Learning How to Learn

This article on “Learning How To Learn” is part of a series developed by Curriculum Design to guide students through the Flatiron School program experience.

We believe that when learners feel autonomous and in control of their learning, they achieve greater success both academically and motivationally. Learning to Learn is designed to offer a variety of resources and tools to help you take control of your online learning journey and life beyond Flatiron School.

Take Ownership Of Your Learning

Taking ownership of your learning journey, through personalized learning, means finding your motivation, being engaged, and personalizing your learning experience with complete autonomy, choice, and responsibility in how you approach your online learning journey. Every learner has a fundamental need to feel in control of what they do versus only being told what to do. When this autonomy is exercised, the motivation to learn and the desire to perform well academically are much stronger.

As you go through the Learning to Learn series, our goal is to encourage you to take ownership of your learning journey- make decisions that matter, pursue directions that feel meaningful, and hold a sense of responsibility and control for both your learning successes and setbacks.

Connect The Dots

Taking the leap to build technical skills takes courage and determination. It can be intimidating to dive into new skill sets and knowledge, but the rewards and sacrifice will be worth it. As you learn, your horizon will expand and the information you collect along the way will start to connect in unexpected ways.

The saying goes, knowledge is power, and when it comes to personal and professional growth, this couldn’t be more true. When we actively seek knowledge through experiences or formal education, we add another “dot” to our mental map. These dots, connected, generate new ideas and help to solve problems in unique ways. Some of the greatest innovators credit their success to continue expanding their knowledge base through both life experiences and deliberate learning sessions.

Continue adding dots to your map.

TL;DR

  • Personalized learning is a great way to improve your skills and knowledge base.
  • Learning on your own can be intimidating to start, but the rewards are worth it.
  • Seek out new experiences and resources to challenge yourself and broaden your perspectives.

Insider Guide: Flatiron School’s Admissions Assessment

When you choose to start a program at Flatiron School, we know that you are investing — both financially and an investment of your time. That’s why it’s important that you are a right fit for the program and vice versa — that our program is the right fit for you.

One way we make sure that the program is a good fit is with an admissions assessment test.

The admissions assessment is a cognitive aptitude test that analyzes your problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, your attention to detail, and your ability to learn new information. There are three different styles of questions — verbal, math and logic, and spatial reasoning. Think of the questions more like brain teasers, not about coding, computers, or cybersecurity.

After all, in addition to your experience and skills so far (if any!), we are more interested in understanding your ability to learn and pick up the skills that will be taught in our courses.

The test is 15 minutes long and can include up to 50 questions. But don’t stress. We don’t expect you to complete all the questions. Less than 1% of people complete all 50 questions.

How many questions should I complete?

Try to answer as many questions as possible in the allotted 15 minutes, with the minimum goal of answering at least 25. 

Don’t get caught up on any one question though. If you’re feeling stumped, take a guess and move on. It’s more important to maintain a decent pace and keep moving through the questions, rather than to stress over scoring perfectly on one question.

Remember, you have a 15-minute time cap so you’ll want to move through as many questions as you can efficiently.  Again, less than 1% of people complete all 50 questions so don’t stress yourself out about finishing all the questions.

Here are two examples of the types of questions you might see on the admissions assessment.

1. Sample Verbal Question: (Source)

Choose the word that is most nearly OPPOSITE to the word in capital letters: LENGTHEN

  • abdicate
  • truncate
  • elongate
  • stifle
  • resist

2. Sample Math Question: (Source)

A group of 3 numbers has an average of 17. The first two numbers are 12 and 19. What is the third number?

  • 17
  • 19
  • 20
  • 23
  • 30

How to prepare for the admissions assessment

  • Complete the assessment on a laptop or desktop as it is not mobile-friendly. 
  • Set aside 15 minutes of uninterrupted, dedicated time.
  • Remove any distractions so you can focus for 15 minutes.
  • Have a piece of paper and a pencil for notes.
  • Relax and don’t overthink it.

Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about getting the best score you can. Don’t get caught up on one question. Keep moving at a decent pace. 

There is a time clock on the page so you will know how many questions you have completed and how much time remains.

 

How does the test affect my admissions decision?

Our admissions process includes three phases — a written application, the admissions test, and an admissions interview. The test is a factor in the admissions process, but ultimately, we will consider all three phases of your application to determine an admissions decision.

Wondering what score you should get? We do have a target score for each one of our study programs but don’t worry about that upfront. Only worry about making sure you have 15 minutes of dedicated time, and then do your best.

