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S4E9: How to Become a Data Scientist Without a Degree With Fernando Hidalgo

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Fernando Hidalgo is a self-taught data scientist who went from being a teacher’s assistant to a data scientist in just one-and-a-half years.

After studying economics in school, Fernando held a variety of jobs, unsure of what he wanted to do. One day, he started researching data science, and it captured his interest. Using trial and error, a bunch of online platforms, and a data science bootcamp, Fernando completely transformed his career path.

Now, Fernando works as a data scientist at Discovery Communications, and in his spare time helps others hack their careers at fernandodata.com.

In the episode, we talk about how Fernando started from zero to teach himself data science, what resources he used, what technologies aspiring data scientists should learn, and his tips for marketing yourself to employers or clients.

Disclosure: I’m a proud Udemy affiliate. If you buy a Udemy course through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

Key takeaways:

  • When you're learning technical skills, don’t only follow along blindly, completing tutorials and courses. Put what you've learned into practice yourself, a little bit every day.
  • It’s important to know how to market yourself. You could build something awesome, but unless you show someone, nobody will ever see it.
  • When you're building projects, document everything you do for others to see. When you're done, show them off! A personal website and GitHub are good places to do this.
  • Cold emails can be successful, but you have to know your audience. There’s an art to writing cold emails, depending on who you write to.
  • Data science is a highly lucrative career and there are not enough people to fill the available roles, so if you want to be a data scientist, go for it!
  • You don’t need to have high-level formal education to get into data science–like Fernando, you can do it through teaching yourself.

Links and mentions from the episode:

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to this episode’s sponsors

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