What is the typical data science career path?

There is not necessarily one typical data science career path. Luckily, there are multiple opportunities for someone that wants to become a data scientist.

Being that data science is a new career and is continuously growing, there will likely be more options in the industry in the future.

However, here are some of the typical opportunities that face students studying data science.

The Data Career Path

If what you’re genuinely interested in is becoming a leader in data, the Data career path will be the one for you. 

Most people who take this path are interested in becoming data leaders or working as an individual contributor to the data build within an organization. 

If you’re a data leader, you’ll likely be more of a people person. You’re someone who wants to help build the careers of others and mentor them to success. 

If you’d rather work through problems as an individual and not manage people, there’s also the option to become a contributor. 

To move up through this particular career path, you’ll need to have a wide range of knowledge in data science datasets and techniques. 

The Product Career Path

There’s also the chance that you take the Product Management career path as a data scientist. Many data scientist majors get into an organization and realize they have a knack for product development.

Product management and data scientists have a lot in common. For instance, you look at things from technical aspects and identify potential issues. You have to use quantitative knowledge to make decisions and understand what it takes to successfully fulfill product builds. 

While knowing data is just as necessary here, you also need to envision and understand product workflows and have excellent communication skills. Not to mention an understanding of fundamental design principles. 

The Engineering Career Path

Another path for data scientists is engineering. Since you’re already learning a large amount of technical computer science and software engineering, it seems a natural place to go.

For instance, data scientists tend to transition to roles like Machine Learning Engineer and Data Engineer. 

If you decide engineering is of interest to you, there are a few other areas you’ll want to focus on. Consider learning more about code quality, system design, and of course, data architecture. 

While this is a typical path for many data scientists, it also takes a few extra skills to become a master in the engineering field. 

The Business Career Path

For the more business-minded of data scientists, there’s the business career path. These are people who like to advise and help operate an organization at a high level. 

Of course, this will be highly dependent on the industry you work in, but data scientists get into the business side of CRM development and digital analytics in many cases. 

Like the above career paths, it takes a little extra knowledge to move up in business. For instance, you want to be armed with the ability to expose potential problems that face an organization and have experience with project management at a high level. 

Again, enjoying working with people is vital in this role, as you’ll be collaborating with individuals at an executive level. 

As you can see, there are several different opportunities someone that studies data science can take. Whether you like to be deep in the data or prefer to organize projects, there’s an option for you. Good luck!