The Power of Your Professional Network in Data ScienceJan 18, 2023
A strong professional network is an asset that can help you in many ways throughout your career. If you're a mid or late career professional looking to enter or level up in data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or advanced analytics your professional network can be a huge help to you and your employers. As you're looking to grow, embrace your professional network and showcase it as an asset that helps you stand out from the competition.
Leveraging Your Network for Data Science Opportunities
A recent study by PwC found that 84% of executives believe networking is important to career success. And your professional network can help you in many ways as you're looking to enter or grow in the field of data science. Here are a few ways your network can help you:
1. Connecting you with people who can help you learn more about data science. Maybe you have a friend who's already working in the field of data science who can introduce you to other people or share resources with you. Or maybe you have a colleague who knows someone working in data science who they think would be a great mentor for you. Either way, leveraging your professional network can help you expand your knowledge and grow your skillset.
2. Helping you find job opportunities. Your network can put you in touch with hiring managers or help you learn about job openings before they're even posted publicly. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking. Informing your network on your desired career change will help them connect you to open opportunities.
3. Giving you a competitive edge when applying for jobs. When employers see that you have a strong network, they'll view you as being more connected and therefore more valuable to their company. After all, it's not just what you know, it's also who you know. So don't be afraid to flaunt your large network of contacts when applying for jobs—it could give you the edge over other candidates who don't have as strong of a network.
4. Providing references for job applications or promotions. In addition to helping you find job opportunities, your network can also act as references for job applications or promotions. Having personal recommendations from people your potential employer knows and trusts can go a long way in helping you land the job or get the promotion you're after.
5. Giving advice and guidance during difficult times at work. Throughout your career, there will be times when things are going well at work and times when they're not going so well. During those tough times, it's helpful to have a supportive network of people who can offer advice and guidance—people who have been through similar experiences and who know how to navigate those waters successfully.
6. Building relationships with people who can help further your career goals. In order to achieve success in any field, it's important to build relationships with people who can help further your career goals. Having a strong professional network will allow you to do just that—and as we all know, relationship-building is key in data science. By growing your professional network, you'll be able to meet more people working in data science (which can help with items 1-5 above) and build relationships that will benefit both parties involved.
7. Reinforcing positive first impressions. You never know when or where you might run into someone from your professional network. And if that encounter happens at an unexpected time (e.g., while waiting in line at the grocery store), it's important that the impression they have of you is positive. After all, you never know when that person might end up being helpful to your career goals down the road.
A strong professional network is an asset that every mid- to late- career professional should leverage. If you're looking to enter data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or advanced analytics your network can provide valuable opportunities for growth. Experience has shown that networks are integral to success at any stage of your professional journey.