I need a career advice from you.

I'm 26 and working as a data scientist for less than 2 years. I have a statistics and economics background mainly. My tech skills can be summed up by a good knowledge of SQL,Python and R.

My first experience was a 6 month internship for a software house company that aims at building product for banks and financial institution. Here I worked with other 2 unexperienced data scientist, all with a statistics background like me.

I left and currently I'm working in a big company, one of the major wholesaler in Europe.

The problem I'm struggling with , it's that I'm the only data scientist in the company and in a digital marketing dept, so with non tech people.

After almost a year, I'm quite tired of working alone and i don't feel I have been growing much professionally.

A thought I had a while ago, was to ask a temporary shift to Data Wharehouse department in order to acquire more Database related knowledge. Another idea was obviously to ask for another data scientist.

My doubt can be summed up like this:

  • Regarding first idea: As a data scientist, what DB knowledge should i master? I'm quite good with SQL, mainly to perform data extraction and also create some simple table structure. It could be benificial to know more on this topic, for example data migration, ETL procedure, etc etc? I'm planning to learn more about Hadoop/Spark/Hive/Cassandra, but we don't have this tech stack at work. Just an oracle db.

  • For budget reason, I'm aware that if they'r gonna hire a new data scientist it couldn't be someone with much of experience. In this case it's very unclear to me if I could benefit from working with another unexperienced ds or i should prefer the first option.

Thanks for any opinion

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question does not appear to be on data science as science as is and I am voting to close as it might turn opinionated. But as my two cents on your issue. If you are not learning much in a day and if your company has not much to offer to your learning in foresighted future, it is time to find good opportunities that might. A good team is important for your learning. At the end of the day your happiness and learning is what matters, everything else is tad optional. Good luck. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 24, 2019 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm reading literally on the right a question that says "Do data scientists use Excel?". 20 upvote. The Question I asked it's very important to me and I think many ds shares the same doubt $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ "Starting my career as data scientist, is sw required?" other 20 upvote. Still a skills to acquire related questions. Just like mine. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 10:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can understand your concern that the question is put on-hold and that is the reason I had put a comment to make sure I put my opinion before I vote the question to be closed. And nobody said you had wrongly phrased it or you have to improve it, it just says that it not related to Data Science as science is. Of the things you had showcased one of them is closed. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Ok no problem, sorry if i sounded rude. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


Welcome to the site! The only thing I can really do is offer general advice:

1 - Realize that your situation is not unique. There are many, many data science departments that just contain 1 or 2 people at most and many of us work alone - it's what I call being a "one man band" in data science. I work for one of the largest corporations in the world and I work alone because (1) budgets are always hard and (2) good data scientists are very, very hard to find. Oh, you'll find resumes out there, but most people will fail even the most basic tech screenings and just be awful at data science. You should take pride in being the person that your company picked and realize that just because you leave your current company it doesn't mean that your "alone" situation will improve.

2 - So, how can you turn your situation into a positive? If they don't have the budget to get someone senior, they might still have the budget to train you better. Get them to budget you money to go to conferences, get all the books you can, sign up for online courses that your company is willing to pay for. Even if they can't give you help, they can still get you resources in other ways. That's the advantage of being alone, your "department" doesn't need a big training budget, just enough to fly you to a couple of conferences each year.

3 - The beauty of being a data scientist is that there are always skills you can work on. How's your software deployment skills? What about your skills around building data pipelines? Do you tend to over-rely on one model instead of learning news one (that happens to all of us). There's always new parts you can be adding to your toolkit. In that sense, adding some DB skills is a good idea; work on both DB design and how to create the pipelines from those DBs into your programs - that's a very valuable skill.

Good luck!


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