It’s never too late to retrain. That’s what StackFuel Alumnus Alex Schmitt thought and took a very special training path. In 2020, he didn’t just complete the Data Awareness course, but also the Data Analyst course with a certificate. In early 2022, Alex will complete the Data Scientist course and is planning his entry into the data industry. But that’s not all, during this time he continued to work in parallel in his job as a software developer and pursued his training outside of work hours. Alex’s diligence and perseverance made a lasting impression on us. We’d like to let him tell us himself in the following interview how he experienced the the courses at StackFuel and where he gets his motivation from.
Hello Alex, thanks for sharing your success story with us. What can you tell us and our readers about your career path so far and your decision to retrain?
I was born in Rostock and now I live here again. In the early 90s I moved to Berlin to study computer science and worked in the telecommunications industry. Later I changed to biometrics and worked for almost 10 years for a company that produces printing machines for ID cards and passports. Today I work as a software developer in the eBusiness sector. With more than 20 years of professional experience, I’m now more than halfway through my professional life and wanted to make a career change. By training in my free time, I wanted to venture out of classic software development, and switch careers to a job that is promising and at the same time exciting and secure.
I became aware of StackFuel through “c’t”, a magazine for computer technology. At that time, I already had the topic of data science in the back of my mind. In order to find out whether StackFuel is the right learning provider for me and whether the topic of Data Science really suits me, I first booked the introductory Data Awareness course. I liked the course and especially the webinar concept and the mentors convinced me to continue with the first course.
You’re now on your third course in a row at StackFuel. What motivated you to make the leap from the Data Awareness course to Data Analyst and now to the Data Scientist course?
I was focussed on the goal of data science from the beginning. I thought it made sense to take the Data Analyst course first before building on my newly acquired knowledge in the Data Scientist advanced course. In mathematics, it’s also easier to get into probability theory through statistics.
I took mathematics as a minor subject in my studies, so I had no difficulties or worries in this respect in the advanced course. Programming with Python was new to me, but I was able to get started relatively quickly during the course. I particularly liked the StackFuel learning environment. You can tell that StackFuel is constantly developing and optimizing it.
It’s really inspiring to see the motivation with which you approach your education. Does lifelong learning have a special significance for you?
Particularly in the IT industry, so much changes on a regular basis that training is always necessary. You have to keep at it and not rest on your laurels. When I studied computer science in the 90s, the topic of neural networks was just a marginal topic with nothing to offer. That has changed fundamentally since then, and today an entire industry with numerous jobs has developed around this topic. I’m convinced that the growing job market also offers jobs for people changing careers in the field of data science. So far, I haven’t thought about which fields of activity I would like to enter. I’m approaching it with an open mind.
What do you think is holding others back from continuing their education in the field of data science and do you have a recommendation you would like to share with people who are still hesitating?
Perhaps there are reservations about data science because some people think of data protection. Others are put off by the mathematical part of the training, who might otherwise be very well suited as data experts. With regard to mathematical skills, I recommend just persevering. Anyone who came into contact with mathematics during their studies will easily be able to cope with it.
I can only recommend the advanced training courses from StackFuel. Especially in the area of data science, especially for software developers who already have a good background in mathematics and can therefore easily master the skills covered by the courses. In my opinion, the field will continue to grow in the future. In many companies, new fields of activity can be created in which data science can be used to improve work processes, for example in the area of CRM (Customer Relationship Management), where, among other things, customer behavior and customer satisfaction are analyzed and new actions and campaigns are planned based on this. In this area as well as others, data analysts and data scientists can offer great added value.
How to become a certified data scientist
Alex has successfully demonstrated how part-time training to become a data scientist can succeed. With a clear goal in mind, Alex has always stayed motivated, demonstrating perhaps the most important trait of a data scientist: enthusiasm for lifelong learning. We wish him every success in his new career as a data scientist and thank him for doing this interview with us.
If you want to know exactly what the day-to-day work of a data scientist looks like, what skills you need for the job and how you can start as a data scientist, then take a look at our article “How to become a Data Scientist”.
Changing careers requires courage. With StackFuel, you can handle any new challenge. Learn more about our funded courses with an education voucher from the job center or the employment agency with 100% of costs covered. Start your new data career today.