This is an article written by Kamal Das, who heads the Kamal, an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, has over 17 years of experience in finance, operations, service delivery and training.
Job transitions are always challenging. More so when you are also going into a brand-new area. A field where you have low prior experience is difficult to crack through the maze of Human Resource consultants and recruiters, to be finally heard by business leaders who would value your true worth. We provide some tips and suggestions to navigate the multiple hurdles that we are sure will help you land the right job!
The appropriate job transition plan is dependent on many factors. However, based on discussions with multiple students across the years at Jigsaw Academy, we believe that years of experience is among the most critical factor. As a result, we are going to discuss the approaches to career transitions based on experience.
Candidates with less than 2 years of experience
Career transitions are easiest for freshers and those with less than 2 years of experience. Given our experience with companies hiring analytics talent, we have seen that they are fine with considering freshers for roles where the job descriptions suggest an experience requirement of 1 to 2 years.
Candidates in this experience range are expected to have good proficiency in analytics and basic concepts of statistics. Knowledge of business context and domain expertise while helpful, are not critical for this group.
We recommend these candidates leverage Jigsaw Academy’s placement package which includes:
- Resume writing assistance
- Interview question bank
- Mock interviews
- Cheat sheets for varied concepts developed by the faculty at Jigsaw Academy
These are very helpful to refresh the concepts before job interviews. Dedicated candidates who make use of our placement package, which is offered to all students for free, benefit immensely in their career transitions.
In addition to the Jigsaw Academy resources, we strongly recommend students refer to the book “An Introduction to Statistical Learning” by Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie and Rob Tibshirani. Since they have agreed to make their work free, here’s a link to the document – An Introduction to Statistical Learning
Candidates with experience between 3 to 6 years
Candidates with 3 to 6 years of work experience in some field, looking to transitions to an analytics career, need to demonstrate business context and some level of domain expertise and competency in analytical concepts and techniques.
A good proficiency in analytics and basic concepts can be gained by Jigsaw Academy’s placement package. In addition, students are encouraged to:
- Share their codes in GitHub,
- Create a profile in Kaggle and
- Participate in analytical contests and hackathons
Jigsaw Academy also hosts frequent industry contests and case studies for students, especially those participating in university affiliated programs. Students who work on developing their skills in analytics through contests and hackathons show a significantly good success rate in cracking job interviews. For students starting with competitions, aim to put their best foot forward and not worry about outcomes. Rankings and rewards will accrue with time. Grit and persistence will be key to ensure that you are still standing when the rewards come. We also recommend that students be very thorough with the codes they use and the reasoning behind using the specific techniques to solve the problem.
Gunnvant Singh Saini, who is a subject matter expert at Jigsaw Academy is also a Kaggle Kernel’s Expert who could help answer your doubts and concerns while trying to understand Kaggle.
Kunaal Naik, a guest trainer at Jigsaw Academy, is also a Kaggle expert who could help you with unique tips and tricks of the trade.
Both Kunaal and Gunnvant conduct regular classes on how to build a profile on Kaggle for our students.
Candidates with over 7 years of experience
Senior candidates with over 7 years of experience have the toughest time in career transitions. Changing roles within the industry is challenging and is time consuming. Changing to a new field is doubly challenging. Persistence and grit remain essential and one should not lose hope seeing their younger peers. We have had successful transitions happen with candidate with 15 to 20 years of experience as well. However, the process was longer – often 5 to 10 rounds of interviews long. For senior profiles, companies are looking for candidates to demonstrate:
- Industry use cases and applications
- Domain expertise
- Thought leadership
It is critical for senior professions to be able to apply their learning in analytics to business cases and frame these in terms of their experience. They need to elucidate how to leverage their newfound expertise in analytics to help the organization in transforming into a company that can take data driven decisions. Senior professionals should look to writing blogs and thought pieces in LinkedIn Pulse, Medium and other forums to demonstrate their thought leadership in analytics.
For example. here are a few articles and videos from our students that has been adding value to people interested in Analytics:
Unlike their younger peers, they also have the baggage of experience which needs to be handled well. At a senior level, the hiring process will be best to position themselves in roles that link their prior experience to analytics. Candidates may look at using their domain expertise to position themselves for roles such as Financial analytics, Marketing analytics, supply chain analytics or HR analytics. Else they may focus on pre-sales analytics, analytics delivery manager roles and the like. Recently we had one of the world’s largest e-commerce company hired some of our students for pre-sales roles in analytics. They were looking for students who could marry their knowledge in analytics with their experience in client facing roles.
Over the past 8 years, we at Jigsaw Academy have seen our students transition to multiple analytics roles in companies. Our students are currently working in over 1,000 companies in India and abroad. It gives us immense satisfaction to have seen so many of our students transition to leadership roles in analytics. We thank all of them for their trust in us and wish them continued success!