I am an MSc student at the University of Edinburgh, specialized in machine learning and natural language processing. I had some practical courses focused on data mining, and others dealing with machine learning, bayesian statistics and graphical models. My background is a BSc in Computer Science.
I did some software engineering and I learnt the basic concepts, such as design patterns, but I have never been involved in a large software development project. However, I had a data mining project in my MSc. My question is, if I want to go for a career as Data Scientist, should I apply for a graduate data scientist position first, or should I get a position as graduate software engineer first, maybe something related to data science, such as big data infrastructure or machine learning software development?
My concern is that I might need good software engineering skills for data science, and I am not sure if these can be obtained by working as a graduate data scientist directly.
Moreover, at the moment I like Data Mining, but what if I want to change my career to software engineering in the future? It might be difficult if I specialised so much in data science.
I have not been employed yet, so my knowledge is still limited. Any clarification or advice are welcome, as I am about to finish my MSc and I want to start applying for graduate positions in early October.