In recent years, big data has been topping the trends in the technology landscape and today, data scientists are experiencing a very high demand. As big data has started to integrate into businesses, these data science masters have come to the forefront of the tech domain. You may wonder what these people actually do because of which organizations pay them an enviably fat pay packet. These data science masters hold the ability to gather huge amounts of data and analyze that to derive actionable insights for organizations they work in. On any given day, such a professional is a statistician, a mathematician, a programmer, and an analyst.
If you want to get into this attractive position, you’ve to be equipped with a wide-ranging and diverse skillset, and have the ability of balancing knowledge in various programming languages together with possessing advanced expertise in data visualization and mining.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some simple yet extremely useful steps that would help you get a competitive edge as a data scientist.
Before diving deeper, it’s important to understand that the data science revolution has just begun. It’s unclear whether the job of data scientist will continue to be the century’s sexiest job, or will indicate a set of skills that most working professionals are required to have, or will become more specialized with time. But one thing is for sure — these data science masters have the ability to transform all sectors — from health and agriculture to tech and retail, and almost every industry in-between. So, these professionals will continue to remain in high demand. And this is the best time to step into this rewarding field.
If you still aren’t convinced enough why you should study data science, have a look at these.
1.1- Data is transforming the world
Data has gained immense popularity because of its unbelievable potential. Data science enables entirely new generations of technological solutions.
And it’s not only in AI and machine learning, where data analyses enable great changes, but in other areas too where new developments are being driven by advanced statistics.
For example, predictive analytics together with data on user behavior are helping businesses improve the UI (user interfaces) of their products, or detailed performance analyses that are helping businesses track the ROI of their marketing campaigns, just to name a few. In short, data has become the backbone of digital economy, which makes the demand of data science masters extremely high.
1.2- You’ll have incredible job prospects
In reality, employers don’t find enough of these data science masters to fill their openings. With potential employers fighting over these professionals, this is the ideal time to pursue data science so that you’ll be in a position to demand more attractive salary within a couple of years from now. If you can earn a postgraduate degree i.e. a Master’s in data science, you’ll be able to double your job options in this field.
1.3- You’ll have different career options
We’ve already discussed that data is extremely crucial to almost every organization today and almost at all levels. It’s not only the big software or IT companies that need data science masters. These professionals are needed in finance, automotive, retail, healthcare, transport, energy, and virtually almost every industry you can think of. As data helps to drive decisions, these data science masters are getting directly involved in crucial decision making processes. Once you’ve gained a solid expertise of how to “crunch the numbers”, you can become a valuable team member with any of the common job titles that include data scientist, data engineer, data architect, big data engineer, BI (Business Intelligence) architect, data visualization specialist, and many more.
Perhaps the above reasons have convinced you about becoming one of those data science masters.
However, before you start your journey to become a data scientist, it’s important to understand that there’re a significant number of universities and schools that offer a diverse range of courses related to data science to address the increasing market demand.
As a result, you may find a lot of people, who possess adequate knowledge relevant to the field. So, if you want to break through now, you’ve to have a competitive edge. Let’s have a look at the major steps you’ll need to achieve this goal.
2.1- Become proficient in working with big data
Data scientists need to handle a huge volume of both non-segregated and segregated data on which computations often become difficult. Most data science masters use big data software such as Spark, Hadoop etc to achieve distributed processing. You should focus on mastering these software by taking courses on them.
2.2- Become a master in data visualization, munging etc
Data visualization is a crucial set of skills on which data scientists rely heavily when it comes to facilitating administrative and managerial decisions using data analysis.
Data munging, which is an equally important skill, refers to the process of converting raw data into a form that’s easy to consume.
2.3- Become a master in coding
Put simply, it isn’t possible to become a good data scientist until you’ve got a solid understanding of the language through which data communicates.
A chunk of usable data may be waiting for its analysis but you cannot do anything if you don’t know the script. Remember that a good coder may not be a good data scientist, but a good data scientist is always a good coder.
2.4- Obtain a solid knowledge of databases
Virtually, a huge amount of data is being generated every minute and a majority of businesses today employ database management software like Cassandra or MySQL to store and analyze data. Good knowledge of the working methods of a database management system will surely help you in your effort to become one of those data science masters.
2.5- Maintain the right balance
As an aspiring data scientist, you’d need to develop skills in statistics, mathematics, and machine learning, among others.
The key to success is maintaining the right balance among these.
2.6- Become a great communicator
Great communication skills can help you rise above the competition. More often than not, data scientists find themselves explaining the findings of their data analysis to people who’re the decision makers. And data scientists, who’ve the ability to communicate effectively, often find themselves in a better position when it comes to dealing with unforeseen situations. In addition, as a data science master, you’ll have to work with teams. So, it would help to develop the intuition needed for making decisions and analyzing data by following the workings of your peers closely.
2.7- Develop robust business acumen
In today’s competitive landscape, the hands-on component is crucial when it comes to securing great jobs. To secure an enviable job, you’ve to demonstrate how you can bring value to an organization through your expertise. A solid understanding of the industry you’re planning to work in becomes extremely crucial when it comes to problem solving.
2.8- Create a great portfolio
Once you’ve become one of the data science masters, you should focus on gaining experience.
Experience is a critical component that can help you stand out of the pack. As a beginner, you should try to do some projects. And once you’ve gained a moderate level of experience, picking a specific area and specializing in that is always recommended.
2.9- Never stop learning
Once you’ve become a part of the league of data science masters, you shouldn’t put an end to your learning. You can follow websites that are great training grounds for data scientists as they keep on trying to find members and compete against each other to hone their skills and demonstrate their intuitive approaches. With the emergence of such credible websites in the industry, these competitions are quickly becoming a stage to demonstrate to your potential employers how innovatively your mind works.
Another key thing you should keep in mind is that the skills, which are necessary to become a data scientist today, may not be the same tomorrow and are likely to change within a short period.
As we’re experiencing fast developments in both the commercial data science tools and in the ecosystem of tools that are used to work in the field of data science, we’re also experiencing increasing automation in several aspects of data science like data preparation and data cleansing. So, it can be said that apart from technical skills, the ability to learn and communicate well to address critical business questions, and explain complex findings to non-technical people would help you go that extra mile in your career. New technologies may come and go, but domain-specific, quantitative skills, and critical thinking will always remain in demand.
Regardless of whether you’ve just become a data science master or you’ve a couple of years of experience under your belt, you’ve to keep yourself up-to-date with the occurrences in the field of data science and different types of job openings being offered in the field.
Try to follow the above steps to fulfill your ambitions of becoming a good data scientist and to steer your way through increasing competition, and toward excellence.