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How To Become A Data Scientist: Degree and Career Guide

At some point, everyone would like to be called a scientist. This is a career that has a nice ring to it. But you don't need to focus on chemistry or physics to be a scientist. In fact, if you find interest in data and technology, you could pursue a career as a data scientist.

Data scientists study and collate large quantities of data, which usually means that they work at a data organization, or they employed by a large company to analyze and interpret the company's internal data.

To become a data scientist, you would first need to obtain your bachelor's degree, you would need to learn the skills of acquiring different programming languages, and gain industry experience, and then you can actively seek a role as a data scientist.

Let us take a closer look at this career path and see the steps you would need to take to become a data scientist.

What Is A Data Scientist?

A data scientist is a specialist in the field of analyzing, assessing, and interpreting data. They use their skills and their understanding of data to assess an organization's operations and find ways to best enhance and streamline the company's internal processes.

With a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and computer science they can assess existing data and take innovative approaches and understandings to enhance data analysis operations.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Data Scientist?

You would need to have a knowledge and understanding of statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualizations, and programming. You would need to know and understand how to manage unstructured data and you would need to have a keen approach to software engineering.

Additionally, to be a data scientist, you need to have soft skills as well, such as communication skills, and critical thinking skills, and you would need to have strong business acumen.

Steps To Become A Data Scientist

Step One: Earn Your Degree

The first step you would need to take is to obtain a bachelor's degree either in data science, statistics, or computer science. A prerequisite of most organizations seeking to hire data scientists is that they have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.

Step Two: Learn Relevant Programming Languages

Yes, computers, the data they use, and the programs that it takes to interact with them are a lot like learning a new language. To become a data scientist, you would need to acquire these programming languages.

These programming languages include Python, SAS, and SQL.

Step Three: Gain Skills

Having the relevant skills and knowledge is a necessity before pursuing this career path. Statistical skills, programming skills, as well as data engineering skills are a necessity to pursue this career.

Step Four: Gain Hands-On experience

Now that you have the skills, theoretical knowledge, and qualifications, you can then work toward garnering some hands-on experience that will propel you further in your career. You could pursue an internship while you are completing your degree program, or you could complete an internship after you have obtained your degree.

Additionally, you can obtain an entry-level role once you are qualified, and this will allow you the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and enhance your field-related experience.

Step Five: Obtain Appropriate Certifications And Seek Employment

Now that you have everything you need to be a data scientist, you can obtain skill-specific certifications that will allow you to apply your skills appropriately. Once you are certified, you can then begin seeking employment at organizations that are hiring data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers.

What Is The Salary And Job Outlook for Data Scientists?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), data scientists earn a median annual salary of $100,910. Employment for data scientists expects to see a projected 36% growth with about 13,500 jobs opening on average each year.

These openings are largely expected as a result of people leaving the workforce, either by changing career paths or because of people retiring.

This means that this is quite a lucrative career with great earning potential and substantial room to grow.

What Is The Work Environment Of A Data Scientist?

In most cases, data scientists will work in traditional full-time roles. This will usually mean that they will work in an office with several other colleagues as well. The reason they would need to work in an office setting is that they need access to the company's internal data. This data would need to be collected from several employee computers.


Is A Career As A Data Scientist Worth It?

When you consider the career prospects such as the job outlook and the earning potential, it is easy to see that a career as a data scientist is a great path to follow.

Is It Hard To Become A Data Scientist?

Being a data scientist is an intense career path to follow that requires you to use extensive intellect to approach raw data. As a data scientist, you need to make a sense of a lot of information that would seem irrelevant to someone who doesn't understand it.

Being a data scientist is by no means easy, but if it is the right career path for you and you are passionate about being a data scientist, you will find great satisfaction and constructive challenges that come with this career.


If you find yourself eagerly approaching data and finding immense joy in analyzing and assessing raw data, sorting and collating it, and deriving conclusions from this data that will impact an organization's success, then perhaps this is the best career path for you.

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