Questions I Ask New + Prospective Data Scientist Clients

Data science is vast and diverse, and to navigate it successfully, one needs more than just technical acumen

Adam Ross Nelson
7 min readOct 22

I love meeting with prospective and aspiring data scientists. Equally, I enjoy meeting with current data science professionals who are looking to level-up in the field. Selfishly, these kinds of meetings help me learn about and better understand the challenges folks face as they look to enter or level up in the field.

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Meeting with potential clients is one of the best ways I can spend my time as a data science career coach.

The other, less selfish reason it is important to meet for a discussion is that often folks have specific questions in mind and are looking for my insights. For example, folks looking to transition into data science might be asking:

  • What salary can I expect after I transition into data science?
  • What will the work be like after I make the transition?
  • What skills do I need to know before the transition? What skills can I focus on learning after the transition?
  • Can I teach myself data science? Do I need a degree? Will a degree help (even if it isn’t necessary)?
  • Are bootcamps a good option, for someone like me? If bootcamps aren’t a good option for me what courses (if any) should I look at?
  • What is the best job search strategy? What is the most effective job search strategy?
  • How can I connect with recruiters? How can I connect with hiring managers? Should I connect with recruiters or hiring managers?
  • And more.

Most of these questions are difficult to answer in a broad and generally applicable way. For most folks, the answers to these questions will be unique and different.

A core business value of mine is to avoid over-generalizing and to focus on providing individualized and thoughtful advice specific to the person I’m focused on in that given conversation.

Adam Ross Nelson

Ask about my free career course. I mentor new (💫) and aspiring data scientists enter (🚪) and level up (📈) in the field.