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15 Must-Have Skills to Become a Data Scientist

Skills to Become a Data Scientist

Data Scientist Skills – Overview

Data science is a niche field that is steadily growing in popularity and demand. With India set to become the world’s analytics hub, many students are pursuing education and careers in data science. Even professionals from other streams are taking up data science to switch or boost their careers.

However, data science is a different subject compared to conventional education. Therefore, you need to have certain skills to do well in this subject. You may possess some of these skills naturally, but even if you don’t, you can work on them and develop yourself into an ideal candidate for data science.

The right skills can ensure that you thrive in your education and career, and take advantage of one of the fastest-growing industries in India.

Required Educational Qualifications to Become a Data Scientist

To become a data scientist, you need formal education in this subject. Right now, many students are opting for data science, but many government universities and institutes still don’t have good data science courses. This sphere is dominated by private institutes that have strong data science certificate, diploma, and degree courses. Once you finish your data science course at a reputed educational institute, you can pursue a career as a data scientist.

Important Skills Required for Data Scientists?

Data scientists are one of the most important and highest-paying progressions of the digital age. Not everyone can simply just decide to pursue this career. You need to have certain technical and soft skills. It is important to know about them before you decide to pursue data science.

Here are the required data scientist skillset of technical & soft skills:

A) Data Scientist Skills: Technical Skills

Data science will test your technical skills to the limit as this subject involves the use of a lot of technology.

Here are the top 15 technical skills required to become a data scientist:

1. Fundamentals

Fundamentals are the basics. So, if you want to become a data scientist, you need to know the fundamentals well. Apart from common terminologies, you need to have some working knowledge of Database Basics, Relational Algebra, Matrices & Linear Algebra Functions, Extract Transform Load, Hash Functions & Binary Tree.

You also need to know the difference between machine learning and deep learning, supervised and unsupervised learning, and data science, data engineering, and business analytics. These are all things you can learn on your own, so get learning now.

2. Programming Skills

You need to have programming skills to become a data scientist. From developing data models to creating analytical models, many functions in data science require programming, so knowing one or more programming languages is going to be important.

However, knowing just any programming language isn’t going to help. You need to know either Python, R, Java, or SQL if you want to do well in data science. You can also benefit from knowing about programming packages and libraries like TensorFlow.

3. Statistics & Math

Data science is not just about coding. If it was, any coder could have become a data scientist. Data science is about statistics and mathematics. Only if you understand them well, will you be able to use them correctly to develop data models with accurate assumptions. You can also derive accurate conclusions with statistical and mathematical knowledge.

If you have already studied these subjects and have good knowledge of them, you can consider becoming a data scientist.

4. Data Manipulation

Data manipulation is one of the key skills required to become a data scientist. You will need to organise, arrange, and change data to make it readable. This is important because the raw data received will not make sense. It needs to be manipulated.

Data scientists use data manipulation languages (DML). If you have the opportunity to learn these languages in advance, it will help you in your quest to become a data scientist.

 5. Data Analysis

The raw data, once processed and manipulated, needs to be analysed. This is one of the most important steps in the whole process. Without analysing the data, you will not be able to derive sense and meaning.

You have to spot patterns, discrepancies, and anomalies in unstructured data for which you need to have an analytical viewpoint. You also need to have the ability to go through vast amounts of data without missing important details.

6. Data Visualization

Data visualization is the ability to create a visual representation of the results. You should have skills to create accurate and easy-to-understand graphical representations like pie charts, bar graphs, and histograms.

These graphical representations are important if you want to have a career in data science. If you have had experience making them, you will have a much easier time using graphical tools like Datawrapper, Tableau, Kibana, and Google Charts.

7. Machine Learning & AI

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are important aspects of data science. Therefore, if you have skills pertaining to these two subjects, becoming a data scientist will be a lot easier.

If you have degrees or certifications in ML or AI, you can pursue data science. Even if you don’t, but have enough knowledge related to the subjects, you can still pursue data science as you will get an opportunity to learn about these subjects if you choose the right course.

