Vijay Varadharajan
Data Scientist, Capgemini
"I shifted my career into analytics after 9 years in finance and audit"
My background
I have over 9+ years of experience in internal audit and as finance analyst. I have worked previously in financial services, IT hardware& software and Telecom with companies like HP, Protiviti and Capgemini. In terms of my academics, I have a B.Sc. degree from Loyola College and Masters in International Business from Grenoble Graduate School of business.
Why Data Science as a career?
I was looking for a change of career after being with internal audit for more than 6 years. To leverage my academics and past experience, I was trying to find a suitable position. First, I researched about data science and what do data scientists do? And I did some research on how the profile looks like and how I could be a best possible fit in terms of skills and competences. I spoke with few people and asked their advice. I was also aware of some challenges such as getting practical exposure, finding a job after so many years of experience in something different and how I am going to cope with the course with my hectic travel schedule.
Why did he choose Edvancer to learn?
I checked the ratings of Edvancer from Analytics India Magazine which was quite impressive. I also went through the class video on the website which I found interesting and of top quality. Also, when I contacted them they sounded more professional and knowledgeable vs. other institutes, affordable as far as fees were concerned and flexible in payments. Their trainers were industry experts with good years of experience in the industry, which I liked. I took up the Certified Business Analytics Professional course with them.
What was the course experience like?
The tutor had a very good knowledge of the subject. He was extremely patient in answering all the questions and he was striving till entire class was getting the concept. I found the classes to be quite practical and well structured. I did miss a few classes due to my travel but it was quite easy to catch up through the recorded class videos on their Learning Management System (LMS), which was also quite comprehensive and easy to use. The project was quite challenging and helped me to put into practice what I had learnt. The certification has given a new credential to my profile and was instrumental in helping me make the career shift.
How he got a data scientist job
Apart from the course, I took part in some hackathons on Analytics Vidya and enrolled in data science groups in Linkedin to expand my knowledge. I was already working for an IT software company Capgemini and they were growing their Data Sciences team. I thought it would be good if I could make an internal transfer and made that my first preference. I had to spend a few months trying as given my experience in another field they weren’t so sure but that is where the Edvancer certification and knowledge gained from the course helped and I ended up getting recruited as a Data Scientist with them along with a salary hike to boot.
What was the interview like?
Since this was an internal job transfer I did not have too many technical rounds. They asked me questions related to supervised learning techniques, modeling process, segmentation, how to test the accuracy of the model etc. A good amount of time was also spent on why I wanted to make the shift and how I could contribute towards data science projects which is where I spoke about the business background and domain knowledge that I had built up..
How he got a data scientist job
DO NOT GIVE UP. It takes time to find a job if you are making a shift, so be patient and keep trying. Learn the concepts and the basics well. Also, understand the business in which you will be working. I feel one of the reason I got into data science is because of horizon of business knowledge. You need to strike a balance between the technical aspects and the business knowledge because at the end of the day we are solving a business problem.

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