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, 2023


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)?



Adam Ross Nelson

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