IT and Data Management to Data Science: How Prabhu Upskilled in 24 weeks

IT and data management to data science

In 2021, Prabhu Murugesan successfully landed a full-time data science position with the British American Tobacco company while completing our 24-week part-time Data Science & AI Program with UTS! Originally from an IT and data management background, he realised his limitations in handling data and upskilled to meet employer needs, increase his future career prospects, and remain relevant in the industry.

After working hard in the program, Prabhu is enjoying his new role with BAT and is looking forward to ongoing career successes utilising his advanced data science and AI skill sets.

Learn more about his career journey so far:


Can you describe your career experience before making the change to data science & AI?

“I have worked as a Data Migration Manager for the last 12 years. I currently work for British American Tobacco as RTM Data Manager responsible for Data Management & Governance, as well as foresight analytics using Data Science and AI.”

What motivated you to upskill to Data Science and AI?

“I always had an interest in data and how it can be used. In my role, I had a preview of all the data available in the company. As part of my role, I have built reports using excel and other visual tools such as Power BI but felt that I needed to get more scientific, with the ability to move from insight to foresight. After research, I was convinced that Data Science can fill this gap.”

What were your career goals before upskilling to data and how has your outlook changed?

“Before, my career goal was to advance in the area of Data Management and Governance. Along the way, I felt that my interest was more on data insight/data foresights rather than the maintenance of data. Now, I spend a lot of time with the Strategic Planning and Insight team to gain insight and predict using data science.”

Why did you decide to pursue the part-time program – what appealed to you about the part-time data science course?

“During the Covid lockdown, I was working from home. I felt that this time was perfect to do a part time course. Due to my work schedule, the part time course schedule gave me more time to study the content.”

How did you determine the focus of your final Capstone project and what did you learn from the process?

“My company was very supportive with my capstone project. When I approached them, they gave me four options, within which I chose one project. Initially, the business requirement was vague, however by regular questioning, the business requirement became clear. My learning is: having a clear understanding of the business question and the importance of having the correct data. This leads to a good outcome.”

Tell us about your new job – How did you manage to land the new position before graduating from the program?

“My previous role was in IT and data management. Due to a restructure in IT, my role became redundant and my last day was in December 2020. Because of my regular interaction with the Marketing team around the capstone project, and the company’s new focus on data & analytics with their large business transformation project, they required a resource with data knowledge, analytical skills and data science & AI. The Program Manager actually approached me!”

How did you prepare for your data science interview? What are the most important things to remember when meeting a potential employer?

“My self-initiative to study data science, skilling up in line with the company’s goal and my past experience with data, were all observed by heads of functions in the company. Due to this, I was offered the role. It is important to show your proactive attitude and see ways of serving the company.”

When did you know data science was the right career path for you?

“The first time I felt data science was right for me was when I started discussing insight with a data science angle, which made sense to me and the business. It was no more “gut-feel” insight, but well thought out insight based on science.”

In your opinion, how did the program change your perspective on what is required to be a modern data professional?

“This program has changed my perspective on how you look at data and how you can maximise the output by proper use of data.”

Connect with Prabhu on LinkedIn here.

Read: How much maths do you need to know to work in data science?

Read: 5 Remote data science jobs and the benefits and challenges of remote work

If you are interested in adding to your skillset and landing a new job in the Data Science industry, schedule a call with a career consultant today.

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