Career Decision in limbo

Hello everyone,

My name is Joe and I’m completely new to Python (and any other programming language really).

I’m a Transportation Planner that has been working the same job for the past ten years with very little advancement in salary (ahem… it’s a state job). My problem with the lack of movement is because I became too comfortable for too long in the same position. Now that I am married and have two children I’m starting to realize that ‘I need to make more money’.

As a transportation planner I deal extensively with traffic simulation software and data management using Excel ( I am MOS certified). With that I developed a love in dealing with data, learning new tips/tricks in Excel, functions, and Macros. Despite trying to find another job with the same tasks - I am unable to find something that pays more than what I make. I realized that if I learn a high-demand data-oriented language (such as Python) I will be able to jazz-up my resume thus making me more attractable. But I still have doubts whether this is a wise strategy or not.

I am still unsure if learning only Python (although I am enjoying it) is going to do anything in regards to boosting my salary if I find another job. Or perhaps I can do side-gigs with Python to help increase my income?

I guess I’d like anyone’s input if they are in the same conundrum as I am and any advice/recommendation would be very helpful. At this point, I finished my first ‘guided course’ in Python which was very enjoyable. I just am not sure if this is the right track for me if I am trying to do what I need to do.


@Career_Assistants any advice for @joe.shaer?

Dear Joe,

Python has a lot of applications in daily life and I’m completely sure that as transportation planner you will improve a lot your analysis and take more efficient decisions. So, I recommend to you the follow:

  1. Keep going with Python, let Dataquest help you to learn about it, you only course the first course, keep going, Python has a lot to offer in your area.
  2. At the same time that you course Python track, start thinking about how you can apply all that knowledge to your daily work, and start building a proposal.
  3. Remember, to be a more attractive candidate the courses are not enough, you need to apply it, you need to have measurable outcomes. When you accomplish this, you need to document all the process, and let the recruiters see how you improve what you do with programs like Python.
  4. To document this, you can use platforms like Github and share it in LinkedIn, which could be the best places to let people know what your doing.

I hope this 4 advices could help you. Let me know what you thing,

Best regards,