Thinking about pursuing a career in data science? This is something that many people have been considering in recent times because data scientists are in demand and are known to have a high level of career satisfaction. There are many perks to becoming a data scientist, including the ability to make a difference and work in a number of different industries (as well as make a lot of money). So, what do you need to study data science? There are many skills that will be required, and it is not just hard technical skills that are important. Keep reading to discover the main skills and attributes needed to study data science.
First, you will find that it is important to have strong coding skills. It is often a requirement that you are proficient in at least one programming language prior to starting a data science program, whether this is through a course or your own online learning. Currently, it is Python that is the most popular option, but there are a few others that are worth considering, including:
Big Data Management
Obviously, you will learn and develop the key skills for a career in data science in your course, but it is also helpful to have the basics of a few technical skills down as this will make it much easier to learn and improve. One of these is big data management, which is an essential part of data science. As a data scientist, you need to be able to organize large volumes of structured and unstructured data so that you can extract meaning from this data and gain a deeper insight into it, and this is possible through big data management.
It is also helpful to have a strong grasp of machine learning, which is playing an incredibly important role in data science as the technology improves. Machine learning can help you to solve challenging data science problems, speed up processes and improve decision making. There are a few areas that are worth familiarizing yourself with in machine learning, such as:
- Supervised machine learning
- Time series
- Natural language processing
- Outlier detection
- Recommendation engines
- Survival analysis
You will find it much easier to get to grips with data science if you have a strong understanding of mathematics. This is the basis of data science, with statistics, calculus, and probability theory being the key areas to focus on. It is a smart idea to brush up on these skills if you have any weaknesses, and this will put you in a good position to hit the ground running when you start your data science program.
You also will need a formal education in order to develop your abilities and take the first step toward your career. A masters in data science will be a great option as this will help to hone the data scientist skills that are most in-demand by employers. Generally, you will need an undergraduate degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or a similar field and to be proficient in one programming language to take a masters in data science. Additionally, you can usually find programs that can be taken entirely online, and this can make studying data science much easier for someone that has a busy schedule and other important commitments.
One of the most in-demand skills by employers of data scientists – but something often overlooked by students – is a strong knowledge of how businesses work. Having strong business acumen enables you to see the big picture, help organizations to achieve their goal, and look beyond the work that you are doing with data. Those that have a strong understanding of business along with the key data science skills can really make a big difference and will be much more likely to progress in their career and rise to leadership positions.
While a lot of the work that you will be doing will be independent (and often remote), you will find that you will still spend a lot of time communicating with others. This will include presenting your findings and working closely alongside those from a non-data background, which means that it is important that you are articulate and know how to help people to understand complex data. Along with strong communication skills, data storytelling is a highly effective way of doing this that can really make a big difference. As with any career path, strong communication skills will always be helpful in terms of securing a job, making a name for yourself, and building a large professional network.
Ability To Work As Part Of A Team
Leading on from this, you will find that you will also be working as part of a team. Data scientists can assist in practically all areas of the business, which means that you can work alongside everyone from company executives to software developers to marketing professionals. This is why the ability to work as part of a team is such a valuable skill that will help you to find success in your career.
Thirst For Knowledge
Finally, it is important that an aspiring data scientist has a thirst for knowledge and a commitment to improving. Data science is constantly changing and improving, which means that you need to be willing to make a continuous effort to learn and improve your abilities even after you have had formal education in data science. You will need to keep pace with all of the latest developments in the industry and be someone that is curious.
These are a few of the key skills and attributes that are needed in order to succeed in data science. Many people are looking to study data science and enter a career in this field, and this is for a good reason, but it is important to be aware of what it takes to succeed as it is not the easiest field of study.