Get Good First

All too often people get inpatient and want to begin earning professionally full time. They may have completed an online course, completed a couple of projects, learned the fundamentals of programming, then decided to apply for a data scientist role a few weeks or months after.

My advice is avoid doing this for two main reasons: 

Firstly, if you receive an interview it will become apparent that you have a superficial understanding of the concepts at hand, you may know all the buzzwords, but not know how to clearly articulate what the concepts actually mean and how they interact. You could be setting yourself up for disappointment, as valuable as the interview experience may be. 

Secondly, if you do receive a job you may end up convincing yourself that you really do know a lot, and in my experience this attitude is dangerous. Especially when you forgo the opportunities to learn as a result. 

Having a strong, well crafted understanding of the fundamentals will mean you’ll enjoy the work more, you’ll have greater earning potential and give you a base for a long and meaningful career. Lest not forget, it’s a competitive market and the likelihood is there’s going to be stronger candidates out there somewhere, give yourself a fighting chance by learning the basics well.