How do you build a career in data science?

One of the best-paying careers with high demand in the modern world is within the industry of data science. You need to have the right aptitude, knowledge and skillset if you want to embark on a career as a data scientist though.

Data Science does require a great deal of study and education, but in the end the prospects for job growth in this industry is high. If you are looking for a job in the technology field, then consider data science.

The following guide can serve as a quick introduction to this emerging field, including what a data scientist actually does, what jobs are available in the field, what the required qualifications are and how you can build a career in data science. You can also discover the many jobs that fall under the banner of data science, some taking longer than others to train for and obtain a degree.  Discover the possibilities by learning more below.

What is a data scientist?

Data scientists work in the business and IT industry. They analyze complex data so that companies can leverage the information to their advantage. It is the data scientist’s job to decipher large amounts of data, perform analysis on the data and find trends so many companies can prosper. Basically, data scientists are a cross between computer scientists, trend-spotters and mathematicians.

There are four main areas that data scientists deal with. These are:

  • Software programming and computer science.
  • Business domains.
  • Probability and statistics.
  • Communication.

By using skills in these areas of expertise, data scientists use programming languages, software packages, statistical techniques, data infrastructure and more to help a company in many facets of its business.

What jobs are there in data science?

“Data scientist” can be a broad term for various data science jobs, so if you are interested in working in this industry, there are many specific roles available. Here are just some of the different data science positions out there:

  • Data Mining Engineer. A data mining engineer creates highly sophisticated algorithms, which help to analyze the data in a more complex way, therefore yielding more specific and helpful results.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst. This role involves figuring out market trends and analyzing data.
  • Data Architect. Data architects create blueprints in order for data sources to become integrated, centralized, protected and maintained.
  • Senior Data Scientist. A senior data scientist thoroughly analyzes the data in order to efficiently solve complex problems within a business. Most of all, a senior data scientist anticipates the future needs of a business.

What skills and qualifications do you need for a career in data science?

To become a data scientist, you have to be exceptional in persuasive communication and critical thinking. You need to be a great problem solver and listener as well. On the practical side, you have to learn things like machine learning, analysis techniques and statistics.

The education requirements for data science are actually some of the highest within the IT industry. In fact, approximately 40 percent of data science jobs require you to have an advanced degree. There are online courses for self-study you can take. These tend be career-focused and they allow you to learn the complex technologies and skills used in data science.

One thing is for sure, you cannot just walk into a data science career without having first learned a variety of skills and gained a great amount of knowledge. Therefore, gaining a proper qualification under your belt can be the best way to build a career in data science. There are lots of specific master’s degrees in data science you can choose to study at universities.

Other certifications are also available through universities, colleges and other organizations. If you are looking for a quicker way of learning the skills required for a career in data science, there are many boot camps that offer courses of study too. These can range from a few days to a few months, but these crash courses cannot teach you everything you would learn from studying for a few years for a master’s degree.

How do you get a job in data science?

Many graduates leave school with a degree that offers little in the way of obtaining employment. However, there is a huge demand for data scientists, so it could be easier to start a career in this sector than another business IT area. Therefore, you may be able to find a job as a junior data scientist quite easily if you have the relevant expertise. You could also do an internship for a year in order to gain hands-on experience in the field. It would help you get a foot in the door and develop more skills, so you could receive a job offer at the end of your placement.

With there being high demand for data scientists, there is room to move up the ranks of the industry quite quickly. As long as you continue to develop your skills and knowledge, there is no reason you could not move swiftly from a junior data scientist to a fully-fledged data scientist, and it might not be too long after that when you can become a senior data scientist. There are positions higher than a senior data scientist too, such as head of data science and lead data scientist.

The time is most definitely right to enter a career in data science, so if you think you have what it takes, get studying and get a job. There are millions of job openings in this industry around the world at present, and the industry is showing no sign of slowing down. With the advent of the internet, the world quickly became data-based, which can only continue to grow. High-demand jobs also mean more money, so even the lowest-paying jobs in data science can be very nice salaries. At the bottom, data scientists can earn around $60,000 per year. At the top end, data scientists can earn $240,000 per year, if not more. There have even been unconfirmed reports that some data scientists earn millions each year.

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