How This Data Analytics Course Helped Bob Rahman Get His Dream Job in the Civil Services

How This  Data Analytics Course Helped Bob Rahman Get His Dream Job in the Civil Services | Data Science and Analytics | Emeritus

Bob Rahman is a bit of an exception in the fast-expanding world of continuous learning. Unlike most other professionals, he decided to quit his job before beginning his data analytics course at Imperial College of Business Executive Education. It was a conscious decision to turn his focus on topping up his data knowledge. “My former job was working with AI for a commercial real estate company in the private sector as a data manager. I saw myself as more of a generalist, so I was keen on upskilling and learning coding. I even began to do a sort of miniature job search to see where I stood,” says Rahman. 

Clearly, the plan was to put the job on hold to go all in with upskilling “because learning and working at the same time is very draining”.  

However, Rahman is not just an exception but also exceptional in his learning journey because he landed a very coveted job in United Kingdom Civil Services toward the end of his learning journey. Though his energies were split when he got this excellent opportunity sooner than he thought possible, it only adds more character to his inspiring learning journey. He speaks to us about throwing himself into the Professional Certificate in Data Analytics at the Imperial College of Business Executive Education and being rewarded with the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.   

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Upskilling With the Ideal Data Analytics Course 

When Rahman sharpened his resolve to upskill, he did it with an enviable degree of attention to detail. He meticulously delved into every aspect of the data field—the what, the what’s new, even the who’s doing what. That helped him lay the groundwork for his upskilling agenda. He essentially used a three-pronged approach to seek out the ideal data analytics course First, assessing his skills and figuring out what exactly he needed. Next came some peer research. 

“I looked at former colleagues that I used to manage at my previous job who had done a data course or camp, and they ended up finding great jobs,” he explains. That fed into the third motivating factor—upskilling to get a more lucrative job and move up in his chosen field. 

The 25-week Imperial College course caught his interest because of the brand name of the learning institute but also due to the learning opportunities they presented. “I’d learn Python, Tableau, and other optimizing and sampling tools. Everyone’s coding now, including all my peers from university. It’s allowing them to move freely within the field, and that is what I thought the course would give me,” he says. 

The Learning Curve 

The data analytics course began in September 2023, a month after he quit his job. In that planned hiatus from the world of work, Rahman got into studying and soaking up the knowledge at a granular level. He did extra reading, took his time absorbing the information, and worked on the assigned tasks. For him, this professional course turned out to be manageable, easy even, without the added stress of work. At least for most of the six-month timeline. 

“The last four weeks were the hardest. I had just gotten a new job. Those first weeks at the new place ran parallel with the course’s last weeks,” he exclaims.

Given that there was also a shift from the private sector to the civil services, the adjustment period dovetailed into the Capstone project.

 “I would return from work and need to spend a few hours studying. My fellow learners also struggled somewhat to keep that balance between work and study. I think such courses do try to offer a fine balance, but the reality is that most people just get tired from a day’s worth of work like I do. Having said that, though, I also believe it’s different for everyone,” he sums up.

The learning itself was an intensive experience because Rahman didn’t want to just skim the surface. “I spent a lot of time on the modules. I don’t think people realize it, but even those who say they spent 10 hours probably spent more time. When you learn something new, you naturally plan and think about it; then you draft out your answer before going back to work on it,” he says. 

Gains Beyond the Knowledge 

Beyond the knowledge and the upskilling journey, Rahman took away a lot more than the technical skills he was gunning for. The biggest takeaway for him was patience being a virtue. 

“You must have patience, especially within data where you have to deal with things like debugging. That’s what Dr Finton Nagle (a faculty member at the Imperial) stressed. You have to be calm and composed so you can identify errors and not make irrational moves,” he encapsulated.

The other significant takeaway was communication and doing it the right way. “In the data community, it’s always good, even necessary, to have someone to bounce ideas off or ask questions to verify things. If you go it alone, you might probably struggle a lot more,” he explains. It ended up being a useful lesson in the penultimate module, where they had to do something on GitHub with a peer. 