Your score will be measured against the target score to determine if you will be a good candidate for the program. Remember, we don’t want you to commit to one of our programs unless we know you have the potential to be successful in that career field.

How do we determine target scores?

We asked our current students and graduates of our program to take the admissions test. And created our target scores based on how well our successful students scored.

Then, the company that prepares the test provided scores from successful professional software engineers, data scientists, cybersecurity engineers and analysts, and product designers. And that’s how we came up with the target score for applicants.

What happens after I take the admissions test?

After you finish and submit the admissions test, your score is recorded in our system and you will receive a link to schedule your interview at the end of the assessment. In that interview, your admissions rep will share your score and discuss your next steps.

Remember, the test is a factor in your admission decision, but we will make our final decision based on the combination of your application, interview, and assessment test.

Ready to start your admissions process? Apply now.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 01 Dec 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/.

Allison Anzalone: From Vet Tech To Computer Scientist

Allison Anzalone graduated from Missouri State University in 2012 with a degree in biology and a dream of becoming a Veterinarian. Fast forward 9 years, she’d been rejected from vet school, worked 6 years as a vet tech, and transitioned into the medical field.

“I was working at Mercy Hospital as an Orthopedic Patient Care Technician,” Anzalone explained when we sat down with her in mid-2022. “I got patients ready for surgery, and after surgery before they went home.” 

While not unhappy with her position, Anazlone recalled knowing that it wasn’t the right fit. “I worked in a lab, I worked with patients, and thought to myself, I don’t know if this is right for me. I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to do computer science.”

Pursuing Her Computer Science Dream

The decision to pursue a new field was a long time coming for Anazolne and was delayed by her pre-existing student loans from a Bachelor’s degree and her hesitance to take on more debt. “I first started out getting interested in Software development about three years ago and I wanted to go back to school but didn’t have the finances to do … I didn’t want to take out more student loans.”

While researching alternative education options, a friend introduced her to the world of bootcamps for career changers. “I didn’t know about bootcamps until one of my friends that works as a software developer said to look into Flatiron [School]. She recommended Flatiron [School] to me because her company has hired a lot of software developers from there.”

After researching Flatiron School, she cites two specific points for why she decided to enroll. “What got me with Flatiron [School] is their job placements percentages [and] reading about other student’s journies. I just had to jump in and do it.”

Her Experience With Bootcamp

On her experience with starting the bootcamp, Anazolne particularly recalls the challenge of the program and her doubts about her path. “Throughout the program, it was challenging. Definitely, parts, where I wanted to give up like I, don’t know what I’m doing, why am I doing this? Is this the right decision?”

She also highlights the impact of being in the medical field at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to balance her studies. “My hospital got shut down with COVID, [I was] doing 4-day a week, 12-hour shifts in the ER and doing Flatiron at the same time.”

For Anzalone, the support she received throughout the program was vital to her success. “From day 1 I felt supported in my cohort … It was so cooperative and immersive. We would work together in groups and learn how to collaborate on projects together.”

Looking back at her experience, she remembers hard work and relief after coming out on the other side of the program. “Giving it my all and getting involved and working as hard as I’ve ever worked on something before helped me get the most out of the program. And then afterward, finishing it was like oh gosh I did it!”

Her Job Search & Career Coach Support

Allison Anazolne graduated on January 24, 2022, with a Certificate in Software Engineering. She jumped right into the job search, aided by her dedicated Career Coach.

“The support I felt after the program was amazing… I loved having my career advisor. My career advisor was my biggest supporter and the person I relied on the most through my career [search] process.”

Flatiron School graduates receive up to 180 days of career coaching to help them find their first job after graduation. But, as Anazolne found out, it can often take far less time to land an opportunity in the field. “When I finished [the program], I started applying for things and I got interviews in week one and I was like ‘oh, this is too fast!’ … But it was nice to see people wanted to interview me.”

After her first few interviews, any doubts about how her bootcamp education would be received were quickly relieved as well. “I was a little worried about not going through the traditional route with a computer science degree vs. a bootcamp, but in the interview process, they knew […] about Flatiron. They knew I had the training I needed to do the job.”

Anzalone fielded several offers, eventually accepting a role in Development Operations that she thought would be a great fit for her extroverted personality. “I am a big people person, I love talking to people. With DevOps, you get to do development, but you also get to work with other teams on their projects. I like that I get to work with so many different people.”

Her Biggest Takeaway From The Program

Allison is now working as an Associate DevOps Engineer at Northwestern Mutual, a financial services provider. 

