Portland Reed spent most of her career in law and as a stockbroker. She established a business in Washington DC Metro Area and eventually created a prototype of an app to collect data. Then COVID-19 took over the world, forcing Portland and many others to shut down their businesses. She moved to North Carolina to be close to family and search for a job.

“Amazon was the only company hiring. I’d never worked in a warehouse before, but I thought, how do I turn this into an opportunity?” Amazon offered the data analytics certificate. I had worked with data scientists and thought ‘Why not look into this program?’ I reviewed the syllabus, and this is where Pathstream knocked it out of the park. The curriculum is not fluff; it’s practical and what you need to learn to break into the data industry. So I thought, why not enroll?” 

Portland found Pathstream while searching for schools in Amazon’s AtoZ portal. She enrolled in the Tableau Data Analytics Certificate program for free using Amazon’s Career Choice benefits. 

“My company wants its employees to thrive. They are looking for innovators, entrepreneur-like minds, and employees to think big. Offering education benefits helps us learn valuable skills and advance our careers while improving the organization, customer service, and increasing revenue. I was familiar with Tableau previously but found the first course fascinating. I learned the basics of business analytics, how to organize data, create databases, and pull actionable insights. I parlayed what I learned in my actual job and improved our department’s productivity. Essentially, I found a way for us to speed up processing freight, and as a result, our department broke records.”



Portland uses her new data skills to score a promotion before completing the program.

After Portland began using her newfound skills at work to change warehouse operations, she got a promotion.

“I went from managing one small trailer door to four and now nine because I look at data differently. I analyze operations through a lens that allows me to make changes in real-time. I got this promotion because I did exactly what the course taught me. I put together a spreadsheet, analyzing how many people were needed to process freight hourly to improve our warehouse’s numbers. I was no data expert before the program. The program equipped me with the right tools to execute and excel. I would recommend Pathstream’s Data Analytics program without reservation.” 

Before enrolling in the program, Portland had never taken an online certificate program. 

“I have a very traditional education. I went to a liberal arts college and then to law school. I didn’t know what to expect. A friend of mine took a certificate program simultaneously, and we would compare notes. I was surprised to learn they didn’t have access to career advisors, success coaches to motivate you via text, or instructors setting up study sessions. That’s when I realized the online program I enrolled in is top-notch and unmatched.”

How Portland overcame ageism and imposter syndrome

When asked about making a change at this stage in her life and career, Portland said,

“I was intimidated when I first saw the course materials. I didn’t think I could learn a whole new language like SQL. But you don’t need to be afraid. It doesn’t matter what age you are or how tech-savvy you are. The program was designed to help you unlock your potential. It uses videos to teach you the information and then demos how to apply the skills. Then there is so much built-in support. The pandemic showed us how fast the world is digitalizing, so throw away the old way of thinking. I added these skills to my toolbox because the world needs data analysts. My advice is to trust the process, the program, and the team.”

Portland’s last piece of advice to prospective and current students:

“When I first enrolled, I joined an online community through Piazza, and I noticed many students discussing their insecurities. Many of these insecurities stem from the old way offices operated, but the world is changing. Office culture is progressing,  and remote work has offered people of all ages many opportunities. What matters is your competence and do you have the skills to do it. Throw away your insecurities and enroll in the right program for you. You can do this, embrace the future, and go forward.”


How to transition to a career in data analytics

Do you want to transition into a business or data analyst career or even score a promotion? In that case, there are many ways to start. One way is learning technical data analyst skills to build a successful career.

One of the most efficient ways to build a strong foundation and practice your new skills is enrolling in a data analytics certificate program.

The Tableau Data Analytics Certificate Program is designed to help you build a solid theoretical foundation and prepare you through hands-on projects to apply your new data analyst skills. We also provide career guidance to help graduates get a job in this highly competitive field.


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