Should I Become A Data Scientist Or Not

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Written By: Muhammad Shahzeb ( Researcher, Full Stack Developer )
We’ll look into how to become a data scientist and what makes a data scientist successful in 2020!

Become A Data Scientist

First things first – what is a data scientist?

Well, the term was first used by DJ Patil and Jeff Hammer in 2008.Around the same time that the words swag and chain latte made it to the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s safe to say that while these two are fairly easy to define, data science is a little bit harder to understand. Essentially, the field deals primarily with data, no joke.

Data Scientist acquires data which may be either in small or big size then use different data science techniques for developing and implementing algorithms of machine learning. Data scientists use statistical methods to predict analysis and extract valuable insight from the data.

Often the data scientist will also dabble in deep learning making use of the latest tech developments such as neural networks etc.

Obviously, all of these need a fairly mathematically thinking style and different programming skills.

But is this all?

What about their education, work history, formal qualifications, and of course, which industries hire data scientists in 2020 and pay them a base salary of $117,000?


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Let’s reverse-engineer the data scientist and find out! If you want to find what makes a data scientist – think like one.

The data science domain is still firmly influenced by men (70%). They can proudly shift into advanced academic degrees (75% hold either Ph.D. or a Master’s) and practice of programming more than “Hello World” program in R or Python (74%), or in both.

you might be wondering, does data scientist imply Doctor of Philosophy?

And a simple answer is that. Same as the data science field is not invulnerable by women, the same as having a Ph.D. degree, not a necessity for becoming a data scientist. in reality, less than a fourth of the data scientists in the cohort hold a Ph.D. degree (38%), and (56%) hold a master’s degree.

In fact, we can speculate that in the future the requirement for a Master’s degree in data science will falling down because a bachelor degree in data science will more be penetrating in this field and already increase 6 percent as compared to the previous year.

Actually, unless you’re coming straight from academia, having a master’s or Ph.D. is not necessary. Especially when you come from an information technology background (10%) or doing some kind of related internship (9%)

What’s interesting

Though there are a lot of other gateways to a job as a data scientist. For example:

  1. Academic researchers (9%)
  2. Data analysts (13%)
  3. Consultants (6%)
  4. Economics and social sciences (21%)
  5. Through natural sciences (11%)
  6. Statistics and mathematics (16%)
  7. Computer science (22%)
  8. Engineering (9%)
  9. Data science and analysis (12%)

All have pretty respectable chances of being data scientists in 2020.

Actually, university ranking will not impact your chance of whether you become a data scientist or not in 2020.

In fact, it is seen that most data scientists came from the top fifty universities with 34 percent according to Time higher education.

However, one thing is common that half of the data scientists gained at least one online course certification.

And it checks out – some of the best online programs out there are dedicated to helping you master various programming and data handling skills, which, after all, is the bread and butter of the data scientist. But we still haven’t talked about that, have we? Alright.

So, Python (54%) is leading the pack when it comes to programming skills the 2020 data scientist needs. That is universal all around the world (45%) comes second but in the UK it’s lagging in popularity. SQL (36%) and MATLAB (19%) also prove to be widely considered handy. So you might want to invest some time brushing up on these too if you’re considering joining the data science race this year.

Become A Data Scientist

And in which industry should you expect to be spending your glory days as a data scientist?

This was easier to answer last year. Because the data was heavily pointing to the Tech industry as the titan hiring the most data scientists 2019.

Become A Data Scientist

However, is introducing a lot more diversity as is the trend with a lot of other things. That said, the Tech/IT industry (43%) is still a major employer but the industrial sector is rapidly catching up (39%). What’s even more interesting is that in the UK more scientists work there (38%), instead of in Tech/IT (35%). The financial sector is claiming 16% of the data scientists worldwide, with the UK again leading the pack (24%).

But perhaps the most important question we can answer here is which area tend to lead to the fastest career progression? Based on my research. Asia and the UK are the two locations where a data scientist can thrive even with little to no experience.

The States are the least accommodating to new data science enthusiasts and prefer professionals with 3 to 5 years of experience.

I hope this writing will not make some doubt for you that you can become a data scientist and pursue your career in this field. The conclusion is if you are willing to do something you can be a data scientist.

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