24 May 23

No Data Analyst Degree, No Apprenticeship: My Journey

Miles Davenport


No Data Analyst Degree, No Apprenticeship: My Journey

Imposter syndrome is a feeling that most of us will experience at some point in our careers. No matter the data analyst degree, or apprenticeship. It’s only natural. But what is imposter syndrome? Imposter syndrome is the feeling that your success is not legitimate, that you did not earn your position amongst your colleagues. It’s more common than you think, according to Indeed, three in five workers experience imposter syndrome. With young adults being far more likely to be afflicted by it.¬† But I soon discovered,¬† even without a data analyst degree or apprenticeship, at Rockborne, you do deserve to be in your position no matter the background!

My journey

My personal journey began in the vibrant city of Brighton as an enthusiastic undergraduate student pursuing Psychology and Criminology. It was during my subsequent pursuit of a master’s degree in Research Methods in Psychology that my passion for statistics and data truly ignited. Witnessing the practical applications of data in various aspects of our everyday lives, such as shopping, gaming, and messaging, instilled in me a profound appreciation for its significance. Upon completing my master’s program, I realised that working with data was my true calling. However, as I delved into job advertisements and conversed with individuals in the field, I learned that the conventional pathway into the realm of data often involved obtaining a data-oriented degree.

The process of applying for a job at Rockborne and eventually securing a position felt like a dream come true, yet it was also accompanied by a sense of intimidation. Persistent thoughts such as “I lack extensive coding knowledge” and “How can I excel without a STEM data degree?” plagued my mind even after joining the company. Whenever I struggled to grasp certain concepts, I couldn’t help but feel like an imposter. Moreover, being surrounded by peers who possessed impressive STEM degrees only heightened my sense of not truly belonging.

The Click

The turning point came when I began to explore SQL, which was a relatively unfamiliar territory for me. Excel? Sure, I’ve done that (although it turned out to be more complex than I initially thought). While I had some experience with Excel, SQL presented a new challenge. I was filled with apprehension, fearing that I would struggle to comprehend its intricacies and be exposed as a fraud. To my surprise, that scenario never materialised. Admittedly, I faced initial difficulties, but everyone has to start somewhere. I questioned why I felt the need to possess all-encompassing knowledge from the very beginning. After all, Rockborne recognised my potential, so perhaps I should do the same? Gradually, over the course of several days, things started to fall into place. I began to understand the puzzle pieces and experienced a similar breakthrough when delving into Python. The journey started slowly but steadily, and as I confronted new and challenging functions, my knowledge expanded rapidly. I realised how far I had come from initially doubting my capabilities.

Succeeding in data

Navigating the data field as a non-STEM graduate can undoubtedly be daunting. The realm of data is vast, with an abundance of knowledge to acquire. However, therein lies its beauty and allure. It offers an opportunity to infuse your unique perspective and personal touch. It can be difficult to believe in your ability to succeed within an environment that might feel unfamiliar. While skills can be acquired, one’s attitude plays a pivotal role. With the right mindset and determination, you can flourish within a data-driven landscape!

Unique perspective

Having spent nine weeks at Rockborne, I have come to a profound realisation: although the data remains constant, its interpretation and the methods employed to analyse it differ significantly among individuals. These variations are a direct result of everyone’s diverse backgrounds. At Rockborne, such diversity is celebrated rather than shunned. It culminates in a rich collection of ideas that propel us towards our goals & different perspectives mean more ideas.


Find out more about the Rockborne graduate programme here.

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