A Career in the Data World

Creating a successful professional pathway

Manuel Santos, Closer Consulting

There has been an increasingly recurrent debate in Portugal about the need to update the subjects and domains conducted in Education. In a volatile and constantly changing world, it is vital today to foster literacy in digital and programming skills.

In a study published by the World Economic Forum involving 26 economies (representing more than 70% of GDP) and 15 industries, it is estimated that more than 97 million new jobs may emerge in the coming years. Among these, one sector stands out for its good pay and high employability rates: the Information Technology (IT) sector. In this area, we can find fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Business Intelligence and Machine Learning. It is expected that these fields will dominate the next decade.

A career in Information Technology requires effort and commitment in its learning process, but once you get into it, it will certainly be rewarding, not only for the wage component, but also for the balance between the professional and personal life.

This is easily explained by the growing offer of jobs in this area, which include the possibility of working remotely on a full-time or hybrid basis. Another attraction lies in the fact that it is possible to follow a technical side – as a Data Analyst, Data Scientist or Business Intelligence consultant, for example – or a more management-oriented side, as a Team Leader or Manager of technological solutions.

This job is not restricted to IT companies, which decodes into other excellent news: from banking to retail, energy, insurance, telecommunications and even aviation, the range of industries that seek these professionals is increasing. There has also been a growing collaboration between research centers and companies based in these areas.

But what exactly does a consultant who works in this sector of Information Technology, and more specifically in the data field, do?

You are essentially responsible for collecting and analyzing data, transforming it into knowledge for your clients and thus enabling them to make the best decisions for their respective organizations and businesses.

Thus, the Data Analyst career comprises working on predictive models to solve problems, using Machine Learning tools. These professionals are critical for businesses to understand the data they have at their disposal, using it to make decisions about investment, risk assessment, understanding the target audience, or choosing where to allocate capital.

Parameterization of algorithms – which helps companies make management decisions – is another Data Analyst's role.

But how to get there?

I would say that the fields of Computer Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics and similars form the ideal consultants to integrate projects in this area, even by learning technological tools whose know-how is increasingly important and requested by the market, such as Python, SQL and Power BI.

But that's not all. Today, more and more professionals with training in other areas – often even in social sciences – opt for a career change. To this end, there are many short-term academies that provide training in the world of data and technology, as well as online courses such as Coursera or Udemy. A personal contact working in the field will be good for tips and suggestions on the best ways to get into the industry.

3 years ago, aiming to attract the best talent and to welcome professionals intending to build a career in Data Science and Business Intelligence, Closer Consulting founded its Data Academy, a recruitment initiative focused on training programs and on the development of professional data projects.

It is gratifying to see that companies such as Closer operating in this sector are able to welcome recent graduates and people wishing to begin a career in the data world, who often have, as we know, greater difficulty in finding a company that will provide them with the conditions they deserve and for which they have worked so hard.

Fortunately, Data Academy powered by Closer has successfully registered hundreds of applications since its beginning, hiring dozens of consultants in this period.

For all the reasons listed above, the IT sector – and particularly, data projects – are ideal for envisaging a successful career, both as a starting point for the learning that is intrinsic to it, and for the professional development in constant evolution and progression.


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