Data Scientist vs Software Engineer

Black Knight Financial databud
Sep 3 12 Comments

I am undergraduate studying Mathematics with a concentration in Data Science (AKA some python, optimization algorithms, stats, and deep learning).

I just finished a Data Science Internship and will graduate in December. I am kind of at a crossroads as I am looking for jobs or spring internships across all of California and beyond for data scientist (or even analyst) positions and I'm not coming up with anything and I'm not sure what to do.

So I guess the dilemma is that I would like to work for a year or two if possible before going back for a MS. Because of this, I'm starting to think that I should work on building some experience to go into a software engineering role or something more conducive to undergrads but then how can I compete with all the CS undergrads?

Does anyone have advice for best jobs to go for based on my experience? I like DS and MLE as they use more of my Math background to my advantage.

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TOP 12 Comments
  • Dropbox / Eng daily-push
    Do you value passion or money?
    If passion, go for what you love
    I also have a math BS, switching from low pay data analyst to high pay high impact Software Engineer is one of the best decisions I have made
    Real DS need a PhD, otherwise you are just the same as all other business school students who’re looking for DA/DS, totally lost your advantage on your Stem background
    Sep 3 4
    • Black Knight Financial databud
      OP
      This is kinda how I'm leaning. I don't have any experience with software engineering, just python for data analytics, so it might take some work to get into and prove myself. Any advice on the transition?
      Sep 3
    • New kplay
      What language did you switch to? Asking dropbox
      Sep 3
    • Dropbox / Eng daily-push
      If you don’t have any CS fundamental, then web full stack is the way to go.
      Go learn on Udemy. Stack up your resume with those projects. Then Leetcode and interview.

      There are tons of other advises out there tell you how to transit, go do the research. Most company will give Math major a chance at SWE (Software Engineer). If you can get math and python right, learning SWE shouldn’t be hard for you 😉
      Sep 3
    • Dropbox / Eng daily-push
      I will suggest python if you first started, it’s easier to learn, and faster to code in interview. Eventually, I learned python, javascript, and Java. But data structure & Algorithms is way more important than languages itself.
      Sep 3
  • Salesforce
    OHANA GANG

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    OHANA GANGmore
    Optimization algorithms in data science? What? You mean actual optimization, like linear or mixed integer programming?

    Don't do a Master's, they'd unfunded. Do a PhD and quit with a terminal Master's if you want. Coursework Master's aren't worth much, but research Master's can be.
    Sep 3 5
    • Neurocrine AtinlayBro
      What's so surprising? Most DS programs have optimization courses.
      Sep 3
    • Black Knight Financial databud
      OP
      Linear Programming, no mixed integer programming. I agree this is the better way to go but that's partially why I want to work for a year or two first, to beef up my application a bit
      Sep 3
    • Salesforce
      OHANA GANG

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      @Neurocrine lol, no they don't, come on.

      Unless you're including actual machine learning/CS theory programs in "data science", in which case 🤷‍♂️
      Sep 3
    • Neurocrine AtinlayBro
      Are you MS in data science? I am, and I can confirm that most MS in DS programs have optimization courses. They also have ML courses. CS theory, not really.

      Indeed most MS in analytics programs also have optimization courses. Lot of analysts run optimization models. I do too.

      Tech companies have recently down-levelled what it means to be a data scientist. But there are a ton of companies outside tech and data scientist there do work on optimization and ML models.
      Sep 3
    • Salesforce
      OHANA GANG

      Salesforce

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      no, I'm doubling down, most data science programs do not feature coursework in linear programming or mixed-integer programming. or convex optimization more broadly. show me where these are required courses from a graduate data science program

      what tier is your program? I think you have a skewed perception of what the modal data science curriculum contains
      Sep 3
  • New / Data JhYt70
    If you don’t want to get PhD, SWE would be much better.
    Sep 3 0