On February 19th, 2021, 280+ students, educators and data science enthusiasts gathered for the Northeast Student Data Corps (NSDC)’s Inaugural Data Science Career Panel, where an esteemed panel of invited speakers shared their experiences and advised the attendees on potential opportunities in Data Science. The session also saw the launch of the Learner Central and Educator Central pages on the NSDC web portal and the first NSDC Chapter.
The panelists included Amen Ra Mashariki (Global Director, Data Lab, World Resources Institute, Former Chief Analytics Officer, City of New York, and White House Fellow), Daniel Balouek-Thomert (Research Associate and Lecturer, Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute, Rutgers University), Zoran Obradovic (Professor and Director of the Center for Data Analytics and Biomedical Informatics, Temple University) and Marija Stanojevic (PhD student, Center for Data Analytics and Biomedical Informatics, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University). The conversation was moderated by Haleigh Stewart, Project Coordinator for the NSDC and Columbia undergraduate.
Kicking off the session was an opening address from the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub’s Executive Director Florence Hudson, who introduced the Learner Central and Educator Central pages — a compilation of easy-to-use, carefully curated data science resources for learners of all ages and backgrounds and for educators interested in incorporating data science into their classrooms. These resources include topics such as introductory mathematics, probability, statistics, and data science, as well as videos, presentations, and code examples, all broken down by difficulty. Through this initiative, the NSDC aims to increase data science accessibility for all.
Following this introduction, the panelists spoke about their personal journeys and addressed common concerns regarding data science careers, leveraging their experience in the field. Themes such as data science career opportunities, how to prepare for them and search for internships and other entry level roles were detailed. They then took up select questions from the attendees. This included recommending open-source resources, assuaging concerns about potential saturation of the field for individuals entering without prior experience, suggesting focus areas in the vast domain and proposing methodologies to pursue social good through data science.
In closing, Scott Blender, a freshman at Temple University and Ryan Baker, Associate Professor at University of Pennsylvania, introduced the first-ever NSDC chapter — the Philadelphia Chapter, in partnership with Drexel University, Temple University, and University of Pennsylvania — and outlined its aims and focus areas ushering in an exciting new phase for the NSDC.
You can find the full video of the event on our YouTube channel here – don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell icon for notifications on further videos. Sign up now for our next Data Science Career Panel— it’s free of charge!
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