Data Science careers – an introduction

Great post on data science from my colleague Tom Robinson. Date for your diary – Our Careers in Tech Fair on 14th February is open to students of all disciplines (not just IT!) and year groups: more information here.

The Careers Service Blog

Modern business is driven more and more by digital activity and as a result data is playing a larger role in business decisions. In recent years, this data-driven activity has brought about the creation of the ‘Data Scientist’.

“The key responsibilities of a data scientist involve helping people make good decisions with data and to build smart tools which are powered by data. It’s a blend of computer science, statistics and business knowledge.”     Harrison Gilmore, data scientist with Skyscanner.

So what is data science?
Data science involves using automated methods to analyse massive amounts of data and to extract knowledge from them. With such automated methods turning up everywhere from marketing to finance, social media to scientific research, data science is helping to create new branches of science, and influencing areas of social science and the humanities. The trend is expected to accelerate in the coming years as…

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NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) now open

applications for STP in England are now open until 12th Feb, with 23 specialisms recruiting in different locations. For information about applications to Wales, please contact Christine Love.

She provided the following excellent advice:

  • “Competition ratios for last year’s specialisms: microbiology, clinical immunology and histopathology & transfusion science headed the league table last year. Don’t forget that high levels of competition in a specialism last year don’t necessarily indicate high competition this year – the link gives ratios back to 2014 for comparison.
  • There is lots of guidance available, including advice on applying, FAQs, and important dates.
  • Don’t forget that, whilst applicants aren’t expected to have work experience in the NHS, it’s very helpful to go to an open day for their specialism.

And just to pick up on some questions that I am frequently asked…

Relevant degrees

The NSHCS does not offer a list of relevant degrees for the STP, but have made a list of suggestions depending on the specialism. Candidates need to do their very best to prove how their degree discipline relates to the specialism that they’re applying to. Students wanting to apply in future recruitment rounds might therefore want to choose research projects or work experience that will demonstrate their interest and experience in this area.

Worth noting that it’s particularly important for students applying to physiology and genetic counselling to have good people skills – physiologists are usually running tests on a person rather than on a sample, so anything they can do to prove their people skills will be really beneficial. Caring experience is essential for genetic counselling, and should be equivalent to 6 months’ full-time work. Any counselling experience or training should definitely be highlighted on the application.

MRes vs MSc

MRes and MSci degrees do not hold as much weight as a taught masters in the entry criteria, even though they are assessed at M-level in the same way as a taught masters.  If you are a student who has a 2:2 and wants to do the STP, you are best applying for an MSc, not an MRes. And for students doing a BSc with the option to extend to an MSci – the MSci is unlikely to put you in a better position than the BSc, and you may wish to try an MSc instead “

So, what do employers really want and what do they think of our grads?

  • The future labour market will favour employees with advanced skills in creativity, innovation, imagination, design- and system-thinking.
  • Whilst discipline knowledge counts, employers place at least equal weight on long-term and varied extra-curricular activities.
  • Work experience is one of the most important factors in recruiting and relevant work experience is highly valued. For some organisations, it can mitigate lower academic attainment.
  • How students learn is as important as what they learn.

In with the new…

Happy New Year! Start it well with some great advice from the Careers Service #Do1Thing

The Careers Service Blog

It’s the beginning of January and time, as they say, for “out with the old and in with the new”.

Introducing some new good habits can certainly be beneficial. There’s no need to overhaul every aspect of your life – although if you want to, you can get some ideas by reading these fifty (yes 50!) suggestions.   But taking just one small step can be the start of something significant. (That’s why we want you to watch out for the #Do1Thing posts on Facebook and Twitter next week. Get some ideas. Not much commitment required! )

So how will you identify your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Why not look beyond the usual “eat less chocolate” and “do more sport”. Can’t decide whether you’re assertive enough? Need a nudge towards more consistent decision-making? These short online quizzes will help you to pinpoint areas you may want to develop, while…

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