I was working as a Product Manager for my current company. In that role I provided relatively advanced data analysis for several departments, often used BI software, did some coding, and worked on some data modeling tasks. I regularly presented to managers of all levels as well.
Becoming a 'Data Scientist':
One day, a director in IT approached me about a Data Scientist position. At the time, I had worked for the company for three years. I agreed to the position because it involved a 30% pay bump and I was interested in focusing more on predictive and prescriptive analytics in my career. The job description was somewhat typical for a Data Scientist position although there were some minor issues that concerned me.
The reality of the 'Data Scientist' position:
It turns out that this IT director lied about the responsibilities of this position. He really wanted me to solely work on development, analysis, and project coordinator work centered around Business Intelligence.
He had no desire to hear anything about Data Science.
Whenever I took a class related to Data Science, he told me it had nothing to do with my job and always hesitated to provide financial assistance. He didn't want me to use tools and methods commonly associated with Data Science such as Python, machine learning, statistics, data wrangling, etc.
This went on for a year and a half.
My situation now:
Last week, this IT director was fired, most likely because he was caught in some of his lies. There were issues he caused for people throughout the company, the ROI of some software investments were very low, and he was in constant conflict with other teams-—including an analytics team I used to work for under the Sales department of that company.
He probably wanted me off that team as a way to attack the manager of that analytics team.
This IT director was also EXTREMELY upset about people using data sources that didn't come directly from his department. Almost a year before that, his direct manager (a CIO) was told to resign from the company...
Now I work for a manager (a person the aforementioned IT director also hired) who is continuing where the fired director left off when it comes to giving me responsibilities that have nothing to do with Data Science. It seems that my current manager is very competent when it comes to the core purpose of his team, but my current responsibilities are a definite step down from those of my previous role in other departments of that company and they have nothing to do with data science.
Also, the work environment of the IT department I'm in is also relatively toxic and lacking in trust-—partly as a result of the past leadership.
These are my questions:
How should I go about my job search when I have a "Data Scientist" job title, but my superiors did not give me adequate work to build Data Science experience that recruiters and hiring managers would expect? I've taken four classes related to Data Science, but the studying I do on my free time doesn't seem like enough compared to other people applying for Data Science roles who can work on Data Science projects for 40+ hours a week every week.
Should I focus on jobs geared more towards Analytics for now to ensure that I can have an easier time being hired quicker? These jobs could include Analytics Consultant, Program and Sales Analytics Specialist, Senior Analyst, etc.
On my resume, should I reserve a relatively small amount of space to the Data Science classes I took so that I don't look over-qualified?