So You Want to Work in Progressive Analytics
Welcome to progressive politics and to progressive analytics. You’re entering a world of people who you won’t be sure are crazy or brilliant or both. You are in for long days and short deadlines. You will meet some of your closest friends, and there will be times when you will want to strangle them out of stress and sleep-deprivation. Your job will be at turns tedious, overwhelming, and insanely hard. You will learn new skills out of necessity, and at multiple times, you will ask yourself, "Who in their right mind is letting me doing this?" Above all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are using your skills and talent to make the world a better place, whether your passion is reducing racial and economic inequality, promoting women’s rights, protecting the environment, advancing LGBTQ policies, defending communities of color, or something else entirely. Welcome, we’re glad you’re here.
Like any field, the progressive analytics community comes with some unspoken norms and expectations. This guide is designed to help illuminate some of those and help you get your first job in progressive analytics, working either on campaigns, analytics departments, or consultancies. We start with a very brief overview of what analytics is and who the major players are. Then, we dive into the components of the typical application process, and we conclude with an overview of the skills you’ll need to succeed in your job search. We also include free, online resources to learn all of the basic skills. Finally, the appendix includes a list of analytics organizations where you might want to start your search and a dictionary of jargon you might encounter.
This document was prepared by the author in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of any particular organization.
This is one person's idiosyncratic guide on how this world works and how to get a job in it. I've led hiring processes at two analytics firms, which have collectively hired over 15 analysts and data scientists. But I've also worked in a very particular slice of this world, more focused on electoral politics than advocacy, and this guide reflects that. I've tried to be inclusive by soliciting feedback from others' experiences but would love your input too.
Feedback is very much welcome!
Please read CONTRIBUTING.md for more information on how you can contribute.