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Why Data Science?

Intro & Background

Hello, my name is Patrick Ly. I have been working in the oil and gas industry for 5 years. First, I held a position as an Operations Engineer which is an intermediary technical position between the office and oilfield operations. I helped improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our drilling and completions programs. Later in my career I got promoted to Site Supervisor. In this position I was responsible for managing the oilfield service equipment, asset wells, and personnel onsite in the field by delegating and facilitating the work flow.

Recently this year, my company was acquired by another upstream oil company and I was laid off. In truth, it was a blessing in disguise because I contemplated quitting my position for a career shift earlier in the year. I enjoyed the people I worked with, found satisfaction in having a major impact on the business, and the monetary rewards. However, the operational side of the oil and gas industry did not stimulate my technical interests nor did I see it aligning with my long term career goals.

The Search

I started my job search to find a role that could utilize my business knowledge of the oil and gas industry but had a more technical focus. I found that a traditional drilling and completions engineer role would be the best fit from my prior experience but again the technical part of the role did not appeal to me. As an operations engineer you are primarily a project manager and then a business analyst. Thus, there is some limitation on how much higher level analysis/analytics you can do. The priority is executing and managing the operation to be within budget.

As I progressed in my job search, I noticed the growing positions of jobs related to analytics and data science. This was when I did more research into this sector. One main source of information came from one of my friend that just finished a master program for data science. He talked about how relatively new it is and how the demand was growing (especially in oil & gas). Also he talked about the advanced applications of data science that I intrigued me.

The Reason

With this interest I began to examine the reasons I want to pursue data science. Below summarizes the main points:

1) Great fit - Besides having the technical capability as an engineer, data science fits my personality as I am a very logical and analytical person that likes to look at the objectivity of the subject at hand.
2) Improving technical skills - Data science will improve many technical skills such as programming, statisical analysis, problem solving etc. It will provide a platform where I can become a forever learner.
3) Practicality & scope - I can envision numerous application of data science I could use not my career but personal life as well.

Overall, I feel that data science could be a great way to expand my technical abilities and segue my career into another sector that I could be passionate about.

Top comments (1)

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Boris B.

Hello, I am a software engineer and Data science really had my interest peaked. Would love to know how you are looking to get into the space. Is it via a Masters too or some other way?