Journey into becoming a Data Scientist…

As you may be aware, I wrote a blog post about my potential career as a Data Scientist. I thought I’d update you on how that was going…

Well, the last time I wrote about it, I enrolled on a ‘Introduction to Data Science’ on edX, and I actually really enjoyed it.

Since then, not only have I completed that one (to a point, I still need to complete the end ‘lab’ exercise!), I have also done an Introduction to python for Data Science. I actually messaged edX to see if there was a way to get the cost of the $99 certificate down, as I can’t actually afford to spend that money.

Alongside that, I have also been applying for graduate jobs around the country! Graduate Data Analyst roles and Graduate Data Scientist roles. One was with RBS (in Jersey), one was with the government down in Plymouth, another is in Bath (one of my favourite cities in South/South West England). And some of these roles are very difficult to apply for. I still have to do a Numeracy test on one for the government. Although that one isn’t really Data Science, more Intelligence Analyst. I also did a Numeracy test for the RBS role and I really didn’t do well on it. It wasn’t because it was difficult (although I do struggle with math in general) but the questions were timed and they were ridiculous! Between 75-90 seconds to answer a question whereby you look at the question, read a table, find the right information in the table and calculate the answer using a calculator. Easy. Until I get the bit where I type in the answer and POOF, timed out. Not happy!

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Doing a few courses in Data Science, Python programming (will move onto SQL and R soon!), applying for Graduate jobs and also trying to refresh my Math too!

Fingers crossed!

Potential Career pathway – Data Scientist


Recently I’ve been really considering what to do after I have completed my Psychology Undergraduate Degree at the Open University, and when I first got into the degree, my initial idea was to just explore the subject because of my interest in Psychology and Criminology.

I went through stages throughout my undergraduate degree learning, thinking about becoming a Forensic Psychologist was one, and although I had since talked myself out of it – because, let’s face it, I’m not really a people person! I have since come to the conclusiong that I really love a) working behind the scenes and b) statistics!

I have a few options, some more to do with psychology than others:

1) A neuropsychologist,
2) A Forensic Scientist,
3) A statistician,
4) A Research (in another field other than neuropsychology),
5) Investigator/Intelligence (E.g. National Crime Agency) or
6) Data Analyst or Data Scientist.

I came across a Data Scientist only recently – I can’t even remember how I came across it, only that it was recent – and as such I’ve become increasingly interested.

I wrote about it on my Facebook account and I even started a small discussion with a friend in America about it and after a small conversation about my past experiences (the fact I did a National Diploma in Computer programming (and got good marks too!) and have on a number of occasions proved that I can problem solve independently – one example is that I recently create an Open Sesame experiment as part of my last psychology degree project and I was telling my tutor how to work it!) and not to mention that my interest for problem solving, statistics and maths in general, he actually agreed that Data Science was a good career path for me!

So, with that in mind, I have since gone onto EdX, a Free Online Courses website which has top universities on there – such as Harvard and Berkley- and I have found there are a few courses on Data Science and Data Analysis, one such course is actually a Microsoft Professional Program.

I’m currently auditing the Introduction to Data Science course and I have to admit, my interest for the subject is only increasing!

Here is the link to the course if you are reading this and interested yourself:

So far I have got as far as the speakers importing a small data file into Excel and running a few simple Excel functions to clean and analyse the data, most of which I already know from doing a previous course on EdX, but I am going to continue watching the videos and going through this short introduction course to see what else being a Data Scientist involves.

The good thing about this career path, is not only is a well paid job and a challenge (I do like a challenge! I got bored as a simple Administrator!) but that it is in High Demand, especially since the emergence of Big Data but also that it’s universal to different companies and organisations. Which means, I could use these skills to combine two or more of my above career options; for example, I could be a Data Scientist for a governmental organisation and work within an investigations/intelligence environment!

Standing up to Bullying – don’t stop the dreamers!

I found out this morning that people in the village have been talking about me (I’m not surprised, it’s what they do best; gossip). But what made me laugh was that someone mentioned I’m writing a book. I am. But I am doing so much more than that. And I don’t mean my university studies either. I mean my scheming. I have ideas. Ideas that I want to turn into plans. I am using my time to not only write (and finish my studies) but to come up with a plan for the future. The future isn’t exactly set in stone. But I have an outline of what I want it to look like.

In the past I have spoken out about my ideas, my dreams, some haven’t worked out (most of them actually), either because I changed my mind or because other things have got in the way (like my studies getting in the way of my plan to travel the world for charity), and I’ve had people ridicule me (including family) and try to push me down, but I haven’t let it deter me. It just makes me stronger. I don’t care what people think of me, think of me what you like, but I know who I am and I’m going to keep pushing to be the best version of me as possible.

Do you think Marie Curie would be in history books if she gave up when she was refused entry to Krakow University because she was a woman? She was later given two nobel prizes. She was the first woman to recieve one. The first person and only woman to win twice. The only person to win in two different science fields.

Do you think Galileo Galilei would be in history books if gave up when the church tried to thwart his ideas that Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe and revolves around a sun?

Do you think Thomas Edison would be in history books now if he gave up when he tried thousands of failed attempts to create the first lightbulb?

I’m not saying I will be in history books, or find the cure to cancer or even do anything worthy at all, that’s a bit pompus, but I am saying that people doubt people who may one day be brilliant all the time. That’s what keeps me going, when it feels like everyone is against me. I’m not interested in getting into a history book, I’m not even interested in being formally recognised for my efforts or possible future accomplishments. But I am interested in proving a point. Proving that people shouldn’t look down upon others, don’t push them down because you think it’s funny, to fit into a crowd, or because you think they’re just ‘talk and no action’, those people, with the dreams and the ones we should be supporting.

I am also interested in pushing people to follow their dreams, no matter how silly they feel they are (unless they’re morally wrong, then I have a problem!) and being the best version of themselves.

Yes, I am writing a book. I would love nothing more for it to inspire people. But I’m not building my hopes up that it will. I’ll push really hard for it, but I’m not setting myself up for a fall just in case. I am also studying psychology, and want to push hard to get a PhD one day, contribute in some way in the world of knowledge.

I also still want to do things for charity, it might not be that round the world trip, I did a charity abseil (found my weakness is in lack of support though thus not much fundraising happened, so am finding other avenues to help instead) but I also have the idea to set up a business, a social enterprise to bring people, companies, charities and the community together to make the world a better place.

Feel free to think “She’s all talk and no action”. I might not accomplish everything, but I’m going to still damn well try to do my best! But I don’t care what you say or think about me. I care about helping others. DONT push other people down to make yourself feel better, THEY might be the next Marie Curie or Thomas Edison!