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How to Switch Industries as a Data Scientist

Posted on March 2023

Data scientist at work

Data plays an integral part in almost all the technology that we use on a daily basis, whilst also enabling tech professionals to do their jobs. Skilled data professionals have never been in higher demand, and they therefore have the opportunity to work for a wide range of organizations across a variety of sectors, from banking and finance to business and government.

For those data scientists looking for a new opportunity and wondering how to switch industries, the answer is almost certainly that it’s much easier than you might think.

Why do professionals consider switching industries?

40% of the data professionals who participated in our survey are looking for a new career opportunity. Just over a third cited a lack of learning and development as a top factor for wanting to seek new opportunities – a much higher proportion than in any other sector that we surveyed. Feeling either unchallenged or bored within their role fell closely behind a lack of learning and development as a reason to look for new opportunities. Quite often, what data scientists want most from their jobs can be found in other industries. Switching roles to work in Financial Services makes sense if you wish to earn a higher salary, for example: senior data scientists earn an impressive average salary of $127,000 in the finance industry. For those wanting to make a difference in society with their data expertise, considering a role in Life Sciences can be a good option, as you have the opportunity to impact whether a new life-saving product reaches the market.

As with all of the other sectors included in our Tech Industry Report, higher compensation is the most important deciding factor for data professionals, with most data scientists looking for a 20%+ increase in pay. A desire for higher pay has served as another key reason for professionals across a wide range of industries to leave their jobs and consider switching industries.

Flexible working and the option to work from home is very important to almost all of our data respondents. 48% of them said that they would leave their current role or reject a new offer if it were a full-time office role.

Define your next step

If you’re thinking about how to change industries as a data scientist, your first step should be to ask yourself about the type of work that you most enjoy and the various industries that you find particularly interesting and inspiring.

It’s also worth taking the time to research the market conditions of various industries. If there is a particularly high demand for data scientists with your skill set in certain sectors, you may have a strong hand when it comes to negotiating a high salary. A large number of industries benefit immensely from the application of advanced Data Science methodologies, which means that there are plenty of openings for professionals with the required Data Science skills.

Utilize your network

Once you’ve decided on an industry you’d like to work in, it’s time to start reaching out to people with strong experience in that industry. This will give you an understanding of how that sector operates, what the various positions require and the career opportunities that are available to you.

Make connections on LinkedIn with people in that industry, and make use of the connections that you already have. They might just be able to provide you with invaluable advice about how to switch career industries and help you land the role that you have in mind.

Identify your strengths and core skills

Now is the time to do your natural strengths and hard-earned skills justice. Identify the core skills that could prove valuable to your new employers and ensure that they occupy a prominent position in the CV or resume you submit when applying to jobs.

Be sure to have strong examples ready that demonstrate how you have been able to apply these skills in your past positions – being able to present real-life examples of how you can apply your knowledge can make all the difference when it comes to swaying employers.

Make your transferable skills count

16% of Britain’s working population can explain precisely how they could transfer their skills to different lines of work. Ensure that you are able to do just that when filing job applications for your next data science role.

Do you have exceptional problem-solving skills? Has your capacity for critical or independent thought been praised by your colleagues? If so, you should highlight them in your applications and at interview stage, as these are skills that are transferable to a variety of sectors.

Take the next step in your career with Glocomms

Make your Data Science career switch today with Glocomms. Glocomms is a leading talent partner specializing in multiple sectors across Technology, Data Science and Cyber Security. View our range of job opportunities across a variety of rapidly-growing industries and register your CV/resume.

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