PhD to data analyst

Seattle Children's Hospital QMFl80
Sep 14 9 Comments

I’m currently a PhD student in infectious disease trying to pivot to a career as a data analyst. I’m not bound to remaining in the non-profit sector.

What are some of the hard skills I should master to be taken seriously as a candidate? SQL? advanced excel skills? Python? data visualization? others?


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TOP 9 Comments
  • Microsoft GayCoder
    SQL and python. Based on your background you’re too intelligent and qualified to be wasted on a data analyst role. You want to aim for a data scientist / applied research scientist role. Heavier on the math. You’ll need to know how to query and manipulate data.... it will be easy for you to learn.
    Sep 14 1
    • New Hadope
      Completely agree with this. A data analyst is completely different from data scientist. Be careful and do your research. Maybe as a data analyst all you are doing is excel work. Generally data scientist has more valuable responsibilities.
      Sep 14
  • Google OneOfAKind
    SQL and business acumen will take you a long way, longer than many folks who just do ML PhD.
    Sep 14 0
  • Microsoft techladki
    If PhD in infectious disease is as rigorous as a STEM PhD (and not those BS social sciences), you are capable of more than data analyst.

    Data analyst is a relatively low skilled job. Perhaps, with some machine learning knowledge you could pivot to a something better, especially at a company like Verily
    Sep 14 0
  • Maxar Technologies maxar
    SQL + Python will do wonders.
    Edit- emphasis on SQL
    Sep 14 0
  • Seattle Children's Hospital QMFl80
    I just want to emphasize I don’t have my PhD yet. I’ll have my masters in 6mo and if I find a great position, I’ll make the career switch before getting my PhD

    My impression is going through with my PhD will make me overqualified and perhaps undesirable? Not sure if this is 100% true though.
    Sep 14 1
    • Microsoft techladki
      If you really aren't sure if your PhD, then may be not a good idea to pursue it.

      Also tech companies regularly hire STEM PhDs, so why would you be over qualified?
      Sep 14
  • New / Other

    New Other

    postdoc researcher in astrophysics -> software engineer
    It sounds like you are at the very beginning of a phd program. If you are not interested in getting the most expert knowledge in your field, don't do the PhD. It's hard to imagine someone keep thinking about jobs while doing a phd (it's not for a job...).

    In any case, you have to learn python/SQL and maybe some statistics.

    If you do get your PhD, you can check out Insight Data Science Program that helps PhD to make the transition (to data scientist). But technically you can prepare yourself much earlier..
    Sep 15 0
  • Facebook irqL16
    Most PhDs do data science IME. However, if you are a business-minded person then PA role might be more enjoyable.
    Sep 14 0