Her experience at Flatiron School, she says, turned her into a confident, lifelong learner. “Being able to learn this new skill, and going from day one to where I am now, I’m not scared of learning something new anymore. I’m confident that if I want to learn something new, I can do it.” 

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changersAllison in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free Software Engineering Prep. Or, review the Software Engineering Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 21 October 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/

Bani Phul-Anand: From Beauty To Product Design

Bani Phul-Anand, a Lead Instructor of Product Design at Flatiron School, has more than 12 years of experience in Product Design. She began her career in luxury beauty and fashion, but a pivot into tech eventually led her to a career in Product Design. 

Bani shares her journey from beauty and fashion to Product Design below.

Give me an overview of your experience – where did you start and how did you get where you are today?

I started out as a Graphic Designer/Art Director in luxury beauty and fashion (Estee Lauder, Loreal, Avon).

Next, I made my way to Amazon as a Creative Director, which is where I was exposed to UX / UI Design for the first time. I took a bootcamp to brush up on my UX / UI skills and moved on to freelance for clients including Fordham University and a startup called MealPal, which is based in New York City. 

I taught design as an Adjunct Professor at the New York Institute of Technology for more than 8 years, then moved to Flatiron School just under 4 years ago.

What are some notable projects you’ve worked on?

Fordham University’s cross-functional dashboard/portal.

Do you have any advice for current or prospective Product Design students?

Practice more than you think you need to – that’s the only thing that will make you better at what you do. But don’t get stuck on tools or software, they change. And don’t be precious with your work – seek criticism, not validation.

Inspired by Bani Phul-Anand and her career pivot story? Apply Today to Flatiron School’s Product Design Course to take charge of your future in as little as 15 weeks.

Not ready to apply? Book a 10-minute chat with admissions to see if you qualify, or test-drive the material with Product Design Prep

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 02 September 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/

Jeffrey Hinkle: From Chef to Data Science Curriculum Writer

Jeffrey Hinkle, a Junior Curriculum Writer for Data Science, spent more than two decades in the restaurant industry as a chef before pivoting into tech. The driving force behind his life change was the desire to spend more time with his family, and the work/life balance he now has as a Data Science Curriculum Writer allows him to do just that. 

Jeffrey shares his journey from Chef to Data Scientist below.

Give me an overview of your experience – where did you start and how did you get where you are today?

I was a professional chef for over 20 years and needed a career that would allow me to spend more time with my wife who is a middle school teacher. I found data science and fell in love with using information to gain insight into real-world problems. 

As a result, I attended [Flatiron School’s] Online Data Science Bootcamp. Upon graduation and at the beginning of the pandemic, I began my job search where I was hired as the Data Science Interview Coach. 

The role eventually changed into a traditional coaching role and I transitioned to the curriculum team as a Curriculum Developer.

What are some notable projects you’ve worked on?

I migrated a majority of the Data Science curriculum to the canvas platform. I developed a few Python scripts to help to automate some of the processes along the way.

What are you most proud of in your career (so far)?

I am proud to have the opportunity to work for an organization such as Flatiron School.

The instructors’ dedication and hard work helped me succeed in the program and make it possible for me to be where I am today, still learning every day and helping keep the curriculum up to date with what is happening in the industry.

Do you have any advice for current or prospective Data Science students?

Don’t give in to “imposter syndrome,” if you are uncomfortable with something you are doing or working on, you are expanding your knowledge. 

Staying in your comfort zone will not allow you to push yourself.

Inspired by Jeffrey Hinkle’s career pivot story? Apply Today to our Data Science Course to take charge of your future in as little as 15 weeks.

Not quite ready to apply? Book a 10-minute chat with admissions to see if you qualify, or test-drive the material with Data Science Prep

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 02 September 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/

How To Use The 75% Rule In Your Job Search

This article on the 75% Rule is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate receives up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.

There are two categories of job seekers: those that apply for every position regardless of whether they are completely qualified for it, and those who do not. But, what the latter may not know, is that they’re missing out on job opportunities. 

It may seem counter-intuitive to apply to a job when you don’t meet every requirement listed, but by using the 75% rule, you’ll be able to judge whether or not you should.

What is the 75% Rule?

The 75% rule says “if you can do 75% of the job – apply.” You don’t need to have 100% of the skills, traits, and abilities that the job description lists to apply for the role or secure an interview. There are a couple of reasons for this that justify the use of the rule that job seekers may not be aware of.