8. Big Data

Another important aspect of data science is Big Data. Both data science and big data go hand-in-hand when it comes to creating data and reports that help businesses make informed decisions based on the findings.

Everything we do in the digital sphere generates torrents of data. Therefore, if you have professional qualifications in big data, you can choose to pursue data science and get an even better career. Big data is not just a buzzword, it is one of the most important aspects of the digital future.

9. Deep Learning

Deep learning is different from machine learning. Machine learning tends to have a few limitations, whereas, deep learning does not. Many even describe deep learning as the next level in machine learning.

If you know this subject, you will know the basics of neural networks that have been used to create deep learning models like Keras. You will also be able to understand Autoencoders, RBM, and recurrent and convolutional neural networks.

 10. Software Engineering

If you have had education in software engineering then you can really excel in data science. Data science involves software logging and the development of data-driven products. Your skills in software engineering will come in handy in all these tasks.

Many software engineers are also switching to data science careers after completing their education. They are enrolling in data science courses and doing well.

Data Scientist Skills: Soft Skills

To be a data scientist, you also need to have a few important soft skills that will ensure you excel in your education and career.

Here are the top 5 interpersonal skills required to become a data scientist:

1. Communication Skills

Communication is an important skill in the data science sphere. You need to have good communication skills to understand the data and findings and visualise the data in understandable ways so the viewers understand everything.

Data scientists also have to work with different people. They can be part of a team or have people reporting to them. They report directly to upper management. Therefore, you need to have excellent communication skills.

2. Business Acumen

What is one of the main uses of data science? To improve business and decision-making. Data science is used by many companies to get accurate insights into their business to spot problems and get predictions based on sound data.

Therefore, to be able to make a difference with analysis, data scientists need to have good business acumen. This will help you understand the business better which will help you make better data and predictive models. Sharp business acumen will take you far in the data science field.

3. Storytelling Skills

Now, you may wonder, why data science requires storytelling skills. This particular skill is the main differentiator between a data scientist and a data analyst. Data scientists never present their findings in a boring way. It is always presented as a story that gives due importance to the findings and helps others understand the data.

Storytelling also comes useful because it will help spot patterns, anomalies, and other important findings. So, if you have storytelling skills along with technical skills, you can consider becoming a data scientist.

4. Curiosity 

To be a successful data scientist, you need to have curiosity for knowledge. Data science is a field that is relatively new and is still evolving. Therefore, your curiosity will only make you better over time and help you learn more applications of this field.

Curiosity also helps you get more accurate with your data and findings. You have to constantly question your data and findings and double-check them. By questioning, you will also spot different patterns and relationships between variables, thus making your work more reliable.

5. Structured Thinking

Data scientists look at many problems. But just seeing one part of the problems is not enough. They have to see the different aspects involved in the problem, and the different effects that will be caused by the problem. This can only be seen through structured thinking.

Structured thinking can be a natural skill, but it can also be learned. This is such an important and great skill to have is that there are professional courses that teach students to enhance structured thinking. So, you can consider such courses to improve your chances at data science.

Is Data Science The Right Career For You?

Sure, everyone is talking about data science, but is it really the right career for you? You have to make a strong self-assessment of this rather than just following what is popular. So, if your skillset matches the skills stated above, you should go for this amazing career and data science is making a difference in many other fields. Choosing the right career is important, and if you can truly commit yourself to data science, you should go for it.

Closing Thoughts

Data science is an amazing field with a bright future. It is a field that will bring about changes and betterment in many other industries. Therefore, if you are truly interested in a great career, you should start working on your skills and select the right institute to pursue data science.

Ethan’s Tech is the best private training centre to pursue data science. All courses, including the data science course, have been developed under the guidance of IIT and IIM alumni. Ethan’s also has strong courses on various cloud platforms, AI, DevOps, eCommerce, and more. Get in touch today to enquire about the data science course!

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