Moving from another branch of engineering to data science


How would you recommend going about moving from another branch of engineering/science into data science?


I have a former colleague that is very interested in pursuing a career in data science. He is a fantastic data-driven engineer with a strong background in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. We worked together a year or two ago on a project where I showed him the power of Python (he was mostly using Excel & VBA) and now he’s trying to make a career transition into Data Science, but needs to get some more experience in the DS tools, as his resume doesn’t reflect that experience. Essentially, he’s very strong with problem formulation & the physics, but not necessarily with the “tools of the trade”.

He’s looking into a data science bootcamp and has asked me if I had any recommendations or advice. Honestly, I’m a bit wary of bootcamps like this and my advice is usually something like “find a problem to work on, there are plenty of free resources available online”. But I also know that many people prefer something more structured, and it can also be hard to find a practical problem to work on if not currently working.

I have gotten asked about this or similar from several past colleagues and I’d love if there was a go-to guide or something that I could point them to. I would love to hear thoughts from the community!


What advice do you have or what resources could I point him to?

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I am also one such engineer. I am doing my Ph.d. in Environmental Engineering and Climate Change. Only during this time, I realized how much I like Data Science. I really appreciate your suggestions. Thanks