Unity in diversity is an oft-repeated mantra. This statement is true for almost any setting, including the business world.

Businesses tend to aim for one main goal: profit. This is what unites them. Their diversity lies in the various shapes and sizes of their organizational structures and human resources. Some are small and agile, which are usually the startups. Corporations, on the other hand, tend to be bigger and have many layers of decision-making channels.

Corporations and startups, despite their differences, are also united in their equal tendency to leverage data science for improved business operations. Data science is one of the hottest fields in the world of work today. According to TechTalks, data science is among the top 3 most in-demand jobs in America. Since the Philippines generally follows the U.S. economic model, the recent boom in demand for data professionals in the Philippines comes as no surprise. This trend in the local job market is among the many reasons that have led people like Dana Kathleen Redena and Sean Flores to study data science.

Dana and Sean are among the many alumni that Eskwelabs has helped upskill for the future of work.

In an Eskwelabs-organized Data Science Open House online event last September 24, 2021, they shared many interesting insights about their careers as data scientists. Among the many topics Dana and Sean discussed is how working as a data scientist in startups is different from a similar employment in corporations.

Are you ready to know the difference between the two work setups? Before we discuss Sean’s and Dana’s sharing of their unique experiences, let us take a look at how a startup is different from a corporation.

Startup vs Corporation: David and Goliath?

Have you ever heard of David and Goliath? For those who are not familiar with these Biblical figures, David was a young shepherd boy from Israel who defeated a gigantic, fully-grown, and highly-experienced Philistine warrior named Goliath. David killed Goliath with a slingshot.

In many cases, the David and Goliath narrative has applied even to the business world. There are times when small startups beat large corporations.

How is this possible?

You can gather some relevant insights about the question by searching for reputable Internet sources. For instance, Harvard Business School (HBS) has an online article that shows how startups and corporations are different in the way they conduct business. You may read about the HBS article here. But if you want to save time, we have distilled the information from the HBS website for your convenience. The table below outlines how startups generally differ from corporations:

Number of Employees Small Large
Hierarchy Gap Between Leaders and Subordinates Low to Flat (sometimes, there are no bosses) High
Communication Among Employees Regardless of Rank Free-flowing Rigid and full of protocols due to higher hierarchy gap
Decision-Making Quick Slow

In other words, if a person worked for a startup, he or she could expect a work environment where leaders freely communicate with employees and decisions tend to be made more quickly. It is also clear, especially in the communication and decision-making aspect, that startups embody the agility of the Biblical character David in the business world. However, one quick look at corporations these days indicate that Goliath’s counterparts in commerce and industry are not necessarily incompetent. From the smartphone you fiddle with at night, to the fast food you eat during the day, there is a high chance that these products were made by gigantic corporations.

In short, startups and corporations are more evenly matched than David and Goliath. This is part of the reason why it’s hard for many data scientists to choose which type of business to work for.

Unified Yet Diverse Data Science Stories: Dana and Sean

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From David and Goliath, we now move our focus to Dana and Sean, who are among the many graduates of our 12-week Data Science Fellowship. In our Open House last September 24, they shared some interesting ideas about their careers to our prospective data learners. Though the Fellowship is a program Sean and Dana share in common, they have gone to different career paths. Currently, Dana works for a startup called BeautyMNL while Sean is applying his data skills in the corporate world at Accenture.

For Dana, working as a data scientist at BeautyMNL has a lot of advantages. For one thing, she mentions that working in a startup taught her how to build & design data science models end-to-end. Therefore, she says a startup employee gets to touch on several aspects of her chosen data field. However, she mentions that these advantages can also be disadvantages, especially if an employee doesn’t like taking ownership of assigned work or has no flexibility.

Sean, on the other hand, mentions the common misconceptions that data scientists have in the startup-corporate comparison. Contrary to prevalent belief, data in a corporation is not necessarily cleaner than in startups. He also mentions that, in contrast to what many people think, data scientists in corporations generally spend more time on data analysis and preparation than algorithms. Dana agrees with Sean on this matter. In other words, Sean and Dana highlight the fact that in their work, data processing and analysis consumes more of their time than figuring out algorithms.

Our Data Science Fellowship: One Course, Many Opportunities

Now that you are armed with reliable information and real-life testimonies from our alumni, you can decide for yourself whether you want to work for a startup or climb up the corporate ladder. Regardless of your career choice, we at Eskwelabs are here to support you.

Our alumni Sean and Dana mentioned algorithms, data cleaning and data analysis in their sharing. These three, along with many other industry-relevant data science concepts, are all covered by our Data Science Fellowship.

For 12 weeks, our Data Science Fellows get access to internationally-acclaimed, and relatively fast data science education. Aside from that, our data upskilling bootcamps feature both instructors and mentors. Instructors conduct engaging lectures while mentors closely provide supervision and support to students as they create data projects called sprints.

Aside from unique instructional methods, our Data Science Fellowship now features what we call the Industry Apprenticeship. If you apply for the Fellowship, you will get a chance to work, earn, and learn as you continue your data projects in startups, immediately after graduation. This means that if you consider enrolling in our Fellowship, you can get the opportunity to be like Dana and make a difference in a startup setting.

The world we live in proves that there is unity in diversity. Animals and plants work together to maintain the planet’s life support system while startups and corporations ensure that people get superior customer service and products. Here at Eskwelabs, our diverse network of startups, learners and other partners unite for a noble cause: Whether you go startup or corporate, it’s not too late to make society great through the power of data.

Recommended Reading

  • Interested in our Industry Apprenticeship? You may click any of the links below depending on your program of choice to find out more.
  • Whether you choose to explore startups or dip your toes into corporations, data science is an important skill in many of these settings. Click here to get started with your data science journey.
  • If visualizing and interpreting chunks of data will help you and your startup or corporation, you may try to enroll in our Data Analytics Bootcamp. Proceed to this link for more information and to start your application.