How to Become a Data Scientist

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career in data science

 

Data Science has been considered to be one of the most lucrative areas in the technology industry in the recent years. Harvard Business Review had gone one step ahead in 2012 and called ‘data scientist’ as one of “the sexiest jobs in the 21st century.” Looking ahead at the future of data science, one can applaud the foresight of that tagline. The significance of data science has increased with the growing interest in big data among the major organisations in the world. This has led to a shortage of talent in the industry in comparison to the rising demands for well-qualified professionals. If you are looking to get a data science certification, now would be the best time to get one and get the skills to boost your career.

How did data science become one of the most attractive areas to work in? What is the work of a data scientist? How to build a career in data scientist? This article will answer all these questions and more.

 

What is data science?

 

Data science, also known as data-driven science, is an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured.

In organisations, data science professionals are the ones responsible for interpreting the data available from various sources and finding meaningful patterns that would be beneficial to business. So, the role of a data science professional can be simply described by three activities: 1) analysing the raw data, 2) finding meaningful patterns from the data, and 3) provide effective action points based on the insights.

Data science has played a pivotal role in the success of many start-ups like Airbnb and Knewton. They are using data science to revolutionise the industry, which has been commonly termed as ‘disruptive technology’ as it creates a whole new market within the existing market.

 

Also Read>> Data Science vs. Big Data vs. Data Analytics

 

How to build a career in data science?

 

Starting a career in data science is not that tough if you have the right skills and the determination to move ahead in the field. Here are the steps that will help you to build a career in data science:

 

Step 1: Educational requirements

 

Most of the entry-level jobs for data science require the candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, science, economics, and engineering. An advanced degree like a master’s or a PhD can expedite your career growth. However, anyone with an analytical bent of mind and passion for statistical analysis can go for it.

 

Step 2: Learn the tools of the trade

 

A data science professional is nothing without his/her tools. There are a lot of tools and software which has been developed over the years to help professionals build machine learning models or analyse data.

It’s important to have knowledge of multivariate calculus and linear algebra; which most of you have learned during graduation if you had a math, science or engineering background. For others, you can easily learn them through online educational courses. The other skill that you should have is an understanding of programming languages like R or Python. Python is the most used language of data scientists. It is also advantageous to have knowledge of database querying language like SQL, Hive, etc.

 

Step 3: Be a member of the community

 

The best way to keep updated with the latest news and updates on different technology related to the field is by becoming a part of one of the various international data science communities. Go to a data science conference or attend an interesting talk by one of the experts in the industry. Meet other aspirational data science professionals and learn about how they are making progress in their career life.

 

Step 4: Get Certified

 

Nowadays, a certification acts as a perfect catalyst for a fast-track career path and will also help you to stand out among the competitors; though there is very less competition in the field of data science. Some of the popular certification courses that you can go for:

  • Certified Data Science with R Professional – This certification course has been designed to provide hands-on experience to candidates on data science, with practical knowledge on R. Through this course, one can expect to acquire the requisite skills for data analysis and statistical computing.
  • Microsoft Applied Machine Learning – This is a part of Microsoft Professional Certification Program and candidates get to learn some of the common methods used in data science. You will also get to work on tools like R, Python and Azure Machine Learning.
  • Data Science Online Training Course – This course covers topics from the basic understanding of data science to advanced analytical methods like MapR and Hadoop.

 

 

Career path of a data science professional

 

Every expert in the field has a starting point from where he moved up the career ladder. Here is an abstract picture of a career progression of a data science professional (career paths may vary from person to person according to the level of expertise and knowledge):

  • Data Analysts – When you start your career in the data science field, you will be working on low-level data extraction from databases, develop basic visualisations or analyse A/B results. This position usually acts as the entry-level to the data science field.

Average Salary – ₹ 5.4 LPA

  • Data Engineers/Architects – As you gain experience you will responsible for developing complex algorithms for further analysis of data or responsible for the development of blueprints for data management systems.

Average Salary – nearly the same as data analysts.

  • Data Scientists – With further experience, you will be the one who is responsible for creating value out of the analysed data or performing the advanced statistical analysis to provide effective action points for business to work on.

Average Salary – ₹ 6.2 LPA

  • Senior Data Scientists – They are the data scientists with years of experience and they handle all the data science projects of the company, providing their valuable insights. They are the ones that usually connect data with the success of a product or service. They are usually VPs and Heads.

Average Salary – ₹ 27 LPA

 

Also Read>> Top Data Science Interview Questions & Answers

 

Conclusion

 

Data scientists can be found working in some of the major domains, viz. healthcare, IT, e-commerce, manufacturing, and even government organisations. It is evident from this fact that the demand for qualified data science professionals has grown exponentially and most of the credit goes to big data. Some may say that AI (artificial intelligence) is going to topple the title of the ‘coolest job’ that data science is enjoying at the present. But I think AI is going to work in tandem with data science to make it stronger and more important instead of pushing it off the podium.

Thus, the choice is yours – learn data science and be a part of this wonderful field or lose out on the golden opportunity. Naukri Learning offers a lot of courses designed by experts in the industry aimed to give you the best training to become a well-qualified professional.

About the Author

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasib is a professional writer associated with learning.naukri.com. He has written a number of articles related to technology, marketing, and career on various blogs and websites. As an amateur career guru, he often imparts nuggets of knowledge related to leadership and motivation. He is also an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football.
Topics : IT and Telecom