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Where can I volunteer to get practical experience in Data Science?

Veteran

David Roman Raleigh, NC

I'm currently on track to get certified as a SAS Base Programmer, and have been taking a online course to learn Python and statistical methods. I'll soon be starting a bootcamp that is focused on Microsoft Azure. Aspiring roles for once the bootcamp is done in late August include Database Developer, Applied Data Scientist, and Data Visualization Engineer.

I'm looking to continue studying and practicing what I've learned when I'm not in the bootcamp classes, so volunteering my time to gain experience is something I've very open to.

4 April 2021 8 replies Education & Training

Answers

Advisor

Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

David-
Thanks for your service!
About a year ago, when I was pursuing my Data Science certificate, I discovered the towardsdatascience.com website. Here are links to a couple articles of interest. The first one contains ideas on volunteer organizations. The second one contains ideas on projects to keep your skills sharp. Good luck!
Deb
https://towardsdatascience.com/5-ways-to-gain-real-world-data-science-experience-674f0c80e836
https://towardsdatascience.com/14-data-science-projects-to-do-during-your-14-day-quarantine-8bd60d1e55e1

6 April 2021 Helpful answer

Veteran

Geoff Bernstein Williamsburg, VA

If you’re looking to build out your resume, I would build out a public GitHub where you post some of the projects you’ve worked on. I just did mine on Kaggle data. Try to show a decent mix of data cleaning, modeling, and full projects with your own written analysis. R Markdown or Jupyter Notebooks work well for that. Show your flexibility and ability to do self-directed work.

If you’re still looking to volunteer, Taproot Plus offers some real-world opportunities. I volunteer through a local meetup group as well.

I can tell you that SAS is still widely used, but the company I work at has been actively moving away from it, bit by bit. You’ll eventually learn a mix of platforms. As funny as it sounds, get good at SQL. SQL is always the killer app :-D

The VA VET TEC program is offering tuition-fee data science boot camps through Galvanize. It’s python-centered, so I’ve been looking at it myself as I try to transition to Python from R and SAS.

Advisor

Kevin Trosine Oviedo, FL

Thats a fast growing segment in the tech world for sure! My company is very active in this space, so if you're looking for more info on the field of data science check out WWT.com This is a great resource to see whats going on and what type of use cases we are hearing from customers, in many different industries.
Lastly, we have a program that specifically looks to help people with military backgrounds as they consider transitioning to the civilian world. Best regards!

Veteran

Kristin Williams-Washington Laurel, MD

I own a management consulting firm and we are always in need of data scientists. Feel free to contact me at KWashington@W2ConsultingCorp.com and we'll see what we can do.

Advisor

Bin Yu Pleasanton, CA

Hi David,

Data science is a busy area where HR supply is much less than demand. You can look at many popular hiring sites including Linkedin for entry level openings. There are many internship opportunities in the coming season from large and startup companies.

Good luck,
Bin

Advisor

George Goodfriend New York, NY

Hi David,

If you're looking to donate your time, you should check out VolunteerMatch.org! It's an online platform that connects nonprofits with individuals looking to give back to a specific cause or community. I did a brief search for you and the possibilities are endless.

Best,
George

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

David,
William has great advice. I would also conduct some Informational Interviews with folks in these positions right now, stress you interest in the industry, but gather information on what people doing the job every day do, how they became interested in the field. Folks like to help veterans, but remember ask for information and you will get that and maybe an invitation for an internship, but ask for a job and you will get the pat answer go online and fill out the application. Companies appreciate people taking the time to research, ask good career questions, everyone can call up and ask for a job! Thanks for your service and God Bless.

Advisor

William Munroe Dunstable, MA

Hi David,
One area that data science is taking off in is cybersecurity. Every, and I mean every cybersecurity vendor from Palo Alto to Fire Eye and beyond are looking for data scientists. All of them offer internship and coop programs and they do not require that you be a college student. A high percentage of them lead to jobs. Also, many of these companies have veterans programs. So reach out on this network for software development managers at cybersecurity companies and offer up your services. It is such a hot space, that I am sure you will find something that will help you gain experience.

Best Regards
Bill

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