Data Scientist – How do you become one?

I have been asked by many of my acquaintances, friends, and colleagues: How can I become a Data Scientist?

A few years ago, I wrote an article, where I talk about what kind of skills does a data scientist needs to have, but today I would like to pay more attention to how someone can become a data scientist.

Do I need a specific university degree to become a Data Scientist?

To become a data scientist, you don’t really need a specific university degree. As a matter of fact, you don’t need a university degree at all. Having one will definitely help you in getting hired faster in a company, but you don’t have to work only in a company to be a data scientist, nowadays freelancing is becoming more and more popular, especially among data scientist. Last time I checked, freelance sites don’t really ask you for a university degree.

You don’t need a fancy degree for data science as long as you have the passion for it.

In my opinion, knowledge is the most important. How you get the knowledge is not really important when you have to solve a problem. One of the best data scientists I know are self-taught without a university degree. The only had enormous passion for it.

I really want a university degree to become a data scientist, but I have a limited budget.

Ok, if you really insist, there is an option that I think its affordable and provides a good education from a good institution.

Looking for a master in data science, artificial intelligence and analytics I found Online Master of Science Computer Science. Looking at their program I think they have a really good curriculum to help you become respected data scientist with great skills for under 10.000 USD.

Why I opt for it? Because its online and you can keep your work while earning your degree.

 As a data scientist, do I need to know so much about math and statistics?

Not really. Knowing it will definitely help you. Especially when you want to understand certain analysis and methods. But not knowing the tiniest details or statistical methods, will not stop you from starting your data science career. You can always be curious and learn by doing it. At the end that is the best way to remember.

Where can I get the data scientist skills?

Many people told me that they are saving for the data science course, and most probably they will start it next year when they have the needed money for the data science academy.

Altho these numerous academies most probably will give you good starting knowledge to become a data scientist, you really don’t need to pay them thousands of euros or dollars.

There are really cheaper or free options. Udemy, Coursera and Data Camp very good ones that one can learn a lot from. I personally use 3 of them and I’m really happy with them.

W3 Schools is the first online learning website I know in my life. And it is still really good. I used it when I was learning SQL, HTML, and JavaScript. Nowadays I see they offer Python as well. Check it out.

Getting data science practice by working on projects

As I said, the best way to learn is by doing it.

Nowadays, there are countless options to find a data science project online and work on it, just to get the experience and most importantly, learn.

Learn data science techniques while competing with others

Kagle is a good way to learn and get competitive. By being part of the competition you will really get motivated to improve your technique and understand the technique you use as best as you can. On top of it the community there will help you learn new techniques.

Additionally, you can find plenty of others on many websites. Try a few of them:

11 Popular Data Science Projects For Aspiring Data Scientists

24 Ultimate Data Science Projects To Boost Your Knowledge and Skills (& can be accessed freely)

Data Science books

There are gazillion books for data scientist nowadays. Just go to Amazon and pick one.

One of my favorites are:

Data science for the Layman

Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)

Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight

I think you have enough information to become a data scientist.

Remember, the motivation is the key factor of becoming a data scientist.

Good luck!

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