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Switching careers to data analyst role -- need advice (on anything)

candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 52 ■■■□□□□□□□
edited April 2023 in Professional Development
Hello,

Old member making a new post. Hopefully in the right spot... guess I'll find out if it gets lost in the void. 

I have spent a solid 15+ years in the IT world, whether that was break/fix, servers, VPNs, software, light programming... you name it and I've probably touched it at some point. Have been learning about data science and data engineering over the past couple years... what sparked that interest was my last role as a MSFT contractor doing Azure AD login abuse detection. We used in-house tools provided by the data science team to do the 'grading' (compromised/not compromised/suspicious/unclear) and our results would then feed back into their proprietary AI algorithms to help better train the machine learning to detect fraud. It was a lot of boring grunt work and I was always more interested on what was going on under the hood... so I started taking some Udemy courses and edx classes... nothing too in-depth. Picked up a bit of SQL, Python and how to use jupyter notebooks and some of the IBM Watson things. I'm wrapping up my 2 year transfer degree and I'm looking at a 4 year program in Data Science at a local university. I figured that would be a good next step as far as schooling. What I don't know is what certifications go well with a data analyst type of role. I've seen a few things pop up on my radar... and it seems each vendor has its own version of some kind of data related certification. (I think there's an Azure/Power-BI one from MSFT), and AWS related one, and maybe something in the Cisco world? I've also seen a Google/Udemy certificate program pop up, but I'm hesitant to jump on that. I've also heard good things about the CareerFoundry course in data analytics. 

Looking for any general advice from folks who work in the data field, whether that was straight out of college, and folks who may have had a career change. What's worth getting? What's not? Time is short, so I want to make sure I maximize my returns, learn the most important things, and what things might help my resume as I begin making the switch. I don't expect to be a full fledged data scientist without a Masters degree or better (I've heard stories but they are generally the exception and not the norm) --- and I have a lot to learn. And I don't expect to be making a lot of money out of the gate, either. I just want to try something new, and so far, this has still been a very interesting and engaging topic. 

Thanks! 
ITIL, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Healthcare IT Tech, MTA: Server Fundamentals, MCP, Apple Certified Associate, CIW Associate

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    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,028 Admin
    This looks like a good place for your post! :)

    Have a look at the CompTIA Data+ cert first. That will give you a good idea of the kinds of general data topics you will need to master for a career in Big Data. After that you will look at going down the Data Scientist or Data Engineer track. If you prefer to concentrate on only the certs being asked for my employers, you'll need to look at Data Science job postings instead.
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    candycorncandycorn Member Posts: 52 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    This looks like a good place for your post! :)

    Have a look at the CompTIA Data+ cert first. That will give you a good idea of the kinds of general data topics you will need to master for a career in Big Data. After that you will look at going down the Data Scientist or Data Engineer track. If you prefer to concentrate on only the certs being asked for my employers, you'll need to look at Data Science job postings instead.
    Thank you! I will check out the Data+ 
    ITIL, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Healthcare IT Tech, MTA: Server Fundamentals, MCP, Apple Certified Associate, CIW Associate
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