I have a question to all of you experienced professionals. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Information Systems/Data Science in Germany. Next year I plan on moving to the USA and applying for opportunities over there.

While I have been working on my Ph.D., I had a little job on the side (4hrs/week). The official job description is "data scientist". However, I have mostly developed automated UI tests during this time. Now the question is if I should change the job title since this is not really the work of a data scientist? I would somehow feel bad to use this job title because ultimately I have not really been working as a data scientist in this company. Some people advised me to make stuff up if a recruiter asks me since I do have knowledge in data science due to my Ph.D. studies and this would rather push me forward. What do you guys think is the appropriate way of handling this situation? Being honest and changing the job description to either "automated UI tester" or "student job" or something like this? Or keeping the data scientist job title and see how it goes from there?

My ultimate goal in the professional sphere is to be the communicative instance between data science and business. With that said, I think it would be a good idea to work as a data scientist beforehand.


2 Answers 2


What do you guys think is the appropriate way of handling this situation?

I would not recommend changing the job title, as that would not be truthful. Background check and verifications will surely find that the actual job title you had was not the one you mentioned.

I would focus instead on the responsibilities and roles you played while under that job title, as that is more descriptive than just the title.

During interviews, you will have a better chance to explain that although your title said something, you actually worked on X and Y things.


I do not think that the job title matters that much.

I think that the description of your role is the more interesting part to the reader.

I would just put down your official job title.

  • 1
    I thought so too. I just think that this title is somewhat misleading considering the task I have done. Thank you for your opinion!
    – VIBE
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 9:24

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