Everything you need to know to become a data scientist

Data science guides the decision-making process for companies in various industries. The job of a data scientist is to take large, complex sets of information and process it in a way that makes sense to decision makers within a business, organization, or entity.

In our data-driven world, the job of a data scientist is arguably more important than ever. That’s all you need to know to become a data scientist.

What does a data scientist do?

Although they work in conjunction with other data professionals such as data analysts and software engineers, data scientists are responsible for processing large amounts of data at a technical level. These professionals use a combination of computer systems, statistics and scientific methods to organize data, transform it into usable information, and draw conclusions from that information based on emerging patterns and trends.

Put simply, data scientists answer questions by using computer data or code to create and develop predictive models of different outcomes. The answers to these questions are then used to make decisions, create processes, or inform others.

Much of a data scientist’s job is to create machine learning models that will bring business to a particular industry. “The opportunities for machine learning in any industry are endless,” Yochay Ettun, CEO of cnvrg.io, told Ladders in a 2019 interview. Ettun cited examples of developing fraud protection for banks, crop yield forecasts for farm businesses, and disease identification in health care.

“The data science workflow for building these machine learning applications often begins with understanding a business problem, understanding and preparing the data, training and experimenting with models, evaluation and possibly deployment of the model in production, ”Ettun explained.

People with a knack for numbers, digital organization, and pattern research are often successful as data scientists. Data scientists spend much of their workday immersing themselves in research, thinking critically to solve problems, and making recommendations based on their analysis of the data.

How do you become a data scientist?

Most data scientists start their careers with a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics, computer science, information technology, or data science. For those who choose to earn an undergraduate degree in a field other than data science, online courses may be required to acquire the specific skills needed to earn a postgraduate degree in data science.

Most data science careers will require job seekers to have at least a master’s degree. Throughout graduate studies, data scientists will continue to learn and master different programming languages, database architectures, and other high-level data organization and analysis skills necessary for professional success. .

Data scientists may be required to complete internships to learn the ropes of the industry and network of their choice while earning their postgraduate degrees. Additionally, some choose to take specialized courses related to the industry in which they wish to work, such as biotechnology, physics or business.

What skills do you need to become a data scientist?

Data scientists use a combination of business knowledge, programming skills, and statistical analysis to do their jobs. During their training, they typically acquire the specific technical skills needed to organize and analyze data, such as coding and programming skills, machine learning skills, data visualization, and big data platforms.

On a daily basis, data scientists must use analytical, logical and reasoning skills to carry out their work. They are often detail-oriented people who enjoy problem solving, critical thinking, math, and statistics.

Communication skills are also necessary for data scientists, as they must be able to explain their findings to others. While much of their work is done solo, data scientists must have the ability to collaborate with other team members, such as analysts and engineers, who can help them in their work.

What is the average salary of a data scientist?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a data scientist was $ 103,930 in 2020. However, depending on where a data scientist chooses to live and the industry in which they work, they may earn a lot more. For example, data scientists who work in the manufacture of computers and peripheral equipment earn an average of $ 144,090 per year.

Data scientists working in California, New York, Washington, North Carolina or New Jersey earned the highest salaries in 2020, according to BLS 2020 data, with California data scientists earning the most, with $ 129,060 per year.

What is the typical career path for a data scientist?

Data scientists can work in any industry. Whether it is government entities, hospitals, retailers, farmers, manufacturing industries, etc., data scientists are in demand to help optimize productivity and grow businesses.

Entry-level data science jobs, such as a junior data scientist or junior data analyst, typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in data science or a related field like information technology. Some data scientists choose to take an entry-level position while earning a master’s degree to help them build their skills and prepare them for their career in data science after graduation.

However, it is possible to enter the labor market after obtaining a Master in Data Science without first having a first professional experience. Job availability will vary across industries for data scientists, but the more experience, related training, specific programming and industry knowledge, and success a candidate has, the more likely they are to be hired. and promoted to higher level positions.

Where to find data scientist jobs?

The BLS predicts that the computer science and computer research job market – of which data scientists are included – will grow at a rate of 15% over the next decade. That’s almost four times faster than the average for all professions and great news for those looking to break into this growing field.

Check out current job openings for Data Scientists on Ladders now.

Sean N. Ayres