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Looking for an entry into the intersection of IT & Finance (any data analysts out there?)


Joseph Bacani Irvine, CA

Hi all:

So a little background: I graduated from Columbia University in 2018 with a degree in psychology but unfortunately found myself becoming disinterested in research or pursuing psychology-related Masters education. I have about 12 months left on my p9/11 GI Bill. Not sure if this helps but I'm an ENFJ on the MB.

I did some due diligence and I think I should be going towards data analysis but I'm only familiar with software engineering paths. I'm having trouble envisioning what that journey would look like from point A to B. Should I go back to school or try the coding bootcamps/IT Certificate route? I'm about to undergo AWS certified cloud practitioner training later this month, hopefully I'm not wasting my time?

I appreciate everyone's time and thoughtful replies!

9 August 2021 4 replies Career Exploration



Ashutosh Mehta Edison, NJ

Thank you for your service Joseph!

I would say you are heading in right direction. Data is here to stay so do related jobs like Data Engineering, Data Analyst, Data Scientist etc. You can learn all these data fields using Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn's Lynda and many other online courses. There are Master degrees available in these fields by reputed universities.

Learning specialty track of cloud providers like Google, AWS and Microsoft is absolutely way to go. I would suggest exploring learning of Power BI, Tableau, QlikView as a data visualization track under Data Analyst.

Good luck!

Ashutosh Mehta

10 August 2021 Helpful answer


Mary M. Burns Chicago, IL

Good morning Joseph,
In addition to the other thoughtful responses here, I'm glad to share another perspective for you to consider and some resources as well.

When it comes to IT there are many paths to take and that you might satisfying. Bootcamps are often going to lead to common paths in coding, software development and focus more on software engineering and web development. If that's your interest and priority, Full Stack Academy has an excellent program. If your aim is the intersection of Finance and IT, then you might consider exploring the Fintech industry - it's grown significantly over the last 10 years and there are many new firms with Analyst and various Data positions to learn about. You might know that Fintech includes firms like the big banks as well as companies like Braintree, PayPal, Amount, Chime and Afirm to name a few. The growth in this category has been substantial as more digital and data products and tools are built for both Consumer and Business segments.

To learn more about these kinds of firms, you might use the resource - it's an excellent site that covers small to medium size firms and everything in Tech. The site has a lot of roles posted in Fintech, including some in the LA Hub (a section on the site), which might be closest to you in Irvine. I'm glad to chat further about this if it would be of help. Feel free to reach me directly at:

I salute your service and wish you well in your research and exploration!
-Mary Burns


Audrie Luna Houston, TX

Hi Joseph. Thank you for your service!
I would definitely say you are on the right path getting specialized certifications - it is not a waste of time. As someone with a degree in Psychology who currently works in a data centric role, you are a well rounded candidate for data analysis. The skills and knowledge you learned gaining your degree will transfer nicely over to data analysis.
I agree with Ashutosh about learning different data visualization tools. Certain fields/companies will gravitate towards specific tools, so that might be something to consider as you learn more about them. Gartner puts out a report of top analytics software and does a comparison of each one vs their competitor. I’m also guessing you took a few statistics classes during college for your psych degree which give you a great advantage as a data analyst.
Good luck!


Katie Lazarowicz Chicago, IL

Hi Joseph,
Thank you for your service! Data Science is definitely a strong career path. There are some great training programs out there. I currently partner with CodeUp for hiring new talent for my employer. They offer a Data Science training program. Check them out at
Best of luck to you!
Katie Lazarowicz

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