The Alt-Ac Job Beat Newsletter Post 7 2024-01-16

Hi Everyone,

At my main gig last week I interviewed a senior data scientist who listed the usual 20 different advanced coding skills (e.g. pytorch, sklearn, xgboost), but could not on the spot run a python "hello world" program from the command prompt, nor could they write a valid SQL query with a group by.

Many of the PhDs I talk to have something like imposter syndrome when applying to tech jobs. E.g. "I don't know deep learning, so I don't think I should apply to this job". One of the reasons I want more social science PhDs to apply to tech sector jobs is because we need you! Just remember you are mostly competing against people who may list impressive tech skills, but many in reality are absurdly over-embellishing their personal skills.

I would take a PhD with very basic coding experience who did an interesting dissertation over someone who lists experience with 20 different python libraries for vast majority of jobs.


Job board link

For some of the recent gigs


Jennifer Owens, PhD from UMSL, is the manager of Data Analytics at a Mariner Wealth Advisors.

Senior professors are well positioned to take manager roles, and also I wouldn't be concerned with a PhD in CJ taking a job in an outside field. If you can do a dissertation you can learn a new subject area on the job.


I think git/github is a really great tool that analysts should learn. I put together my notes on getting started in github the other day on personal blog.

Best, Andy Wheeler