Business analytics and data science are changing the way we collect, analyze and look at data. Answers to almost any business decision can be modeled and predicted using the data collected by a company and its data analytics tools. According to a Forbes article, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees strong growth for data science jobs skills and predicts that the data science field will grow about 28% through 2026.
To help business analytics and data science students connect with relevant professionals in the field, the Center of Student Professional Development (CSPD) partnered with the Fox Master of Science in Business Analytics and the Fox Master of Science in Statistics and Data Science to organize an employer panel and networking event.
On Nov. 5, students and employers gathered in person in Alter Hall on Temple’s main campus to network with professionals in data science and better understand the tools students need to succeed in the industry.
The panel featured Fox School alumnus Andrew Buechner, MBA ’18, senior manager of analytics and insight at Bimbo Bakeries; Temple alumni Quincy Walker, CST ’14, a security engineer at Doordash and Kaelah Tristani, CPH ’20, data analyst at Concert AI; and Sarah Krasnik, data engineering lead at Perpay.
The four panelists discussed their current job roles, career trajectories and answered questions that helped students understand what skills employers look for during recruiting. Chetna Paras and Dhruv Nair, two MSBA students at the Fox School who attended the panel, share what they learned about the data science field and how to apply skills in different industries.
“We already knew that it was essential to have a good knowledge of technical skills like Python, SQL and Excel,” says Nair. “But panelists also highlighted how important it was to develop good communication skills.”
“It is important that as data analysts, we develop skills that help us effectively communicate our insights that are supported by the analysis we conduct,” adds Paras.
In addition to the moderated panel discussion, employers interacted with students one-on-one to discuss how each student could use their career to leverage a job closely aligned with their interests.
For example, Krasnik, the data engineering lead at Perpay, explained that she joined her company “because I wanted to help people build healthier financial habits.”
All of these professionals especially stressed the importance of networking and building meaningful relationships that can help one not only land the desired job but also succeed later in their careers.
With such high demand in technology-related jobs and various roles, it can be hard to navigate different opportunities in the industry and how good of a fit someone is for a particular role.
“All panelists stressed that LinkedIn is a great way to start a conversation with someone in a role you’re interested in,” says Nair.
Employers also highlighted best interview practices and advised students not to undersell themselves, no matter what background they had before working as a business analyst.
“It’s hard applying for a job in business analytics, knowing that your background consists of something completely unrelated,” says Paras. “The panelists instead clarified that diverse backgrounds can be used to one’s advantage during job hunting.”
The panel concluded with employers encouraging students to connect with them on LinkedIn and check in for available job opportunities.
“Many of us were not aware of job roles currently open for summer internships,” says Paras. “Through the employer meet, we got a good idea of roles we were interested in and better understood what we wanted to pursue as a career.”