When you’re browsing through coding bootcamps, you may notice there’s quite a few courses and subject areas to choose from. One common subject area many of these bootcamps offer is data science. You may be wondering what data science entails, how you become a data scientist, and whether or not this is the right career path for you. In this Career Karma article, we will shed some light on this career path and help you decide if it’s the direction you want to take.
What is a Data Scientist?
Data scientists have a varied and complex job. Their primary duties involve analyzing and interpreting digital data. Of course, this isn’t as simple as it sounds. This data can be highly complex and often requires the use of algorithms, different scientific methods, complicated systems and more in order to come up with actionable decisions based on the data they’ve compiled.
Typically, they’ll take a large amount of unstructured data and spin it into an easier format that others can understand. Data scientists use their skills for analyzing and interpreting data to help businesses make decisions that improve their bottom line.
Data Science vs. Data Statistics
When people hear about data science, it’s common to get it mixed up with data statistics. This is an understandable mistake, as these two are intrinsically tied to each other. However, there are some subtle differences. Data statistics is primarily focused on the different means to collect data, where data science is more closely linked with interpreting said data, recognizing patterns, and coming to conclusions that will lead to a business decision. Data science is much more focused on big data (large, complicated data sets) and extracting useful information from it. Data scientists do this by creating intelligent algorithms and programs.
With all that being said, data science doesn’t exist without statistics, so they’re still extremely important to data science as a whole!
Is Data Science Right for Me?
Now that we know a little more about what data science is, the next obvious question is: will this career path be right for you? This is a question that only you can answer in the end, but here are some common traits and interests that a data scientist might have:
You Enjoy Working With Numbers – Data science is certainly a number-heavy field. Before asking yourself if data science is right for you, consider how much you like working with numbers, mathematics, and statistics. Of course, if you’ve read this far into the article, you’re probably interested in the mathematical side of things, so we can move on to the next point.
You Enjoy Carefully Analyzing Situations – Data science is based on hard statistics and logical thinking. You have to analyze large data sets to make rational business decisions. If you typically trust your brain and statistics instead of your gut and instinct when it comes to making decisions, you’re likely to enjoy data science.
You Enjoy Coding – Coding is intrinsically linked with data science. As a data scientist, you will need to code extensively. If you enjoy coding already or coding is something that has piqued your interest in the past, then data science may be a great choice for you.
You Enjoy Compiling Data Reports and Communicating Them – As a data scientist, one of your primary jobs will be to interpret large data sets. From these interpretations, you’ll need to create easily digestible reports that allow you to present your findings to coworkers and superiors who aren’t data scientists. You need to be able to clearly show them why a decision should be made based on your data findings, and it needs to be shown in a way that they can easily understand.
You Enjoy Learning – Data science hasn’t been around for very long when compared to other careers, but it’s changed immensely since its conception. That means you constantly need to be willing to learn and adapt to the newest trends in data science. This willingness, even eagerness, to learn will serve you well throughout your data science career. Chances are, if you’re looking into a data science bootcamp, you love learning new things!
All of these traits are the perfect combination for a future data scientist, but it’s not an exhaustive list of what matters. Anyone is capable of learning and furthering their skill set, so if this combination of traits doesn’t sound like you, it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t enjoy data science. You can always take some preemptive courses to see if it’s truly something you would enjoy. One thing that is for certain, if you want to be a successful data scientist, is that you must have drive, determination, and a curiosity for learning and bettering your knowledge. With these tools, you can succeed in the data science field.
Steps to Become a Data Scientist
Since data science is such a highly skilled position, the road to get there isn’t necessarily an easy one. If you’re wanting to become a data scientist, you may be curious about the path you’ll be taking. A typical path to data science might look something like this:
Before College – Before going away to college, it doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge in the field. Being familiar with programming languages, such as Python, Java, and R, can make some of your first undergraduate classes much less intimidating. By having some sort of framework, you can have a better idea of what you’re getting into and you’ll be less likely to give up and change your major.
College – Next, you’ll start earning your degree in data science or a closely related field. During your college years, it helps if you can get some sort of internship to get some more knowledge and experience under your belt. Be sure to speak to anyone who could be a connection in the future, including your professors and your classmates.
Your First Job – When you graduate, it’s time to look for your first entry-level job in data science. Hopefully your connections and internships will make getting a job easier at this point. If you’re lucky, you may get a job that helps you pay for your Master’s degree or even a PhD. If not, you can always go for these degrees on your own time and money. They certainly help if you want to get a higher paying job.
