A recent graduate in New York City wanted to move to New Orleans (NoLa) with his girlfriend and approached me to help him find an entry level data science job in New Orleans.
A big fear he had was that because Data Science jobs are commonly advertised for the tech centers of the US (San Francisco, NYC, & Boston), he was going to have a great deal of trouble finding work in New Orleans.
In fact, before he asked me, he had already reached out for help and had gotten responses like:
From those responses, you can see why he was a bit worried for his prospects of finding an entry level data science job in New Orleans
To help our question asker, these are the five things I suggest he do…
Take his time
It’s true that if you move out of the technology centers of the US, then you will find less job opportunities for a particular job, career, or title. However, less opportunities does not equal zero opportunities. They are just slightly harder to find so you have to exhibit a bit more patience in finding them.
Search job websites for positions with data in the title
The fact that a large proportion of data scientists can’t even agree on what a “data scientist” is means that you need to break down the job to the pure essentials. A data scientists works with data and then does other things where they could be based on any number of technologies, techniques, algorithms, etc. So my advice here is to search job websites for positions that include the word data.
To that end, I suggested searching the five following websites: LinkedIn, Indeed, Stackoverflow Careers, Career Builder, and Glassdoor.
Here are the specific searches and results that I found for entry level data science jobs in New Orleans:
Look for remote work
You may have noticed, and our friend did, that in Stackoverflow Careers I suggested he look for remote positions. Given our current pace of technology and how many companies are working with remote workers, it’s good to consider working remotely if you want to move to a place that doesn’t support the data science job that you want. In this case I am sure he can find what he wants in NoLa, though it doesn’t hurt to look for some remote work.
Keep an open mind on what the position title would be
One interesting thing about the results and the titles that came back is that sometimes they were things like “Big Data Engineer”, “Data Architect”, “Cassandra Internals Engineer”, or even “DSE Timeseries Engineer”. In all of those, and many of the others listed, I’m almost 100% sure that our friend would be doing “data science” work. It just so happens that the job title does not say “data scientist” so it’s a bit harder to find and/or know that it’s related to what he wants to do. Because we searched for “data” alone, we were able to find these jobs that did appeal to our friend.
Contact people on LinkedIn in NoLa that have a data job for advice
This step is a bit longer term as he won’t be looking for positions but for people already doing what he wants to do or will eventually want to do. The great thing about data science is that the data communities across the web and in most cities are very friendly and helpful. By contacting people on LinkedIn for a coffee meeting to chat about what they do, how they do it, how they got started, and whom else he should meet in the NoLA data community, our friend will slowly hear of interesting work and interesting people doing that work. By doing this, he’ll have his ear to the ground and when something interesting pops up, he’ll know the people doing it and he’ll be the first to know so can get ahead of others in applying for the position.
Our friend is currently looking about the above positions and will hopefully find his dream data science job in New Orleans shortly!
To conclude, here’s the short version of the above:
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