Ashish successfully made a mid-career shift from IT to analytics and now enjoys his challenging work


Bored after 4 years of working as a programmer with a leading software company, Ashish contemplated a mid-career switch to a more challenging job with better growth opportunities. After much research, he turned to Jigsaw to learn data analytics.
He spent the next 12 weeks learning various analytic techniques and their application to business. Ashish is now motivated like never before, enjoying every minute of his work as a Data Specialist in Advanced Analytics & Optimization with IBM Global Business Services.


What were your initial career interests?
It was my first day of engineering, and I was already gunning for the best jobs on campus. Imagine my thrill when I was placed with a leading software company! But after 4 years of great work, I realized that the challenges were reducing. Work was becoming repetitive and mundane as I wasn’t learning anything new. I was interested in business and strategy but no path led to those roles. I was stuck and didn’t know how to get out.

How did you decide to go from coding to decoding?
Restless and anxious, I sought my friends’ advice. Some of them were highly successful in analytics and advised me to consider it as an option. After searching online, I discovered that this challenging field is the future of business decision making and offers good growth prospects. It was also the shortest path to a strategic role given my background. I was thrilled to discover that with the right coaching anyone could get in, irrespective of their background.

What did you do to prepare for your mid-career shift?
On exploring further, I found the Jigsaw blog, Analytics Training, which helped me understand career opportunities in analytics. Like most people, I was unsure of a mid-career switch. However, I decided to join Jigsaw’s Data Science with SAS course – no harm in learning something new. I learned SAS, various analytic techniques, and their application to business. Jigsaw’s case studies and projects gave a real-life flavor to my learning.

Jigsaw’s case studies and projects gave a real-life flavor to my learning.

How did you prepare for Base SAS certification after Jigsaw’s course?
The course fascinated me and ignited my interest in analytics. I decided to attempt the Base SAS certification. Preparation was easy with the learning from Jigsaw’s course. Additionally, the Little SAS book, SAS preparation guides and blogs of SAS certified professionals helped me clear the certification comfortably.

Were you confident enough to begin applying for analytics jobs after your certification?
Investing in my skills boosted my confidence. Here I would like to give credit to the Jigsaw Lab. The hands-on experience of practicing on real-life data sets made me realize I could tackle any interview; I began applying for analytics jobs. Jigsaw identified exciting openings for me and connected me with people working in similar roles. Jigsaw’s support was also critical in fine-tuning my resume and cracking interviews. I soon joined Infosys as a business analyst.

If you want to work on projects that spark you, why not take the steps to switch to a career that promises to be more challenging?

Did you continue investing in your skills after your first Jigsaw course? Was there a need to do another course?
I think of it this way. Though I had won the 100m and felt like Usain Bolt, I was aiming to win the marathon. I enrolled in the Advanced Analytics Program at IIM Bangalore. While the Jigsaw course taught me the application of analytics to real life business problems, the IIM-B course gave me a more comprehensive picture of the field, exposed me to a wider set of techniques and gave me a globally recognized certification. Today, I work at IBM Global Business Services as a Data Specialist in Advanced Analytics and Optimization. I am motivated like never before and I love my job dearly. The exposure is immense and I am glad that I am always learning.

Note: Jigsaw has tied up with IIM-B as well and a lot of IIM-B students who enrol for their Business Analytics & Intelligence program have been Jigsaw students. To see what Professor Dinesh – he designs and conducts the one year analytics program at IIM-B – has to say about Jigsaw Academy, view the video below:

Do you have any advice for other IT professionals looking to make a career change into analytics?
If you feel that you can do more with your abilities, skills, and experience, ask yourself what’s holding you back? If you want to work on projects that spark you, why not take the steps to switch to a career that promises to be more challenging?

What I would tell other IT professionals is that anyone can switch to analytics midcareer, even without any direct experience. Analytics ability is innate in all of us, and we use it in our daily life without realizing it, such as when we choose a product or make travel plans. Plus, many of your other skills are invaluable to analytics and increase the relevance of your prior experience, especially if:

●   You have knowledge of a data intensive domain, e.g. retail, banking, insurance, telecom, CPG, media, healthcare, etc.
●   You have experience in domains closely connected with analytics, e.g. data warehousing, market research, and creating reports and dashboards
●   You have technical skills valued in analytics, e.g. MS Excel, SQL, analytics software, Python, Perl etc.
●   Your job involves dealing with data and information, e.g. forecasting, pattern detection, trend, and anomaly identification
●   Your job has helped you develop skills like project management, team management, preparing and delivering pitches

Why not start now to take your career to the next level?
Stop procrastinating — research and invest in the right analytics training and win the race with dedication, passion, and innovation. A career in analytics is challenging and exciting, and will bring you all around success.