Eventually, your career will progress as you learn more and gain more responsibility. Of course, what we just outlined is the traditional means of getting a job in data science. With the dawn of data science bootcamps, there is a much quicker path you can go down, as long as you’re accepting of the fact that the path can be quite arduous due to the fact you’re expediting years of learning.
Data Scientist Education Requirements
Most data science jobs will want you to have at least your undergraduate degree. Many of them would also highly value furthering your education with a Master’s degree or a PhD. In short, the higher your education level, the more likely you are to get hired and get a high-paying job in the field of data science.
About Data Science Bootcamps
As you might be able to tell by now, data science is by no means a simple field to get into. However, if you have the work ethic and dedication, you can break into this field and have a successful career. You may be disheartened by the fact that having a Master’s or PhD seems so important to succeeding in data science, but data science bootcamps allow for the possibility of success without graduate programs.
Data science bootcamps are very intensive and require a huge amount of focus and drive if you want it to be worthwhile. If that’s something you think you can handle, then a data science bootcamp might be the right choice for you. But, how do you choose which coding bootcamp you want to attend?
How to Choose a Data Science Bootcamp
As with any type of coding bootcamp, there are a variety of different options available. There are data science bootcamps that are online and in-person, bootcamps that offer career placement and those that don’t, and bootcamps that are self-paced, full-time, or part-time.
Some bootcamps have higher tuition than others, some you don’t have to pay tuition until you get a job, and many have some kind of career placement program. Some boot camps also have prerequisites, so that’s something to keep in mind when browsing.
Choosing which bootcamp is right for you depends on a variety of factors. You’ll need to decide the time you have, how flexible you are, your current skill set, where you need to take classes and much more. It’s important to carefully compare your options before coming to a decision.
Data Science Jobs
There are an array of data science jobs out there with different responsibilities and job descriptions. Here are just a few to give you an idea of what’s available:
Data Scientist – A data scientist is what we’ve covered extensively so far in this article. Much of what you’ll be doing is looking at huge sets of raw data and looking for actionable patterns that can help inform business decisions.
Machine Learning Engineer – A machine learning engineer will seek to create new machine learning systems and algorithms. You would frequently run tests to better the machine learning systems. You may also retrain current systems to adhere to the machine learning model.
Statistician – Data science is stat-heavy, so someone trained in data science would be very comfortable in a statistician position. As a statistician, you would analyze statistics and create formulas to find statistics in data sets.
These three positions are just scratching the surface for the types of data science jobs out there. With the right skill set, there are plenty of things you can do with data science.
Data Science Salary
Chances are if you’re interested in a data science career, you’re also interested in the typically high-salary figures that come with it. Since data science is a highly skilled and in-demand skill, you can expect to make a decent amount of money if you break into the field. Here are some figures for what you can expect to make as a data scientist:
Starting Salary – Many data scientists start at about $86,000 per year. With further education and experience, you can expect to make more than this down the line.
Average – The average salary of a data scientist is around $117,000 per year.
High Salaries – Data scientists with a large amount of experience may make around $157,000 per year. Of course, there is potential to make more money than that, depending on the company and where you live, but $157K is definitely on the higher end of the pay spectrum for a data scientist.
These figures are based on data from Glassdoor.
As you can see, data scientists can expect to make quite a comfortable salary with the right skills and experience.
We mentioned data scientists, machine learning engineers, and statisticians but those aren’t the only possible career paths with data science skills. Here are some other related careers for those who are knowledgeable in data science:
- Data Architect
- Data Analyst
- Data Engineer
- Machine Learning Scientist
- Business Intelligence Developer
- Data Mining Specialist
- Big Data Engineer
Since data science is such an in-demand skill, there are a bevy of possibilities out there for you to choose from. If you’re ready to commit to a career in data science, the next step is to pick your path to get there.
Data Science Bootcamps with Career Karma
Career Karma can help with that. Choosing the right data science bootcamp can be extremely overwhelming, especially since there are so many choices out there. It can be tough to discern between the best and the worst, and even if you can narrow down the best ones, which out of those meets your needs?
Career Karma specializes in placing you in the right bootcamp, one that meets your budget, schedule, ability, and desired subject area. We’re dedicated to helping individuals looking to break into the tech field realize their dreams.
Download the Career Karma app today and get started on your path to a new, exciting career! We look forward to helping you.