Only Some Points Are Necessary

Even if it isn’t explicitly stated, a published job description frequently combines necessary experience and desired experience. You do not need to possess the desirable experience to apply for or perform well in the role, only the necessary ones. So, you can be a candidate for the position even if you don’t satisfy every bullet point.

While you can only assume what the necessary and desired experiences are, the 75% rule provides a more reliable guideline than guesswork.

It’s A Wish List

The job description is frequently a wish list, particularly for newly created roles. If I had a penny for every time a recruiting manager told me, “I’d prefer if they had [experience] but I’m fine if they don’t,” I would be wealthy.

If the job description lists a variety of skills that seem difficult to imagine in a single candidate, including both entry-level and advanced skill sets, there is a very real possibility that some of those fall under the “wish for” category.

Remember, There Is No Perfect Candidate

For job seekers concerned that a 75% fit is not enough to apply for a job, I urge them to remember that there is no perfect candidate. Recruiters and hiring managers know that there is no such thing as the perfect candidate, especially at the resume stage.

Even if it seems like the job description is looking for a unicorn, they’re still expecting a horse.

There are often a few points that are important, but even those could be negotiable. If the job is close enough for you to be considering it, and you go through the below exercise and decide to apply, you probably have the most important qualifications already.

How To Assess The 75%

First, you’ll need a job description. Take a sheet of paper and on the top line write the first requirement. For example: “Experience implementing Salesforce” or “Experience in sales in B2B.”

Leave four lines of blank space and then write the next requirement. Then again, leave four lines of blank space and write the next requirement. Continue down the page writing all the listed requirements until you have them all down.

Use your master resume to look for responsibilities or accomplishment bullets that show the skill or experience in the requirements.

For example, under “Experience implementing Salesforce” you would write “Delivered Salesforce implementation project on time and on budget across two departments.” Do this for all the requirements and all your accomplishments. Some of the accomplishments will repeat themselves, and that’s ok.

If You Can’t Prove a Requirement

Keep in mind that some requirements are close to impossible to prove on a resume.
For example, a common request in job descriptions is “works well under pressure.” Well, if you have achieved results in previous positions, you can likely work well under pressure, but you wouldn’t write “I work well under pressure” on your resume.

You can skip writing any of those requirements when you write your list, but start thinking about scenarios you would like to highlight on your cover letter or during the interview process.

The Bottom Line

If, after completing the above exercise, you have two to three bullets from your resume under at least 75% of the description’s requirements, then apply for the job.

While it can be discouraging to be rejected from jobs that you think you would be perfect for and know you can do based on the 75% rule, it is far worse not to try for them. Those who don’t swing never get the chance to hit, as the saying goes.

So, trust the 75% rule, and apply for the “maybes”, because those could become “yes.”

About Tjwana Dixon

Tjwana Dixon is a career coach with Flatiron School. Dixon has worked in the higher education and not-for-profit education sector for over 14 years. The majority of her roles were in the Career Development Department. She enjoys assisting people transitioning into new careers.

Dr. Delminquoe Cunningham: From Animation to UX / UI Product Design Curriculum Expert

Flatiron School’s UX / UI Product Design Curriculum is designed by subject experts with real-world work experience. 

Dr. Delminquoe Cunningham, a Senior Curriculum Developer, has 17 years of experience in the industry. He has held a variety of roles from UX Designer and Rendering Specialist to University Professor and Business Consultant. But, as a self-professed lifelong art lover, it’s all been part of the journey for him. 

Dr. Cunningham shares his journey from Computer Animation to UX Design below.

Give me an overview of your experience – where did you start and how did you get where you are today?

I’ve always had a passion for art and design; it’s been a lifelong journey to learn all I can about these subjects. My fascination for math and science lead me to understand the balance between art, math, and science.  Computers and art lead me to obtain a BFA in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta. This degree led me to some of the leading companies for visual fx, animation, and game creation – NBC Universal, SCIfi, Krater, and Acclaim Games, to name a few.

After several years of honing my real-world skills in animation, I returned to the Art Institute as a teacher, ready to share what I’ve learned with a new generation. I moved from teaching to department chair; during this time, I completed a graduate degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. I also enjoyed a career as a corporate trainer, teaching business and design software to internal marketing teams and companies across the country.

My graduate degree led me to pursue a doctorate in Global Business and leadership. As it turns out, all of these different paths were leading me to User Experience. 

Understanding the user has always been my number one goal, either in entertainment or business. I realized that, whatever the product may be, if the user’s experience is subpar, then there is no product to sell or distribute. Before joining Flatiron as a UX / UI Curriculum Developer for Product Design, I worked with Mitsubishi Electric Trane as a front-end developer and UX designer, working to develop new customer experiences for building automation systems. 

