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Data Science: What It is and How to Pursue It

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Jan 29, 2020 | Data Science

Welcome to 2020, where it’s no longer a question of whether data science will become the career of the future because it already has. Technology has created a need for data scientists that many schools are having trouble keeping up with. As demand for data scientists continues to rise, so do the salaries of data scientists. According to Equities.com, over the last year alone, data scientist openings have risen nearly 60%. S if you’ve chosen data science as a career, you may be well on your way to entering one of the most lucrative fields in the United States. Why? Because companies are struggling to manage their data. The endless amount of data that companies are now able to gather on their customer base is useless if they don’t know how to organize or analyze it. That’s where Data Science comes in.

What is Data Science?

DJ Patil, the first chief data scientist in the United States, has said, “A data scientist is that unique blend of skills that can both unlock the insights of data and tell a fantastic story via the data.” Patil also said that “the dominant trait among data scientists is an intense curiosity—a desire to go beneath the surface of a problem, find the questions at its heart, and distill them into a very clear set of hypotheses that can be tested.”

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What Skills Do I Need to Become a Data Scientist?

Data science requires a number of hard skills, such as mathematics and statistics, as well as soft skills, like solid communications and problem-solving abilities. Below is a list of hard and soft skills that are needed to become a data scientist.

1. Programming

To begin your career in data science, you must have the knowledge of programming languages, such as Python, Perl, SQL, and Java. Python is the most common coding language required in data science roles.

2. Statistical Analysis

You need to understand statistics in order to interpret and interact with data. Statistical analysis allows you to extract insights, perceive patterns, and make important conclusions that will help your company connect the dots regarding the data in question.

3. Strong Communication Skills

It’s not only important for a data scientist to be able to understand the data. In order to be useful in your role, you also need to be able to communicate your findings with someone who is in a non-technical position.

4. Business Acumen

This goes hand in hand with having strong communication skills. In order for a data scientist to be successful, they need to have a strong understanding of general business knowledge. The ability to ask the right questions, come up with useful solutions and communicate to your company how and why your solution will be valuable is crucial.

How to Start a Career in Data Science

Becoming a data scientist is difficult, and in the past, it was usually understood that a person would need an advanced degree to break into the data science field. However, with the demand for data scientists far outweighing the supply, companies often hire people without advanced degrees, or even without any degrees at all. Data science requires a new set of software tools and skills. It is a combination of advanced data analysis, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving.
If you’re interested in becoming a data scientist but don’t have an advanced degree, consider taking a Data Science Certificate Program at Digital Workshop Center. Our certificate program will teach you all of the skills you need to begin applying for your dream job. Our Data Science Certificate program includes one-on-one mentoring throughout your classroom training, as well as one month of support after the end of each class, and one year for a free retake of the same class. Programs at DWC also include a capstone project option for additional one-on-one portfolio-building opportunities. Whenever you’re ready to speak to an advisor, contact us!
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