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How to Become a Data Scientist? Here is the Strategy!

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: June 16, 2021

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: June 16, 2021

How To Become A Data Scientist copy

Data is everywhere. In fact, you’re reading this because of the power of data. You’re also reading this because you want to know how to become a data scientist. The field is witnessing immense growth, thanks to big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, but also because of all the companies who are benefitting from big data.

The path to becoming a data scientist varies from person to person because it doesn’t necessarily rely on having a degree in data science. In fact, it’s a relatively new and evolving field so educational institutions are just starting to offer this type of degree program. As such, we will share all there is to know about how to be a data scientist, so by the end of this post, you’ll know how you can achieve your dream of becoming one.

Source: Unsplash

Who is a Data Scientist?

A data scientist is a person who analyzes and gathers data with the intention to reach a conclusion or deeper understanding. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated per day, the need for data scientists is growing, especially within businesses. This is because businesses leverage data to make informed decisions. That being said, they often rely on the technical skills of data scientists to transform raw data into understandable visualizations.

Data scientists mix together knowledge of mathematics and computer science. In essence, data scientists find meaning in volumes of data. They do so by creating algorithms, spotting patterns, and organizing data to be able to use it.

Data scientists work across industries and help businesses to achieve their goals by providing insights from data.

How Can I Become a Data Scientist?

As a data scientist, you will be able to really help businesses perform at their highest potential. Data scientists can arrive at the field from a variety of backgrounds, such as math, computer science, and business. Some colleges are offering data science degree programs or certificate programs because of the growth of the field. Additionally, people who are interested in becoming data scientists can enroll in online boot camps or courses to develop skills and knowledge in the field.

If you want to work in this profession, then check out these steps to become a data scientist:

1. Earn Your Degree

Start by earning your degree. You will likely need at least a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions as a data scientist or related position. You can earn your degree in a field like a computer science, business administration, internet technology (IT), physics, applied math, or another related field. You have the option to do so in person or at an online university such as the University of the People. 

2. Hone Your Skills

You can start applying for jobs once you have your degree, but it’s always a good idea to boost your skills to set you apart from the competition. For example, you can enroll in a boot camp or take online courses to strengthen your abilities. Some skills to focus on include:

3. Apply and Gain Experience

You can apply for an entry-level job to gain some job experience. When you are performing your job search, some positions to look out for are:

  • Intelligence analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Data Engineer
  • Statistician

To help prepare for data scientist interviews, research the company that you are applying to work at. Know the job description well and try to understand what the interviewer is looking for in a candidate. Be honest about all the skills you have and what you wish to contribute to the organization. Also, be sure to have questions ready in advance to ask your prospective employer.

4. Enhance Your Education

If you’re looking to work in higher-level positions and make more money, then you will likely need to continue your education and earn your graduate degree. 

It may seem like you have to be really good with math and numbers to become a data scientist. While it’s certainly helpful, it’s more important to be comfortable working with computers and have strong communication skills. Once you run an analysis on any data, you’ll need to know how to share it with those who are not data scientists or analysts.

Data Scientist Salary and Job Growth

Since the role of a data scientist is very high-skilled and challenging, they tend to earn high salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists earn a mean annual wage of $108,660. 

Fortune Education reports that the number of job openings for data scientists is booming. Since 2016, the number of job openings has increased by 480%. 

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The Bottom Line

With knowledge of how to become a data scientist, it’s important to consider if this is the profession you wish to pursue. The position as a data scientist is challenging, but also rewarding. You’ll get to make a major difference in businesses and advise stakeholders as to how to proceed forward.

You’ll also be in high demand across industries because of the immense growth of data and the need to understand that data. Not only will you need to leverage your computer skills, but you’ll also need to have strong communication skills, analytical abilities, and problem-solving skills.

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.