Student success story: Jessica Hernandez

FAMU data analytics program

Amid a global pandemic, Jessica took the FAMU data analytics certificate and learned the data skills to launch a new career as a data analyst. 

Jessica Hernandez entered 2020 confident and ready to launch a successful Salesforce Administrator career when Covid-19 hit the United States. Like many Americans, Jessica became unemployed and confused about the future. 

“I had all these plans for my career, and overnight, everything changed. I decided to recalibrate and research the job market to find out what skillsets you need for a successful and resilient career. I found that data analytics was at the top of the list. I wanted to pursue a technical job to set myself apart from the pack.”

Jessica began looking into programs that could teach her the needed data analytics skills and found the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Tableau Data Analytics Certificate program

“As I vetted FFAMU data analytics program, I noticed it was through Pathstream. Pathsream partnered with leading tech companies to build their programs, like Salesforce and Tableau. They were also a partner of Jopwell, an organization advancing careers for Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals. I realized the program was credible and enrolled.”

The FAMU data analytics program is a 27-week online program incorporating project-based learning to teach you in-demand data analytics skills and prepare you for the job market. 

“I enjoyed the modules because they covered the history of data analytics and how it progressed over the years while also teaching skills. There was a lot of information to retain, but the content was engaging and helped me successfully complete labs. The hands-on projects were great because the labs allowed you to use the skills in real business scenarios. Jobs require you to know how to use Excel and Google Sheets. I walked away also mastering tools like Tableau and SQL.”

During our conversation, Jessica admitted her journey with the program wasn’t always perfect, but she was motivated to finish it because she knew it would change her life.

“Time management was challenging. I wasn’t always able to commit to the weekly schedule, but the instructor and Pathstream were super supportive. They let me retake my SQL course and made themselves available to answer any questions I had. I also knew finishing the program would open doors for me, and I would be a competitive candidate. I am thankful to Pathstream’s team for the support and extra push to finish all three courses and obtain my FAMU Tableau Data Analytics Certificate.” 

The career coaches were vital to helping Jessica achieve her career goal.

“I was able to take advantage of Pathstream’s Career Services in the middle of the program. They helped me with interviews, resume writing, and salary negotiation. My situation was interesting because I was in the middle of interviews, and my career coach helped me navigate that process. He made me step back and assess everything to figure out what I wanted professionally and determine my long-term career goals. Then we emphasized my data experience in my resume by showcasing the projects I completed in the course. Re-branding myself as a data analyst with their help swung the door open for me and helped me get the job offer from Salesforce. On top of all of this, I negotiated a substantial salary increase ($30,000+). All of the hard work paid off, and I am earning what I deserve.” 

Jessica’s final piece of advice:

“Do your research, find out what type of role you want and where the field is going. If you wish to be a data analyst, project manager, or Salesforce Admin, make sure the industry is growing. Don’t pigeonhole yourself; learn useful digital skills. Pursue and invest in the programs like a FAMU data analytics certificate that will equip you with those skills, and trust me, you can apply them anywhere.” 

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