December 28, 2016

Vicknesh: “Dataquest helped me transition from a Science Teacher to a Data Scientist”

Vicknesh Mano was working as a Chemistry teacher in Singapore. After getting his degree in Chemoinformatics, he realized that academia was not what he wanted to pursue. He transitioned to teaching.

“I was a science teacher, but I wanted to do more. I enjoyed teaching, but I wanted to experience the commercial world and get my hands dirty.”

“I started to look at ways I could learn online. I tried Codecademy and googled a lot, and then I found Dataquest.”

“It struck a good balance of covering a diverse range of areas but still in-depth. I was able to learn Pandas, SQL, Data Visualization and Machine Learning in the one place.”

Vicknesh started applying for jobs and gained an interview at Accenture. It was here that the in-depth approach Dataquest took to teaching algorithms paid off.

I wouldn’t be where I was without Dataquest.

“They asked me to explain the logic behind the k-means clustering algorithm. It wasn’t an algorithm I had used much, but I remembered back to learning it with Dataquest. I had built a basic version of the algorithm before learning the scikit-learn syntax.”

“From what I could remember, I walked through how the algorithm worked.”

Vicknesh impressed the interviewer and got the job. “He told me that most people can’t answer how the algorithms work, just how to use them.”

“I think it helps that Accenture are open-minded. Even though my academic background was not perfectly aligned, they were open to interviewing me when I had learned my skills online.”

Vicknesh started as a Business Intelligence Analyst. “In my first few projects, I learned how important SQL was. It permeates everything here – everything uses SQL or a derivative of SQL.”

“When I first started, I didn’t realize the difference between a data analyst and a data scientist. As I learned more I realized I definitely fit more into the data science side.”

Vicknesh competed in an internal data science competition at Accenture. “We had data on rugby kicks. We had to build a model that makes the best prediction, like a mini-Kaggle competition. We were competing against Accenture employees worldwide, most of whom were data scientists.” His team placed in the top 25% of all teams.

“It got me excited and helped me realize that what I know is valuable and unique. I realized that I could start in analytics and move forward to being a data scientist.”

Vicknesh was recently promoted from his analyst role into the data science team. “I was able to network with the data science team and show them my previous work.”

Vicknesh had some advice for those who wanted to transition into data science. “Be confident in what you learn with Dataquest. If you understand what they teach you, you will be one of the few people in the world that can do what you do. You belong in the data scientist world.”

“I wouldn’t be where I was without Dataquest.”

Celeste Grupman

About the author

Celeste Grupman

Celeste is the Director of Operations at Dataquest. She is passionate about creating affordable access to high-quality skills training for students across the globe.

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