I'm In My 40s - Is It Too Late To Start Preparing For A Data Science Role?
By Fatima Haroon

September 27, 2022

Working with lots of clients means experiencing unique queries. Believe it or not, here at O’Fallon Labs, we work with clients of all ages. The most common fear comes from our clients aged 40 and above.

Is data science for me? There is a lot of stuff out there to prepare for Data Science roles, and I don't have the time to explore and learn them all in my 40s. And definitely, no time to waste on things that don't work. I also have other work responsibilities. I need to be careful about where to spend my time at this stage of my life. Isn't that too late for me to enter the game?”

The simplest answer is NO! Data science is for all. It’s never too late to learn data science and start your new journey. If you have an analytical mind, you just need to learn the right skills. Being in your 40s and changing your career is challenging, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the most profitable career.

Is This Fear Realistic?

It can be. However, many have done this before, and you are no exception. People like Rebekah Iliff, Sce Pike, and Micheline Casey moved from non-computing background studies and switched mid-career to different roles in data analytics.

Another great example is reporter Chong Zi Liang who pivoted mid-career from a communications background to starting a data science career at the age of 34. He had no prior tech experience. With the help of multiple short coding courses and a 12-week data analytics bootcamp, he landed a fantastic job.

You can do the same. You just need focus and a mentor who will save you valuable time and guide you in the right direction.

Do I Need A Degree To Have A Data Science Career?

No! To kickstart your career, you don’t need to pursue a 4-year statistics, computer science, or data analytics degree online. You can simply enroll in data analytics bootcamps or online courses. 

The data science industry is facing a labor shortage worldwide. This is the best time to enter this industry and make your place. While a computer software and statistics background can help further build a data science career, enrolling yourself in data analytics courses online and self-study can be great in learning relevant skills and becoming job-ready.

How To Get Started In The Data Science Field?

Click here to connect with Data Science mentors 1-on-1 in just a few minutes!

1. Tackle the Career Changes

As mentioned before, mid-career change is daunting. You wouldn’t know where to start, especially moving into the field of data science. Determine which data science path you want to take, what skills you need to learn, how you will practice critical thinking, etc. Create an everyday learning pattern, and don’t deviate from it.

2. Connect the Dots

Your past career experience can somehow complement your future career goals. Whether you are in the PR & Communications sector or any other field, look at them through a Data Science lens. This will make your transition smoother and seamless.

3. Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Self-awareness will help you narrow down and close your skill gap. Getting into data science means identifying your skillset and areas you need to improve. You can’t start without knowing all this critical information. And once you identify these gaps, you must stay focused and improve them. Eliminate all the distractions - they will only slow you down.

4. Get Started - Don’t Waste Precious Time!

We all know time is money, especially in your 40s. Time is a luxury you can’t waste. So, hire a data science mentor who will help you focus on the most important aspects of the field.

5. Get Enrolled in an Online Data Science Bootcamp

Aspiring data scientists can learn DS skills and experience through virtual bootcamps. While you can teach yourself at your decided pace, it’s best to enroll in a data science online course as it has the proper structure and support you need to score a job.

Here’s how a bootcamp or online course can help you:

  • Focus on applied knowledge - an effective bootcamp or online course will teach critical technical concepts via hands-on practice to ensure the students master industry-required skills.
  • Offer industry-related mentorship - great programs have industry-experienced mentors to guide them throughout the course.
  • Building portfolio - a top-tier bootcamp focuses on students completing real-life problems and projects to gain experience. These projects will establish a successful portfolio that will help you get hired based on experience.
  • Provides top-notch career counseling - bootcamps are specially designed to get the students hired. They are full of mock interviews, networking guidance, resume advice and alteration, and many other things. These bootcamps guarantee success and scoring a job within a short time frame after you complete the program.

Learning Resources for Data Science

Online Courses: Coursera , edX, Udacity

One-on-one Mentorship: O'Mentors, Mentoring Club, Mentor Cruise

Projects: Kaggle, DataCamp, Google AI

Networking Opportunities

Networking is crucial for building a successful career in data science. Here are the top five networking opportunities for individuals pursuing a career in data science:

  1. LinkedIn Groups and Communities:

    • Joining LinkedIn groups and communities focused on data science allows you to connect with professionals, share insights, and participate in discussions. Engaging in these groups can help you expand your network and stay updated on industry trends.
  2. Meetups and Conferences:

    • Attend local meetups, workshops, and conferences related to data science. These events provide excellent opportunities to meet industry experts, fellow professionals, and potential mentors. Networking at conferences can lead to valuable connections and collaborations.
  3. Online Forums and Platforms:

    • Participate in online forums and platforms dedicated to data science discussions. Websites like Kaggle, Stack Overflow, and Reddit have active data science communities where you can ask questions, share knowledge, and connect with like-minded individuals.
  4. Professional Associations:

    • Join professional associations related to data science, such as the Data Science Association or the International Association for Data Science and Analytics (IADSA). These associations often host events, webinars, and networking opportunities for members.
  5. Hackathons and Competitions:

    • Participate in data science hackathons and competitions, either in-person or online. These events not only allow you to showcase your skills but also provide a platform to interact with industry professionals, potential employers, and other participants.

Remember to approach networking with authenticity, be open to learning from others, and contribute to the community. Building meaningful connections can significantly enhance your career prospects in the field of data science.

How Can O’Fallon Labs Help You Become A Data Scientist?

At O’Fallon Labs, we provide paid and free data analytics courses. Check out our data science tutorial for beginners on our homepage to understand how we operate and what services we offer. This isn’t all!

With us, you get one-on-one mentorship from a data science industry expert. From revamping your resume and mock interviews to helping you up on your feet and get a data analytics job, we will help you throughout your journey.

Let us be your guide. Our data analytics courses will push you in the right direction without wasting a precious second. Our comprehensive courses will close your skill gap, give you the confidence you require, help you in networking, and form a foolproof, practical portfolio that will impress the recruiters.

Remember, it is never too late to become a data scientist, even in your 40s. With the right guidance and course, you will ace your new career.

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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.


Fatima Haroon

Fatima is a professional writer with 5 years of experience in the SEO Blog Writing and Copywriting industry. She uses industry best practices to write converting and compelling copies for global clients. In OFallon Labs Fatima supports the clients with identifying the key pain-points of our clients and create original content based on our offered solutions.

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