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If you are the one looking to shift your career from Sales to Data Science/ in to Analytics industry then this is for you. 

When I say career transformation/career shift, these two words look attractive at first sight, right? Because you are doing the same mundane/monotonous work daily and your adrenaline rushes when you hear a new term/role which is trending. You eventually give it a try, get some experience in what it is and then take a decision of sticking on or leaving. But, have you ever done any self introspection on the way how you have tried it. No right, This requires an expert opinion. An expert is the one who has tried various ways, learned from his mistakes and finally can suggest what can be right and what can be wrong for you with a greater probability of success. (This article on making recession proof career from Hackedwits is amazing, Give it a read here)

So here as an expert who shifted his career into Data Science from Sales, in this article I would like to explain the easiest way for a Sales/ Business Development Professional to enter into the Data Science/Analytics Industry. 

Step1: Self Introspection

This is the first and most important step before you take a decision. A decision should not be taken on spur of a moment. You are in the middle of your career and this step might cause serious damage to your career, so we urge each and every one who wants to shift their career into the Data Science / Analytics Industry to take this Self Assessment Test.

The beauty of the test is that it enables you to think in various perspectives to approach a clear picture in your mind. I am confident that this will help you understand what you want and can help you set goals accordingly. You must take it before going to other steps.

Step 2: Hunting

If you ask me which resource helped you most in career transformation, I would say Linkedin!!.

Yes, Linkedin is a boon and you can reap a lot of benefits from linkedin. Here we will only talk about how you can use Linkedin for a career shift.

First, do a generic search on linkedin for roles like Data Analyst/Business Analyst/ Sales Analyst/ Sales Analytics. This will help you understand 3 things

  1. What are the requirements for these roles?
  2. What are the other roles which are similar to these roles (Sales Analyst is new in to the market)
  3. Network of people who are having similar backgrounds who have made their career shift into those roles.

Take a notepad and make a list of software tools, Domain Knowledge requirements, educational background, experience into a page. Now, after looking at various profiles you will understand what tools are mostly used, what made him suitable for that role and what can be added to your basket from these and what topics/tools/domain knowledge you have to gain to achieve that.

We will take a sales data analyst role as an example and show you how to do it.

We begin with a small search “Data Analyst + Sales”, this show you people having these keywords in their profile. Below is the image of it.

How to shift career from sales to Data Science

We have chosen the below profile from LinkedIn, he is a Microsoft Certified Data Analyst with knowledge on Tableau and Power BI (Microsoft Tool). He also knows salesforce and has Finance Domain knowledge.

Hunting Linkedin for Sales Analytics roles

Now we will look into his experience and educational background. He worked in the below mentioned roles (not relevant to analytics), he did his PGDM in Finance (may be-as he is having domain exp). 

Whether the person did any course or had experience in Data Science 

Let us also see what courses or licenses he did/ holding which made him to achieve this role.

Checking if the person had done any course on Data Science ?

He did courses on Power BI, Tableau, SQL and wrote an exam for MS Data Analyst certificate. So these are added to your list. 

So from this profile we have collected the below info

ToolsDomain KnowledgeExperienceEducationOther Certifications/Courses
Tableau, Power BI, SalesForceFinance2yearsPGDM in Finance, B.TechSQL, Tableau, Power BI

Add to this list by doing an exhaustive research, after that you can see which tools were highly repeating, which certification made him land that job, which course helped him in achieving that what you need to do, etc.. 

TIP: Switch to Data Roles provides a one to one session where you can discuss with experts who have transformed their career into the analytics industry from various backgrounds and had good knowledge on the industry. Fill this form to utilize it. 

Step 3: Build your Future Resume

Yes, you heard it right. After this research now it’s time to put collected information suitable for your transformation on to a resume and build a solid resume which can sell you. 

Just to assist you in making your resume, add tools, certificates (1 or 2), domain knowledge, beautify previous work exp so that it throws some light on why you are shifting and it should look like you are transforming your career rather than shifting.

Eg: For a sales guy Reporting tools, SQL and Domain knowledge on any industry is the minimum requirement for career transformation. So I will add these tools and skills to my resume. (Why SQL?. Because you have to use SQL to collect data from databases).

Learning Reporting tools like Tableau

Now, show it to your friends/ colleague / Close pal and know their views. Make changes accordingly.

Tip: Experts from Switch to Data Roles help you in this as well. You can discuss on your future resume in a one-on-one discussion. Avail it here!!

Step 4: Read Blogs, Stories and talk with experts

Now that you have built your resume it is better to read blogs on latest advancements, opportunities and news specific to your chosen industry. This will help you develop general knowledge on your chosen industry and help you while solving queries related your chosen domain and industry. 

Read about Data Science Industry

Also read success and failure stories on Quora, Linkedin, Analytics india magazine, KD Nuggets and other top sites for community discussions.

Follow companies in which your dream roles are available, we don’t know which information will help you in what way. Just keep your mind open.

Step 5: Sharpen your Knife!!

Now it’s time to take Action. Start learning and attaining the required knowledge for that role. As i have explained, it is mandatory to learn a reporting tool apart from Excel so start learning wherever you feel comfortable (online or offline) and have good reviews. Try to build more dashboards and share it on Linkedin. Create stunning live interactive dashboards. Let everyone know that you are creative. Take voluntary projects, do freelancing or take freelance works from fiverr or any other freelance sites and start working for free/low cost. This is actually a learning phase so do not pay close attention on Money. Just try to complete as many projects as possible. 

It is suggested to participate in Hackathons and other data competitions, It adds high value to your resume. If possible apply for live project/internship from a startup. This will make you standout from crowd.

Step 6: Stay Motivated and accomplish your goal

Motivation is the Key, It is always easy to start and is very hard to stay committed. 

Motivation is the key to success in Data Science industry

“When you feel like quitting, think why you have started” 

“Always remember it is the hard route which make you hard not the soft one”

Do not give up, there were many organizations looking for a skilled workforce. if you lose this company then that means you have an opportunity to explore more and get a better one. If you have got it then you would have stayed there only.

link to my other blog post on Marketing, Link to know Who I am. My Quora post

“Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached!!

Thank you for going through the article. if you like it, please leave a comment.

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