How a Communications Professional Pivoted to a Dream Career in Data Science

Byron Allen

Byron Allen had outgrown his role. After years managing marketing communications and social media for various technology companies, he yearned to be more involved in the technology side of business. He tried breaking into coding and analytics at his workplace, but it was nearly impossible. “I had one foot in a new world and the other in the old world,” says Allen. “I felt like Sisyphus, and I realised the need to fully commit to transforming myself.”

Leaping headfirst, Allen took a year off from work to start his journey in data. He first enrolled in General Assembly Sydney’s part-time Data Analytics course, sinking his teeth into the skills needed to interpret large data sets and confidently make business decisions: Excel, SQL, and Tableau. As Allen worked on the course’s final project, he realised “there were aspects that would have greatly benefited from an understanding of machine learning and coding,” topics that are covered in-depth in data science, among others. “I could see the potential and wanted to be a part of that world,” he says.

So, he continued his upward professional journey with GA in the full-time Data Science Immersive course. With guidance from his instructor (who Allen describes as “one of, if not singularly, the most inspiring and intuitive teachers I’ve had the pleasure of learning from”), he and his classmates learned how to leverage data to create powerful predictive models. Elevating his data skills a step above, Allen got hands-on practice with skills like Unix, Git, Python, and machine learning. These practical tools empowered him to forecast market trends that help businesses find and seize new opportunities. “All of us learned from each other, filling each other's weaknesses and allowing for us to improve our strengths,” says Allen.

Along with the curriculum, Allen also loved the employer meet-and-greet aspect of the GA Outcomes experience, which focuses entirely on career development and job placement for Immersive graduates. He says the program helped him talk in-depth about his work and become a more effective networker.

The hard work paid off. Allen landed a job as an associate consultant at Servian, an IT and data analytics consultancy in Sydney. He credits GA’s focus on “both the technical and communications skills involved in advanced analytics” as the reason that he’s able to succeed in his role, which requires these skills on a regular basis.

“My time at GA bred the confidence that is essential to facing challenges in my day-to-day work,” Allen says. “I tend to lean into problems more than I ever have.”

Ready to become a problem-solver? Join Allen and thousands of global alumni to build your path toward a more fulfilling career. From full-time career accelerators, to part-time evening courses, to short-form bootcamps, be empowered to achieve your goals at GA.