I’ve always followed my interests and focused my studies accordingly.

What are some notable projects you’ve worked on?

Mitsubishi Electric Trane

Building Connect Plus

Role: Frontend Developer/UX Designer.

First Command Financial

Client-facing bank portal/ Internal bank-facing interfaces

Role User Experience Architect.

Do you have any advice for current or prospective Product Design students?

To any student looking for advice, mine is to be a lifelong student – always be curious, and look for the next trend in art and design.

Inspired by Dr. Cunningham’s career pivot story? Take the next step and Apply Now to our Product Design bootcamp or book a 10-minute chat with admissions to see how you can take charge of your future in as little as 15 weeks.

Using Transferable Skills To Land A Tech Job

This transferable skills article is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School.

If you’re on the hunt for a new position because you must or because you’ve decided it’s time for a career change, transferable skills can help you land a new job, no matter how “unmatched” your skill set might appear to be. A deep dive into your experiences may reveal that you have far more of the sought-after transferable skills than you thought.

What Are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills, also known as “portable skills,” are qualities that can be transferred from one job to another. Highlighting your transferable skills is especially important when changing jobs or industries. You likely already possess many transferable skills employers value, like organization, communication, relationship building, or attention to detail.

Don’t underestimate the power of transferable skills. If you don’t have the “direct” experience as stated in the position description, supplement your resume with transferable experience. Transferable skills are skills learned through part-time jobs, class projects, or student organizations that can be transferred to the internship or job for which you’re applying. Things such as teamwork, leadership, communication skills, etc. Everyone possesses these types of skills.

These abilities can be used in a wide range of vocations and sectors. When applying for a new job, they might be utilized to position your previous experience, especially if it’s in a different industry. Employers, for example, frequently want people with excellent communication abilities. You can use your ability to easily communicate knowledge with and from coworkers in any workplace if you’ve honed it.

Identifying Your Transferable Skills

Some of these talents are job-specific or technical, such as knowing how to utilize specific platforms or tools. Still, others, such as strong leadership or critical thinking skills, are transferrable. Consider your past experiences and settings when determining your transferable skills. Employers also look for people with transferable talents since they have the tools they need to succeed.

Look for examples of times you demonstrated a skill (or skills) and can prove that you did. Another way is to look at some transferable skills like those listed below.

Dependability Adaptability Leadership
Punctuality Self-motivation Delegation
Work Ethic Process Improvement Conflict Resolution
Deadline Driven Eagerness Interpersonal Skills
Honesty Goal Setting Project Management
Teamwork Communication Time Management
Relationship Building Active Listening Organization
Active Listening Giving and Receiving Feedback Prioritization
Collaboration Responsiveness Goal Setting
Conflict Resolution Public Speaking Delegation

How To Highlight Skills In Your Application

On a cover letter, include transferable talents. Focus on one or two of the transferable skills that the company has listed in the job description while composing your cover letter. Write about how you’ve applied these talents in previous work situations in the body paragraphs of your letter. A paragraph in a cover letter for an Accounts Receivable Representative, for example, might say:

“I was an Accounts Receivable Representative  at Wills & Co. for nearly five years and was responsible for overseeing all financial records.” Wills & Co saw a 15 percent rise in income over five years during my time there. I also collaborated extensively with other administrators and thrived in a collaborative setting.”

When determining where to place important transferable abilities on your resume, you have several possibilities. The following parts of your resume are where you can list your transferable skills:

  • Resume objective/summary/profile
  • Descriptions of employment history
  • List of skills

Consider mentioning your most valuable, applicable transferable ability in the summary or objective of your resume.

In your resume indicate the abilities you utilized to succeed in past work in the area of your employment history. Choose two to three of your most pertinent achievements rather than just stating your job responsibilities. You probably employed a variety of abilities to accomplish those objectives, so you don’t need to name the transferable skill specifically. For instance, one of your accomplishments in a prior position might read,

For the sales department, “Established competitive quotas and bonus program, increasing year over year revenue by 10%”

If appropriate, give examples of times you’ve used pertinent transferable talents to respond to the interviewer’s queries during your interview. When you can, remember to “show” rather than “tell” by giving concrete examples of times you successfully applied your abilities.

You will discover that many of your present skills, such as interpersonal skills, are transferable to other employers when you look for new career prospects.

