By Mike Thacker-Cooke
23rd May 2016

Working within recruitment in the information management and analytics industry many of the candidates I come across are well experienced in their chosen field but how did they get where they are and how can someone who is just starting out break into a career in data?

I was interested to see what my data network had to say about this and what their best advice would be to aspiring data professionals. I wanted to know if it was purely down to education and university or whether there was more to it and how much dedication someone has to put into it.

One of the resounding things I heard was that although education is obviously important, passion and drive are the best way to get that career – if you really want to land that dream job you have to live and breathe data.

Take courses

Courses are one of the best ways to keep your skills updated, they can be taken full time or part time and you can fit them around your life. Not only do they help update your skills they also give you extra credit on top of any education you already have.

There are hundreds of courses available, both online and in person, depending on what you want to learn. By doing a quick Google search on ‘data courses in the UK’ I was inundated with thousands of responses! If there is a specific field you are interested in Google is the best way for you to find the right course. Many courses start from beginner and got through to an advanced level and can range from things like coding, business management, analytics, data management, big data – the list goes on.

Stay well-read

As well as courses, books are a great way to get an in depth view of data. By reading a range of topics from what the experts are saying you will have a wider range of things to learn about and take knowledge from.

One person within my data network said that:

“...through a lot of reading I learned about metadata management from Tannenbaum, Information Governance from English, and data warehousing from Inmon and Kimball”.

Network

Networking is the best way to get your name out there. By talking to and attending the same events as industry leaders and businesses that may be looking to hire you can go directly to the source and talk to the people you need to know. Each month there are always plenty of data events and conferences for you to attend. Again a quick Google search can help you to find the best events and conferences with the right people.

But as a recruiter the best advice I can give is to constantly be looking for the right opportunity, whether this is within your existing organisation or a new one. 

Break into data

Are you new to the data industry? How did you break into it and what advice would you give to others?

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To view the original article please click here

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