for either internships or entry-level opportunities, students should have demonstrated quantitative skills and coursework (or, ideally a quant major). Broadly speaking – the types of skillsets, coursework, and experiences that make a student competitive for consulting also make them competitive for opportunities in Business Analytics.
Job Search Links
- LinkedIn Jobs – One of the best resources for Business Analytics and Data Science internships and connections.
- Glassdoor – Surprising depth and breadth of Business Analytics and Data Science Internships and opportunities.
- Indeed – General career search website with array of different Business Analytic related opportunities.
- Simply Hired – Similar website to Indeed.com; decent opportunities in both Analytics and Data Science.
Employers, Titles, and Professional Associations
Given that the field is quickly growing, there are a number of places where students with an interest in Business Analytics and/or Data Science can land from traditional Fortune 500 companies to tiny startups. These include, but are not limited too, the following industries and subfields: marketing, consumer products, finance, consulting, healthcare, accounting, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and all types of technology companies (including companies specifically focused on Analytics).
Typical titles for Business Analytics: Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Marketing Analyst, Data Consultant, Business Analytics Professional, and Predictive Analytics professional.
Typical titles for the field: Data Engineer, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, and Machine Learning Specialist or Engineer.
Better known employers of Business Analytics professionals and Data Scientists:
Google, Dell, Oracle, Splunk, Hewlett-Packard, Salesforce, Microsoft, Tabluea Software, IBM, Trifacta, Cloudera, Sumo Logic, Gainsight, Domo, Hortonworks, Informatic, Snap Logic, McKinsey, and Bain & Company. For a more complete list of major employers, check out the following article: "The Best Big Data And Business Analytics Companies To Work For In 2016"
- Digital Analytics Association
- International Institute for Analytics
- INFORMS (focuses on operational research and analytics)
- Data Science Association
- Predictive Analytics Worldwide
Grad School and further education
Given the ever-evolving nature of the field, students interested in breaking into the fields of Business Analytics and Data Science should get experience before attending graduate school. With that being said, there are a number of really good graduate programs in the field for professionals with relevant experience.
Broadly speaking, programs in Data Analytics and Data Sciences can be broken up into Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs and Masters of Science (MS) programs.
MBA Programs are geared more towards professionals interested in making decisions about data, whereas MS programs focus more on the technical applications. Obviously, one’s background in either Business or Science (e.g., computer science or engineering), will make them a stronger candidate for their respective graduate program. Increasingly, programs offer interdisciplinary options combining aspects of both Business and Science.
Check out the following links for specific programs.
Although specific undergraduate coursework in analytics and data science is not always available to liberal arts students, there are a number of free and paid courses that provide students with basics in the field. Here are a few:
- Google Analytics Academy
- Code Academy
- Ed X Coding Analytics Courses
- Big Data University
- Lynda (free on some campuses)
- Harvard Business School Online Core Program (Cost - $1800)
Resume Tips, Tech Interview Prep, and Salary Info
Resumes To compete effectively for Business Analytics and Data Science jobs, it’s important that you highlight your relevant analytical, quantitative, and computer skills. Strong communication, writing, and interpersonal skills are also important, as entry-level employees generally work in small project-based teams.
Below are a few things to be mindful of when drafting your resume:
- Length – For entry-level professionals, resumes should generally be one page in length.
- Objective – While most career counselors will tell you NOT to put an objective on your resume, many recruiters in the Business Analytics and Data Science recommend having one. If you choose to include one, make it targeted to the specific opportunities, highlighting the skills and credentials that make you a strong candidate.
- Relevancy – Put your most relevant experiences in a “Relevant Experience” section.
- Tangibility – Use your bullets to highlight BOTH your accomplishments and responsibilities, while making mention of problems solved and the techniques used.
- Skills & Certifications – Be sure to list your technical skills and, if applicable, any certifications you received pertaining to the field.
Interviews Preparing for interviews in the Business Analytics and Data Science fields can be tricky. Employers in the field typically ask a combination of traditional, behavioral, technical, and problem-solving questions. Though you typically won’t be expected to prepare for a formal CASE interview, doing a CASE practice interview can help prepare you to answer scenario-based questions you’re likely to encounter.
Here are a few suggestions to effectively prepare:
- Research everything you can about the target organization and interviewers
- Craft a compelling, but true, reason for why you want the job
- Prepare 6-8 examples of relevant past accomplishments
- Use Glassdoor and your alumni network to get insights into the interview process and potential questions. Question types and interview strategies vary widely in the field and tend to be organization/opportunity specific.
- Prepare at least 3-5 questions to ask the interviewer. Check out the article here for tips for asking good questions.
- Glassdoor Business Intelligence Questions
- 40 Technical Data Science/Analytics Questions
- Business Behavioral Interview Questions
- Technical Data Science Questions (And Answers)
Salary ranges for Entry-level jobs can range broadly, from mid 40’s to nearly 100k depending on the company, position, and your qualifications. Established tech companies, for instance, tend to pay really well and often offer stock packages that include generous benefits and vesting privileges. Startups, on the other hand, generally pay less, but offer candidates other perks, like company equity to incentivize performance.
For region-specific salary ranges, consult the following tools:
Thank you to Mike O'Connor, Director of Career Discovery at the '68 Center for Career Exploration, for his original research and content for these resources.
- Math/Statistics Department
- Great Job Prospects for Math Majors - * Great NPR article and video about "Big Data"
- American Statistical Association
- National Institutes of Standards and Technology
- Mathematical Association of America
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- Charles Schwab Tech Track Internships
- Pathways to Science: To find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring
- National Science Foundation REU Sites: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
- American Academy for Advancement of Science: A resource list of AAAS career development programs
- NSA Internships: The National Security Agency offers internships, a co-op program, and scholarships
- Dice: A website with technology jobs as well as advice and resources for the industry
- Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA): ISA develops industry standards, certifies industry professionals, provides training, publishes technical articles, and hosts conferences/exhibitions for automation professionals
- ComputerJobs.com: A helpful site that will, after you submit your resume, send you only the job postings that are relevant to your aspirations and your experiences
- ComputerWork.com: One of the largest job boards in the country, this website offers the ability to search by technical skills, job titles, descriptions, or locations
- Creativeheads.net: Jobs in video games, animation, VFX, and software/technology industries
- Adafruit: Job board for designers, makers, artists, and engineers
- Krop: Exciting opportunities for people with technical or computer-based backgrounds who would like to work in creative environments
- CrunchBoard: A nice job-listing website across many states offering a wide variety of engineering jobs
- Research Gate: A network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs, and conferences
- Engineering Central: Lists engineering positions and resumes across all engineering disciplines
- Engineer.net: A broad-scale engineering job-search engine that many companies use to find new talent
- Career Jet Math and Computer Science Jobs
- After College.com Career Network linked from the Williams College Department of Mathematics
- Math Summer Research - Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) funded by NSF
- Williams SMALL Program
- Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Participating in a hackathon is an excellent way for you to gain experience on real projects and meet other students and experts in the field, as well as recruiters from tech companies. One source of information on upcoming hackathons is here.
HackNY Fellows Program - the summer Fellows program pairs quantitative and computational students with startups. Students enjoy free housing together and a pedagogical lecture series to introduce them to the ins and outs of joining and founding a startup.
Hacker School - 3-month immersive programming school in NYC that works closely with tech companies to recruit program graduates. It is free (housing not included although some grants are available to members of historically underrepresented groups) and the focus is self-directed learning in groups, no formal instruction.