March 14, 2023

Science Teacher to Data Analyst: Kevin Johnson’s Dataquest Success Story

Kevin Johnson, Data Analyst

Kevin Johnson is a data analyst with the SDG Group, a role he landed in 2022 after completing the Data Scientist track at Dataquest. But Johnson didn't start in data science. In fact, he started in what you might call science-science. Johnson has a degree in physics from Rowan University, and he worked as a high school teacher for five years, teaching classes on physics, chemistry, and biology.

Getting Started at Dataquest

Clearly, Johnson felt like he hadn't mastered enough of the sciences, and data science was next on his list. So, he landed at Dataquest, excited to embark on his learning journey. Johnson enjoys learning new things, and Dataquest offered him a great opportunity to do just that. He found that the projects provided really good learning opportunities, and they helped him develop his portfolio. According to Johnson, "I found Dataquest to be very usable and easy to work with."

New Skills and Career Growth

Johnson worked on the Data Scientist and Data Engineering paths every day for about eight months. He learned SQL, Python, Pandas, Machine Learning, and more using Dataquest — all technical skills that Johnson showcased in his independent projects portfolio.  He credits these skills with helping him land his current role.

Standing Out to Employers

After he'd completed the Dataquest paths, Johnson started his job search, but something was missing. He wasn't getting many responses to his applications, so he made a bold move — he started volunteering.

I applied for jobs with little response until I volunteered as a Data Analyst for a Senate campaign that summer at which point companies were much more willing to speak with me due to that real world experience.

Johnson needed a way to stand out, and as a newcomer in the data science world, he could either grind out more projects for his portfolio, or he could go out into the world and do something that showed off his new skill set. With Senate campaign experience under his belt, suddenly Johnson was a hot commodity, and he landed his current job shortly after. To this day, he still relies heavily on SQL and many of the other skills he acquired during his time at Dataquest.

Advice to Dataquest Learners

Asked if Dataquest helped him land his job, Johnson's answer is unequivocal, "Yes, I would say Dataquest helped me land my current role." He goes on to offer this advice to other Dataquest learners:

Just get started. You don't need too much background knowledge to get started. I would also say you should work on independent projects on the side. Everytime you learn a new skill, try to implement it in a project of your own!


Dataquest helped Johnson make a career change into data science, and he reports being excited to be using technology in a business setting and seeing the results of his work. According to Johnson, "I continue to use the skills I learned at Dataquest in my daily work."

Find Kevin Johnson on LinkedIn, or check out his GitHub profile.


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