I Want a Career Change: Can the Data School Help?

by Jeremy Kneebone

Many people join the Data School from other professions. As someone who’s moved into the Data School from a different kind of role, I’d strongly recommend the programme to anyone who wants to start working in data analysis.


Traditional recruitment methods tend to make career change difficult. You’ve probably been rejected from roles for all the same reasons: they want several years’ experience in precisely the role you’re applying for, or they want computer science degrees, or they want you to have experience working with multiple coding languages. In short, most recruitment processes only look at your past, not your potential.


The recruitment process for The Information Lab is different. To apply, you’re asked to download Tableau Public and create something, and your creation takes precedence. You’re not discouraged from applying because you haven’t got the exact same life experience as the people who currently work in data analysis. If you can produce something interesting or insightful in Tableau, you’re considered.


As a career changer, you might have the same worries as the recruiter. In many jobs you’re not given much training time: how, then, are you going to get up to speed in a new career? Do you have to do all the learning in your spare time?


No. For me, the best thing about the Data School is the amount of training you receive. To start, you train for 4 months. In this time you can become an advanced user of both Tableau and Alteryx, giving you the skills you need to start as a consultant, whatever your previous background. As well as the technical skills, you work on several projects for clients, taking turns to produce work and manage the project.


You’ll get plenty of support whilst you learn, whether it’s from your fellow learners, The Information Lab’s wider consultancy team or the enthusiastic Tableau and Alteryx communities that exist in London. There are many opportunities to present your work to appreciative audiences.


I’d really recommend the Data School to anyone wanting to switch to data analysis. I’m glad I did.

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