Since data science is still a relatively new field, it can be difficult to know what your career might look like in 10 years.
A investigation by Kaggle found that people working in data science typically spend 1-2 hours per week looking for a new job. But what should you look for?
Of course, it helps to just “go with the flow” and not make specific plans. But I think the risk with this approach is that you unintentionally end up on what Paul Millerd calls “”the default path”, and you start to think that your only option is to move up the ranks (DS Junior → DS → DS Senior → DS Principal → Chief of DS → … → Lieutenant Commander Supreme of DS → … etc.).
In this article, I’ll outline three key questions that should help clarify your thinking about your career. If you are a new or aspiring Data Scientist, this will help you think a little more strategically about your future career and what you actually want to do (rather than just doing what everyone else is doing).
For Matheus Fauréthe decision to leave management and become an individual contributor (IC) again was very deliberate.
Matheus started his career in data science as an IC at a large fintech company, and within 3 years he was promoted to manager:
The company was growing so quickly that almost all of the ICs in my cohort were forced into management positions.
Even though he learned a lot as a manager, Matheus ultimately decided it wasn’t for him (at least, not yet):
I couldn’t help but think (sic) about all the things I hadn’t learned as an IC. Three years is a very short time to become even moderately good at Data Science (…) Even if I have to become a manager again in the future, I have the impression that I would be much better if I had the time to mature first as a manager. an IC.