How am I supposed to get experience if I need experience to get experience?

I pulled this excerpt out of my post about defining the scope of the course, because I think maybe I buried the lead:

There are a shortage of people who can do Data Science well. When I talk to people in positions recruiting, they don’t want recent grads because the recent grads don’t have enough experience. New grads then face the Catch-22: “how am I supposed to get any experience if I need experience to get experience?” So where’s the potential problem and the solution ?– in education! Why isn’t education training students so that when they interview, they can speak intelligently and from experience about what it’s like to function as part of a well-functioning interdisciplinary team that was able to solve some set of reasonably important problems by collaborating? If students could do that, then they’d have the “experience” recruiters were looking for.

I consider it my challenge to figure out how to teach students to do Data Science well, sufficiently well that they have “experience”, and I think the way to do it is with an unconventional curriculum that I am trying to figure out as we go along. I appreciate you letting me experiment on you, but I think it will be worth it.

You might reasonably, ask “why? what’s in it for you?” (to me). It’s that I find the process of creating curriculum fun, challenging, thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating and creative. I like the idea of being able to help people in this way, and that some of you could then go off and solve “Important Problems”.


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