Don’t forget to list all of the software and various platforms that you have used at your various places of employment. You may not feel that it is important, but an employer will see someone who is well versed in various systems as well as showcase your adaptability skill set. All of your experience is relevant experience.

About Tjwana Dixon

Tjwana Dixon is a career coach with Flatiron School. Dixon has worked in the higher education and not-for-profit education sector for over 14 years. The majority of her roles were in the Career Development Department. She enjoys assisting people transitioning into new careers.

Cybersecurity Careers

Interested in cybersecurity career paths? With the current market combining high demand with an insufficient amount of qualified cybersecurity professionals, now is a great time to enter the industry. 

In this post, we’ve collected some standard job titles, their typical requirements, and the average salaries to expect.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity, also called information technology security, is the protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft of, or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

In more simple terms, it is the practice of protecting sensitive digital information from unauthorized access.

Why pursue a career in Cybersecurity?

Frankly, demand is booming for cybersecurity professionals. According to research by Cybersecurity Ventures, “the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350 percent, from 1 million positions in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2021 … and an estimated 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled.” (1) 

For those looking to switch jobs or careers entirely in Cybersecurity, there are myriad opportunities. According to Cyber Seek, there are over 714k jobs available in the US alone, especially in tech hotspots of the country like California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and New York. (2)

Cybersecurity Career Paths Job Openings By State
Cybersecurity Job Openings in the USA State Heatmap (Cyber Seek)

Recent years have seen digital transformations in the form of new platforms (i.e., the cloud), technologies, and software. Paired with recent waves of new regulations on the digital space due to growing privacy concerns and recent high-profile breaches, the cybersecurity industry is struggling to keep up and is faced with a growing skill shortage. 

For many organizations, current staff training levels leave companies unprepared for new digital risks and compliance requirements, and bad actors are taking advantage. 

Related article: Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points

Rise In Cyber Attacks

Despite the persistent cultural mental image of hackers as a single individual in a dimly lit basement, in the digital age cyberhacking has become a lucrative, multi-billion dollar industry. (3) And, with the rise of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, the industry has seen an exponential increase in the number, frequency, and complexity of cyber attacks. 

This is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced a rushed adoption of remote working and left companies to fumble through the transfer to cloud hosting platforms and employees working from home with lower security levels and far more access points. 

The cyber skill gap highlights vulnerabilities concerning newer technologies and platforms that, if left open to attackers, could cripple a company before it’s aware of the risk. 

Organizations, both big-name and boutique, are rapidly hiring cybersecurity professionals to fill skill gaps on their teams, particularly those concerning newer technologies and platforms.  For those interested in Cybersecurity, there is no better time to enter the field.

Entry-Level Roles

Information Security Analyst

Average salary: $113,653 USD*

Typical job requirements: Information Security Analysts are the gatekeepers and security guards of information systems. These professionals plan and execute security measures to shield an organization’s computer systems and networks from infiltration and cyberattacks.

Security Specialist

Average salary: $72,242 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Security Specialist is responsible for maintaining the security of an organization’s database, ensuring that it’s free from cyber threats and unusual activities. 

They upgrade hardware and software applications, configure networks to improve optimization, address unauthorized database access, troubleshoot system discrepancies, conduct security audits on the system, and improve automated processes.

​​Digital Forensic Investigator

Average salary: $93,908 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Digital Forensics Investigator uses digital evidence to solve virtual crimes. Should a security breach occur, resulting in stolen data, a Digital Forensic Investigator will attempt to recover data. This can include documents, photos, and emails from computer hard drives and other data storage devices that have been deleted or damaged.

IT Auditor

Average salary: $103,138 USD*

Typical job requirements: Information Technology (IT) Auditors protect internal controls and data within an organization’s technology system. They safeguard sensitive information by identifying network weaknesses and creating strategies to prevent security breaches.

Mid-Level Roles

Security Systems Administrator

Average salary: $88,315 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Security Systems Administrator is someone who gives expert advice to companies regarding their internal security procedures and helps detect network weaknesses that may make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

Security Systems Administrators are in charge of the daily operation of security systems and can handle things like systems monitoring and running regular backups, setting up, deleting, and maintaining individual user accounts, and developing organizational security procedures.

Penetration Tester

Average salary: $108,671 USD*

Typical job requirements: Penetration Testers, often abbreviated as “pen testers”, perform simulated cyberattacks on a company’s computer systems and networks. These authorized tests identify security vulnerabilities and weaknesses before malicious hackers have the chance to exploit them.

