As it approaches a year since I joined ElastaCloud as a Data Scientist I have been thinking about how working here compares to my previous life as a research associate in academia. There are many differences that I have seen but also some similarities that I have found surprising.
If you're reading this as an academic, or anyone really, thinking about a career shift to data science, hopefully it should give you an idea of what to expect and convince you it is the right choice to make!
Cutting edge - in research we're trying to push the boundaries in our field and find innovative and novel solutions to problems. This is exactly what we do as data scientists at ElastaCloud.
Choice of tools and technology - whether it's the choice between working with R or Python or which machine learning algorithm to apply to our predictive model we are encouraged to use the tools and technology that we feel are most suitable for the job.
Learning environment - we are encouraged to always be learning at ElastaCloud and given the means to do so. The data science team recently attended the 3 day EARL R conference in London, the sort of opportunity I thought wouldn't be possible outside of academia.
I'm hoping it's clear why I used this particular picture! :)
Variety of work - since starting at ElastaCloud I have been exposed to many different industries, from engineering to higher education via the health sector. It's rare that you would get this kind of experience in academia.
Collaboration - a personal experience of mine in academia was that it was quite an isolated experience, having colleagues, but they're all working on their own, separate projects. At ElastaCloud we work together closely, across departments which creates a great team dynamic.
The pace - things happen much quicker in industry compared to academia, with it sometimes feeling like there are deadlines every week (we are Agile after all!). At first the pace was quite daunting, but I soon adapted and have found that it has really helped me push myself and learn.
Neither list is exhaustive, but these are the ones that have really stuck in my mind. Overall my year at ElastaCloud has only been positive, and I encourage anyone that is having thoughts about making the switch to do it!