The capstone project also further honed his technical skills. “I got to utilize and work on my Python skills. We did use it in smaller doses across all the modules. But when you use it on a bigger project you retain that information and skill a lot more,” he adds. 

Above all, though, was a more generic life lesson about learning—that it is age-agnostic. “You can consider upskilling and learning at whatever time, at whatever pace, and at whatever age you choose to. It is never too late to learn anything new,” he says without any self-doubt. 

The Data Analytics Course That Made the Dream Real 

Rahman’s singular focus certainly reaped the dividends. There were the skills and the connections, including Professor Wiesseman from Imperial College and Philip Meiralcott,  Senior Program Delivery Manager, Emeritus. There was also a job that came swiftly and from unexpected but deeply desired quarters. Rahman credits the Career Services team at Emeritus, particularly his career coach Leanna Biddle, for that professional windfall. 

Initially, he just wanted a professional eye to check over his CV and make sure everything was in order. 

“I thought my CV was great. I had it checked by professionals in high-level jobs already,” she says. 

He also thought this would be a quick meeting. But he was in for a surprise.

“Leanna went through it with a fine-toothed comb, pointing out ways to improve it even more. I knew I had to utilize this opportunity way more,” he explains. 

The best thing, Rahman observes, was that these meetings went beyond question-answer prepping or propping up a great CV. They were about understanding him. He adds,  “She would subtly try to figure me out as a person to tailor the help around me. It was nothing obvious and just a natural part of our conversations.” 

Getting the Job Done

It paid off. Recruiters called, and Rahman became increasingly adept with each successive interview. Finally, concrete offers started coming in. One of those was from the Civil Service. “Getting a job in the civil services, especially at a role I’m at, is very, very hard. In fact, at the moment, it’s just pretty hard to get any job, so I was over the moon to be in the civil services,” he exclaims. 

The whole process took a little over a month, from that first CV-centered meeting to the job offer. “I reached out to the Career Services Team at Emeritus when I did because I thought that the job search would take months. I was expecting to get back to work once the course finished,” he explains.  

For Rahman, the career coaching was a cherry on top of a sumptuous cake. This data analytics course was instrumental in upskilling, cultivating a network of peers, and finding a job in a field he’s always wanted. For a learner, Rahman was pretty close to living the dream, as he says, “My experience is hands down the best.” 

What was also clear was that learning or upskilling was more than just acquiring technical skills. This was also about the increasing relevance of soft skills and how one presents themselves to employers.

 “They want someone enthusiastic, someone who will give their best even if they don’t have the necessary skill sets. You need to present yourself and your knowledge well. You can be someone with zero skills, but if your presentation side of things is good, you’ll go far.”

In Learning Mode

Having experienced the benefits of the Professional Certificate in Data Analytics at the Imperial College of Business Executive Education, Rahman is a firm believer in its transformative potential.

 “I recommend this course a 1,000%. And not only because you connect with people, you also deep dive into data. The bonus is the career services. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable returning to a job without this course. The upskilling made me comfortable to get back into the data field. Self-learning from YouTube videos only gets you so far. For those that are looking for it, prioritize your budget, look at the start date, and make the plan.” 

It also made him realize that online learning has unexpected plus sides: “I have the confidence to go out there, find a suitable course, and utilize it how I want to, maybe even to change careers. Now I know I can pretty much pivot,” he elaborates. That may not happen anytime soon, seeing as Rahman is exactly where he wants to be. Wish fulfillment possibly looks something like this.

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About the Author

Senior Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Gauri has found that the upside of being a writer and a scissor-happy copy editor is a rather constant, even paranoid, eye on her own work—and a healthy aversion to complacency. As a professional content creator for over a decade, she has spent time writing (and editing) design, architecture, and lifestyle stories, as well as corporate content, brochures, ads, and websites, among other genres. Her stint with Emeritus has opened an exciting and challenging avenue of education to explore and proves what she already knows—you’re really never done learning.
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