Security Engineer

Average salary: $116,786 USD*

Typical job requirements: Security Engineers are responsible for testing and screening security software and monitoring networks and systems for security breaches or intrusions. 

Security Architect

Average salary: $166,521 USD*

Typical job requirements: Security Architects assess an organization’s IT and computer systems to identify strengths and weaknesses. They also conduct penetration tests, risk analyses, ethical hacks, and assess routers, firewalls, and systems to determine efficacy and efficiency.

Cryptographer

Average salary: $97,477 USD*

Typical job requirements: Cryptographers secure computer and information technology systems by creating algorithms and ciphers to encrypt data. They often also carry out the duties of a cryptanalyst, deciphering algorithms and ciphering text to decrypt information. Cryptographers also analyze existing encryption systems to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities. 

Cybersecurity Manager

Average salary: $130,243 USD*

Typical job requirements: Cybersecurity Managers monitor the channels through which information flows into and out of an organization’s information network. They are responsible for observing all of the operations occurring across the network and managing the infrastructure that facilitates those operations. 

Senior Level Roles

Senior Manager of IT & Security Compliance

Average salary: $142,631 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Senior Compliance Officer manages an organization’s compliance team to ensure adherence to industry guidelines. They check for, investigate, and resolve any unethical or illegal behavior, identify regulatory compliance issues, and conduct compliance risk assessments.

Director of IT Security

Average salary: $173,829 USD*

Typical job requirements: An Information Security Director oversees the information technology security operations of a business. Responsibilities often include security assessments, department budget management, training employees, managing security programs, and crisis management. 

Cybersecurity Architect

Average salary: $142,486 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Cybersecurity Architect plans, designs, tests, implements, and maintains an organization’s computer and network security infrastructure. 

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Average salary: $200,965 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is the executive within an organization responsible for establishing and maintaining the enterprise’s vision, strategy, and program to ensure information assets and technologies are adequately protected. The CISO directs staff in developing processes, responds to incidents, establishes standards and controls, manages security technologies, and directs the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures. 

Bug Bounty Specialist

Average salary: $115,627 USD*

Typical job requirements: Also known as an “Ethical” or “White Hat Hacker”, a Bug Bounty Specialist is an individual that takes advantage of deals offered by websites, organizations, and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those regarding security exploits and vulnerabilities.

Breaking Into The Field

The market in 2022 is red-hot, to say the least. With frequent cohorts of cybersecurity graduates training in the latest technologies and platforms and high amounts of turnover as skilled workers trade up for more convenient and lucrative jobs, the talent pool is both deep and competitive.

To be a competitive applicant for these cybersecurity career paths, gaining an educational certificate from an established training organization like Flatiron School can super-charge your career and make you stand out among a sea of hopefuls. 

Ready to take the next step? Start with a Free Cybersecurity Prep Work, or check out the Cybersecurity Course Syllabus that will set you up for success with the skills to launch you into a fulfilling and lucrative career.

Related Articles:

What Certifications Do You Need for Cybersecurity?

How to Get into Cybersecurity: 6 Questions from Beginners

Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points in 2022

* Salaries cited current as of June 2022 

Sources:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-cybersecurity-job-market-2022-amit-doshi/
  2. https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html
  3. “Cybersecurity: Hacking has become a $300 billion industry,” InsureTrust
  4. https://www.isc2.org/News-and-Events/Press-Room/Posts/2021/10/26/ISC2-Cybersecurity-Workforce-Study-Sheds-New-Light-on-Global-Talent-Demand

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 30 June 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/

Data Science Career Paths

In the modern digital age, data is now the currency of business, and data science career paths are proving to be both in-demand and numerous.

More and more, the rise of big data means big opportunities for those possessing specific data science skill sets. It pays to know how to collect, clean, sort, and analyze data in a way that is valuable and provides actionable insights. 

In this post, we’ve collected some standard job titles, their typical requirements, average salary, and the required skillset to hold them. If you’re interested in data science career paths, here’s what to look for.

What is Data Science?

In simple terms, data science is using and preparing data for analysis. It is a data scientist’s job to clean and analyze it to provide digestible and actionable insights to decision-makers and business leaders.

There is a growing need for data scientists and analysts globally to help navigate a digital-first and data-driven global market. Data science is used in just about every corner of the economy – from political forecasts and predicting sports outcomes to forecasting media trends and warning of business slowdowns. Data scientists turn mountains of captured data into neatly packaged, connected dots that detect trends, make predictions, and provide insights into an organization’s goals.

Why pursue a career in Data Science?

