How to Become a Data Scientist?

About Data Scientist 

Data scientists collect, analyze, and model data. Part computer scientist and part mathematician, these professionals provide businesses with big data that can help to improve processes, understand customer needs, and grow companies. Data scientists solve problems, answer complex questions, and work on the cutting edge of technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Education and Experience Necessary

To get a job as a data scientist, you’ll typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, or a similar field. For most high-level jobs, you’ll also need a master’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or statistics. That means you’ll need a total of about seven years of postsecondary education, during which you’ll learn how to collect and analyze data as well as how to write data modeling programs.

Most data scientists need to be fluent in several computer programming languages to do their jobs effectively. Python, R, and SQL are some of the most essential languages for data scientists, but it’s also helpful to have skills in Hadoop, Java, SAS, Spark, and other languages that are pertinent to your field.

The most successful data scientists also have several key skills. To make sense of large quantities of data, you’ll need excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. To identify patterns, find incongruities, and spot trends in complex datasets, you’ll need strong attention to detail and logic skills. To make the most of new technology and solve ever-increasing problems, you’ll need a great sense of ingenuity and innovation.

Average Salary

A data scientist has been touted as one of the hottest new jobs, and both the high salaries and prospective job growth reflect this designation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for data scientists is just under $112,000. Professionals on the high end of the spectrum earn over $170,000 per year, while those on the low end of the pay scale typically earn less than $65,000 per year.

The industry one works in generally has a significant effect on earning potential for data scientists. Those who work for software publishers or in engineering and life sciences tend to earn the most. Data scientists who work for the federal government, colleges, and professional schools tend to earn the least.

With the projected job market growth of 19 percent over the next decade, this is one of the fastest-growing occupations. Thanks to the increasing need for data analysis in virtually every field, ambitious data scientists are bound to find many new job opportunities in the coming years.

Typical Duties and Tasks

As a data scientist, you’ll be responsible for harvesting large amounts of data and using programs, models, and tools to make it usable. You might use the data to answer pressing questions, understand user trends, or guide your company’s strategy. To do your job well, you’ll also apply the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to get even more out of the data.

In this role, you’ll be a key player on an interdisciplinary team. You’ll need to use your communication skills to interact with fellow information technology (IT) colleagues as well as collaborate with business-focused co-workers. Together, you’ll use data to help the company develop products and services, address potentially damaging issues, meet objectives, and get ahead of the competition.

Advancement Opportunities

Data science is still a relatively new field, so you might not find a standard career path to follow. That isn’t necessarily bad news, though. With relevant skills and experience under your belt, you could have the chance to map out your own opportunities for advancement.

For instance, you might choose to put your experience with data and knowledge of systems to work as a computer and information systems manager. Also known as IT managers, these professionals coordinate IT activities and purchases for a company and develop related strategies. You may need some business experience or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to excel in this type of position, which has an average salary of $136,000 per year.

You could also take on an executive-level position as a chief information officer (CIO) or a chief technology officer (CTO). Both of these executive positions require business savvy, high-level technology knowledge, and the ability to implement effective strategies. If you’re interested in using data and technology to guide a company’s growth, this could be a rewarding career path for you.

Does a data scientist position sound like it offers the ideal mix of math, computer science, and cutting-edge technology for you? Get the financial aid you need and start exploring this exciting career path.