By Katherine Olowookere

Aug 15, 2022

If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.

- J Loren Norris

The best way to accelerate growth in any career field is by learning from the experience of those that have been through similar paths. Mentorship is crucial in building a successful career in any professional field and the field of Data Science is not an exception. This relationship is an immensely valuable one because both parties gain in one way from each other. This article will help you understand:

  • What data science mentorship is,
  • How it is useful for your data science career,
  • What a good mentoring program in data science looks like, and
  • What the advantages of 1 on 1 mentoring are in DS compared to other DS training methods like online courses, university programs, and boot camps

What is Mentorship in Data Science? 

The concept of Mentorship in Data science means different things to different people at various levels. To a beginner attempting to learn new skills, it may be guidance on where to start, for an intermediate, it might be getting the opportunity to experiment on new projects, to aspiring professionals, it could be guidance on which career path to major in or help in choosing the right company to work for.

Mentorship is the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a field or industry. Traditionally, the relationship is between an older employee and a younger one for the purpose of career development. As you navigate through your data science career, having a seasoned professional act as a leader and support system can be an invaluable attempt. Rather than learning through trial and error, a better approach is to find a mentor who you can look up to for direction, instructions and guidance.

A mentor you look up to in your career must be a specially selected and trained individual with sufficient experience that can provide you with the needed guidance, pragmatic advice and support for success.

How is mentorship useful in Data Science?

The Benefits and Usefulness of having mentors:

In a field like Data Science where communication and feedback are undoubtedly critical for growth and development, having a mentor is imperative. Mentors can contribute to your career and learning in the following ways:

Performance Evaluation and Providing Constructive Criticism

Mentors are like the helmsman of your Data science career course. Helmsman steers you through the entire learning path. They act like a compass helping you reach your desired destination easily and faster by giving an expert perspective of your Data Science career trajectory. He/she is always there to:

  • Help you understand the nuances of your lessons
  • Lend a hand in cracking tough problems when you are stuck, provide answers to your queries, and support you in your projects.
  • Review your projects and learning progression and guide you on how to improve and do better in areas where you are slacking.
  • Ask you hard questions that require you to reflect on your decisions and next steps towards the advancement of your career.

Problem Solving and Learning

  A great mentor shows you different ways to approach a specific problem. Because he/she has been through that phase that you are, he uses the knowledge and experience he has to teach you so many things that will help you grow your skills, make better decisions and gain new perspectives on projects.  They help you develop necessary soft skills and identify job roles that match your personality and education. 

Providing Feedbacks

People rarely get the chance to think back on their performances, identify what they are doing well or identify any potential areas for improvement. Receiving feedback is indeed hard. And determining whether or not the person giving the feedback has your best interests in mind can lead to confusion. For that reason, a mentor who’s both an objective third party and an advocate for your growth and development can evaluate and provide feedback on your project and progress as well as provide constructive criticism that aids improvement.

Consistent Follow-up and Continual Encouragement

Mentors are always available to monitor your progress consistently. They are a good source of encouragement and positive motivation because as a mentee you become more motivated to put in more effort in learning when you see your mentor winning in the field and smashing big goals. Most people don't do well because they lack enough motivation to move ahead. Having a mentor can push you to work harder and smarter so you can reach the heights your mentor has attained in the field of Data Science.

What does a good mentorship program in data look like?

A well-thought-out data science mentoring program

  • is carefully designed with the program objectives and goals clearly spelt out.
  • provides self-paced learning with an industry expert leading the way.
  • takes an iterative approach i.e it evaluates your current position, identifies the gaps in your track and prepares you for improvements.
  • is job oriented i.e it focuses on preparing you with what you need to land your dream job, not teaching what you don't need.
  • has mentors who are dedicated to MENTORING and seeing their mentee reach heights!

A good Data Science course supported by a good mentorship program has an ultimate focus which is essentially to help you reach your goal port– the Data Science certification and landing your first job.

Advantages of one-on-one mentoring in DS compared to other DS training methods

The advantages that 1on1 mentoring in Data Science has over other DS training methods like online courses, university programs, and boot camps are numerous.

Mentoring gives room for collaboration on solving problems. Unlike usual trainings where you are just given study material and tutorial videos and then it's up to you to study them and get the projects/assignment done,1 to 1 mentoring takes a different approach.

Here you're never alone. As you study and work on projects you're confident that there is a support system you can walk up to whenever you're stuck or there's a problem. You have a data science mentor as a backbone that's always ready to guide you through. You're never alone! Isn't that the best feeling ever?

Your learning schedule is also very flexible and self-paced compared to other training methods. With dedication, consistency and hard work, you can become a professional within a short period of time. Some people spend several months and years trying to take all courses available online and pay thousands of dollars in bootcamps and online degrees which they don’t need. Mentorship path saves you time and money while reaching your career goals.

Also with 1 on 1 mentoring landing, your first job in the field is made easier. Because a mentor is there to guide you at every step of the way on what you need to land your first job!

Another great advantage one-on-one Data Science mentoring programs have over all other training methods is the access to a broad network of other professionals.

A data science mentor can provide an adequate connection to the valuable network of people in the community. As a mentee, you can join a community of other data science professionals who are brainstorming innovative ideas as well as preparing for the next step in their careers.

Along with your certification, mentoring is one of the most beneficial chances you can have. Your personal development and performance can be enhanced by receiving the advice, inspiration, and assistance of a dependable and skilled professional. You can anticipate a fantastic Data Science adventure if you work hard and effectively as a crew member in support of your mentor.

A mentor-steered course stands out from the herd when you are faced with a choice of institutes. A good mentoring program shouldn’t claim part of your first year salary. Here at O’Fallon Labs we simply don't think this is right. Our 1-on-1 Data science mentoring program is perfectly designed in a way that it operates on a monthly subscription basis. You pay for your mentor's time as much as you use, nothing more. Your salary is yours and we assist you in getting the best job with awesome pay! Some people need less help and some people need more.

O'Fallon Labs offers a mentor-driven Data Science course. Your search for the right Data Science course with the right Mentorship stops here!

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About O'Fallon Labs

In O'Fallon Labs we help recent graduates and professionals to get started and thrive in their Data Science careers via 1:1 mentoring and more.

Katherine Olowookere

Katherine is a content manager at O'Fallon Labs. She is interested in writing about a varioty of topics including careers in technology. Katherine holds a B.Sc. in E. Physics. She is passionate about personal growth and making young people become better versions of themselves through personal self development

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