How to Build a Career in Data Science

Today’s economy is leaning more toward analytics—companies have been collecting data for many years. According to LinkedIn, there is a massive demand for people who can mine and interpret data. These are the data scientists.

Who Is a Data Scientist?

Data scientists are a mix of mathematicians, trend-spotters, and computer scientists. The data scientist’s role is to decipher large volumes of data and carry out further analysis to find trends in the data and gain a deeper insight into what it all means. Data scientists operate between the business and IT worlds and drive industries by analyzing complex datasets to tease out insights that companies can leverage into actions.

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What Are Data Science Roles Out There?

To name a few, some of the most common job titles for data scientists include:

  1. Business Intelligence Analyst

    ABI analyst uses data to help figure out market and business trends by analyzing data to develop a clearer picture of where the company stands.
  2. Data Mining Engineer

    The data mining engineer examines not only the data for their own business but also that of third parties. In addition to analyzing data, a data mining engineer will create sophisticated algorithms to help analyze the data further.
  3. Data Architect

    Data architects work closely with users, system designers, and developers to create blueprints that data management systems use to centralize, integrate, maintain, and protect data sources.
  4. Data Scientist

    Data scientists begin by translating a business case into an analytics agenda, developing hypotheses, and understanding data—as well as exploring patterns to measure what impact they will have on businesses. They also find and choose algorithms to help further analyze data. They use business analytics to not only explain what effect the data is going to have on a company in the future but can also help devise solutions that will help the company to move forward.
  5. Senior Data Scientist

    A senior data scientist can anticipate what a business’s future needs will be. Apart from gathering data, they also analyze it thoroughly to resolve highly complex business problems efficiently. Through their experience, they can not only design but drive forward the creation of new standards, as well as create ways to use statistical data, and also develop tools to help further analyze the data.

What Skills Do I Need?

If you’ve been wondering how to start a career in data science, you’ll need hard skills like analysis, machine learning, statistics, Hadoop, etc., but you’ll also excel in this type of role if you excel at critical thinking, persuasive communications, and are a great listener and problem solver. You’ll also need data science training, of course; download our free eBook Top Programming Languages for a Data Scientist to learn more.

This is an industry where opportunities are plenty, so once you have the education and qualifications, the jobs are waiting for you—now and in the future.

Tools for Data Scientists

What’s the Job Market for Data Scientists Like?

With millions of worldwide job openings in Big Data, the role of a data scientist has become the hottest job of the decade. In today’s data-based world, companies are using the insights that data scientists provide to stay one step ahead of their competition while keeping overhead costs low. Big names like Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Booz Allen Hamilton, State Farm, Walmart, and more all regularly have job postings for data scientists.

According to Forbes, for most of 2016, there was an average of 2,900 unique job postings for data scientists each month. According to a McKinsey Global Institute study, it’s predicted that by 2018, there will be almost 200,000 open positions.

What’s the Career Outlook for a Data Scientist?

With the right qualifications, you’ll enjoy a bright career outlook as a data scientist. The demand for individuals with these skills will continue to increase, and those already in data science roles are sure to see their salaries increase in the future. As demand for skilled professionals to fill these positions increases, the salaries offered are also likely to increase—even those holding the lowest-paying data scientist jobs will still make a nice living: salaries range from $60,000 and up.

 Career Outlook for a Data Scientist

Median Salaries for Jobs Related to Data Science (Source:

What Are the Education Requirements?

The education requirements for data science roles are among the steepest in the IT industry—about 40% of these positions today require you to hold an advanced degree. There also are resources to learn data science online; for example, education providers like Simplilearn that also offer Data Science training online courses that are much more career-focused. These courses allow you to gain in-depth knowledge about the most modern skills and technologies that data scientists use, such as Tableau, Hadoop, R, SAS, Python, machine learning, and more.

About the Author

Avantika MonnappaAvantika Monnappa

A project management and digital marketing knowledge manager, Avantika’s area of interest is project design and analysis for digital marketing, data science, and analytics companies.

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