How I Transitioned From Finance to Data Science

finance and data science working together seamlessly

I always knew I was going to end up in the tech industry one way or another. Since childhood, I was always the one who knew about the trending apps, how to use them, and at 5 years old I knew how to use a computer.

Despite all these, I didn’t pursue computer science or engineering or anything ‘techy’ per se. I ended up in Finance, but this blog will talk about my data science journey and how it has been so far at JENGA School.

How it started…

A few months back, I made the decision to upskill and I settled for a Data Science Course. So why data science? My decision was fueled by my work environment. I was working in a digital company where data was the order of the day. I got curious, I need to learn more about data and understand it.

As I mentioned earlier, having ventured into Finance, my tech enthusiasm had somewhat dwindled. On the other hand, data talks continuously fascinated me that at some point I offered to intern for the Business Analyst who reported to the Senior Data Scientist.

The experience was amazing and I learned a lot of skills, but I wanted more than just basic knowledge. There was more to data than just creating dashboards and sending ad hoc reports. I wanted to join the ’BIG BOYS’ club. For instance, one colleague even got promoted to Junior Data Scientist!

Dear Google, which is the best data science school in Kenya?

Due to my desire to gain data literacy skills, I began my quest for good data science schools in Kenya. I got a bunch of them but I was looking for “the one”. JENGA School definitely stood out of the pack. I was fascinated by the fact that I did not need a degree to be a data scientist and that it would only take me a year to be a proficient data scientist; with a lot of practice, hackathons, and practical projects of course.

Having no STEM background was a setback for me as I did not qualify to enroll in the 12-month Advanced Data Science program. So I took enrolled in the 3-month Foundations in Data Science program and gained excellent skills in Python and SQL. The best part was that it was a part-time program which allowed me to juggle between my busy work schedule & classes.

The JENGA School Experience

At first, I had really a hard time grasping a lot of mathematical concepts! I almost gave up honestly. From creating financial models to regression models, it was a lot but I got the hang of it with time. This took a lot of practice and sacrifice, which eventually paid off.

The best part about my experience at JENGA School was definitely the instructors. They were very hands-on and made sure each student’s needs were taken care of. For instance, whenever I was unable to attend class, I would still have access to a recording of the class session to enable me to catch up.

The highlight of the learning experience was the Industry Lectures that had us learn from professionals in the industry. To mention but a few, some of these thought leaders in the Data Science space worked for companies like Netflix, NASA, ZDNet, Akvo, and Zindi, how cool is that! These lectures gave us a perspective of what the actual work entails, which to me is gold!

How it’s going…

I later transitioned to the 12- month Advanced Data Science program. In all honesty, it was a great leap of faith because who knew I would get this far? I hope to graduate from the program and I cannot wait to get right into the industry and build impactful models. It has been a dream come true!

Looking back, one lesson sticks up like a sore thumb; you have to keep pushing yourself no matter how difficult or frustrating it may seem. You can also make your dreams come true by enrolling in a Data Science or Software Engineering program at JENGA School.

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