The current marketplace combines a high demand for data scientists with a shortage of qualified applicants, making it the perfect opportunity for those interested in entering the field.

Research shows there was a shortage of 250,000 data science professionals in 2020. In addition, 35% of organizations surveyed said they anticipated difficulty finding skilled candidates for data science roles. (1) What’s more, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for data science skills will drive a 27.9 percent rise in employment in the field through 2026. (2) 

For those with the needed skill sets, companies are paying top dollar, especially for candidates familiar with emerging technologies such as cloud computing, A.I., and machine learning. (3)

Entry-Level Roles

Data Analyst

Average salary: $93,262 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Data Analyst collects and stores data on sales numbers, market research, logistics, linguistics, or other behaviors. They ensure the quality and accuracy of data, then process, design, and present it to help stakeholders make better decisions.

Typical skillset required: Java, Python, SQL, R, Scala

Junior Data Scientist

Average salary: $115,586 USD*

Typical job requirements: Junior Data Scientistsinterpret and manage data and solve complex problems with the help of various data software. A typical job description for a Junior Data Scientist would include things such as having an extreme passion for data science and data analysis, being able to conduct data mining, and working in teams.

Typical skillset required: Java, Python, SQL, R, Scala 

Data Engineer

Average salary: $116,206 USD*

Typical job requirements: Data Engineers are responsible for finding trends in data sets and developing algorithms to help make raw data more useful to the enterprise. This IT role requires a significant set of technical skills, including a deep knowledge of SQL database design and multiple programming languages.

Typical skillset required: SQL, Python, R, and Scala

Database Administrator

Average salary: $101,097 USD*

Typical job requirements: Database Administrators are responsible for the management and maintenance of company databases. Database Administrators’ duties include maintaining adherence to a data management policy and ensuring that company databases are functional and backed up in the event of memory loss.

Typical skillset required: SQL, PHP, Python, R, C#

Mid-Level Roles

Data Mining Engineer

Average salary: $114,682 USD*

Typical job requirements: A Data Mining Engineer is an advocate for both the database system and its manager. They advise company executives on the best equipment and software to meet the company’s needs and look for opportunities to improve the system and increase its relevance to company goals.

Typical skillset required: Python, Java, R, MapReduce

Data Scientist

Average salary: $118,537 USD* 

Typical job requirements: Data Scientists work closely with business stakeholders. They work to understand their goals and determine how data can be used to achieve those goals. They design data modeling processes and create algorithms and predictive models to analyze data. Combining computer science, modeling, statistics, analytics, and math skills data scientists help organizations make objective, data-driven decisions.

Typical skillset required: Python, SQL, Java, R, Scala

Senior Level Roles

Data Architect

Average salary: $133,823 USD* 

Typical job requirements: Data Architects build and maintain a company’s database by identifying structural and installation solutions. They work with database administrators and analysts to secure easy access to company data. Duties include creating database solutions, evaluating requirements, and preparing design reports.

Typical skillset required: Python, Java, C, C++

Machine Learning Engineer

Average salary: $122,844 USD*

Typical job requirements: Machine Learning Engineers develop self-running AI software. This software automates predictive models for recommended searches, virtual assistants, translation apps, chatbots, and driverless cars. They design machine learning systems, apply algorithms to generate accurate predictions, and resolve data set problems.

Typical skillset required: Python, Java, R, Julia, LISP 

Breaking Into The Field

If you want to break into any of these data science career paths, it’s critical to learn the required programming languages for your target title. 

This can be achieved in several methods – including with university classes or self-teaching – but by far the most time-conscious and cost-effective way is by enrolling in a technical training course that will get you to your goals faster. 

These courses are completed in months, not years, cost a fraction of traditional university tuition, and provide practical training to prepare graduates to jump headfirst into their first position. Short-term, intensive courses teach you up-to-date skills that won’t be obsolete when you graduate. 

Check out all the programming languages and skills Flatiron School will teach you. 

Ready to take the next step? Start with a Free Data Science Prep Work, or check out the Data Science Course Syllabus that will set you up for success with the skills to launch you into a fulfilling and lucrative career.

* Salaries cited current as of June 2022 

Sources:

  1. https://quanthub.com/data-scientist-shortage-2020/
  2. https://www.bls.gov/
  3. https://fortune.com/education/business/articles/2022/02/24/a-hot-market-for-data-scientists-means-starting-salaries-of-125k-and-up-this-year/#:~:text=Data%20scientists%20made%20a%20median,%24152%2C500%20median%20salary%20in%202019
  4. https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 28 June 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/