To get a job in data science, you’ll need to learn statistics, mathematics, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. Learning data science takes time and effort, but a data scientist’s salary and job security can make it worthwhile.
This data science career guide breaks down how to get a job in data science, including the job outlook, necessary skills, available education pathways, and tips to help you nail your job interviews. Let’s dive in.
What Is Data Science?
Data science is a multidisciplinary field in which statistics, probability, algorithms, and scientific methods are used to extract insights from structured and unstructured data. The technical skills you need include knowledge of mathematics, machine learning, deep learning, business intelligence, and computer science, to name a few.
When you’re in a data science role, you’ll handle every aspect of the data lifecycle, including data mining, cleaning, organizing, manipulating, and interpreting. The data science field has ample opportunities for career development, but you’ll need strong analytical skills to succeed.
Data Science Job Outlook
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t report on data scientists specifically, we can refer to computer and information research scientists for the job outlook. BLS predicts a growth rate of 22 percent in the supply of computer and information science jobs between 2020 and 2030. The median salary is $126,830 per annum.
What Education Do I Need to Become a Data Scientist?
The possible education pathways for data science include coding bootcamps, online data science courses, and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Regardless of the education you choose, hands-on experience is what really matters.
Can I Get a Data Science Job Without a Degree?
Yes, you don’t need an advanced degree to get a data science job. You might find the odd job description requiring a degree in data science. However, most potential employers value refined technical skills, real-life experience, and strong business acumen more than a degree.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Get a Job in Data Science?
Data science bootcamps are popular in the data science community because they equip students with all the necessary skills they need to start a career in the field. Coding bootcamps are much cheaper and quicker than degree programs and offer the chance to gain hands-on experience.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Like a degree program, coding bootcamps offer knowledge about machine learning, linear algebra, artificial intelligence, and related fields. Many bootcamps also expand your career opportunities by providing career support, including interview preparation, resume building, and soft skills.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Job in Data Science?
Depending on your previous experience and chosen education pathway, it can take from two to five years to break into data science. With a combination of job experience in data science and a coding bootcamp or associate degree, it can take you from two to three years.
Without previous experience or qualifications, you can opt for a bachelor’s degree, which means you’ll need about four to five years to gain the necessary data science skillset and be able to secure a job. Regardless of the path you choose, keep in mind that recruiters and interviewers seek out candidates with a combination of job experience and high-quality skills.
Common Data Science Education Paths
To launch a successful career in data science, you can join coding bootcamps, a community college, or a four-year degree program. Each learning pathway has its own set of pros and cons. Below are the most common education routes to get a job in data science.
Data Science Bootcamps
In the data science field, employers are highly fond of coding bootcamps. Data science bootcamps offer short-term, intensive programs to help you become a successful data scientist through hands-on experience.
Coding bootcamps can be pricey for some aspiring data scientists, but many bootcamps offer financial aid and flexible payment options. Some job listings for data science might even include coding bootcamps as an education requirement. Plus, this option is cheaper than degree programs.
Many entry-level data scientists have chosen community college because it’s much cheaper than four-year degrees, and they only take two years to complete. You can find an online community college, and they may offer accelerated degree options as well. Data science employers will accept an associate degree if you have extensive real-world experience.
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Although community college is cheaper than four-year degrees, these colleges are still much more expensive than coding bootcamps. Community colleges are also more expensive for out-of-state students. Fortunately, as an aspiring data scientist, you only need a high school diploma or GED to study.
Data Science Degrees
Data science degrees are common among senior data scientists. Degree programs offer skills as well as networking opportunities. A bachelor’s degree requires four years of studying, and a master’s degree requires two additional years of study.
Securing an entry-level job after graduation is easier with a college degree, but these programs are also more expensive. Many students have to opt for student loans to fund their studies, which can hinder your career in the long run.
Key Data Science Skills to List on Your Resume
If you want to win over the hiring manager with your resume, make sure you personalize it for the specific job posting and highlight essential data science skills. These include statistics skills, knowledge of a few programming languages, and machine learning skills. Below are some vital data science skills for your resume.
Statistical analysis and mathematical skills are pivotal for data science resumes. To work with data samples, predictive analytics, and business analytics, and to draw accurate conclusions from data, you need to learn statistics.
Without statistical skills, you won’t be able to land a data scientist job. If your skills in this area are lacking, consider online tutorials and short courses to master them.
Machine Learning Skills
Almost every company requires a data scientist with advanced machine learning skills. This is because data scientists use machine learning to analyze data and automate data modeling processes. To accomplish business goals, you need to work as efficiently and effectively as possible, and machine learning makes this possible.
To build a successful data science career, you’ll need to learn machine learning and add this to your resume so employers know you can get the job done. Most if not all data science projects require this skill.
Where to Find Data Science Jobs
Besides tech company websites, you can find data science jobs using reliable resources like job boards dedicated to data science openings. These include Starbridge Partners, Open Data Science, and AI-jobs.net. Let’s check each one out.
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Helping professionals find jobs across machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science industries, this website has many openings. You can filter data science jobs by location and sector, and Starbridge Partners also has a data science report. This report provides additional resources and information for your data science journey.
Open Data Science
This established data science job board includes a data science blog and job listings from over 300 companies worldwide. You can search for jobs by keyword, by location, according to job category, by job type, by experience, or based on salary. For a successful data science career, this job board should be in your resource kit.
Ai-jobs.net is the go-to job board for data engineers, machine learning engineers, data analysts, and data scientists. You can find both senior-level and entry-level positions. This board allows you to filter results according to job type and location, and you can use keywords to find the perfect fit.
How to Prepare for Your Data Science Interview
Preparing for a data science interview is a great way to ensure you get the job. Below are the most typical data science interview questions you’ll encounter during your job hunt.
Data Science Interview Questions
- What are the stages of making a decision tree, and why are decision trees fundamental in data science?
- How would you explain the differences between univariate, multivariate, and bivariate?
- What does dimensionality mean, and how do we use this concept in data science?
- What are outlier values, and how do you approach them?
The Five Highest-Paying Data Science Jobs
|Data Science Jobs||Average Salary||Projected Growth|
|Operations Research Analyst||$86,200||25%|
|Market Research Analyst||$65,810||22%|
Database architects create infrastructure solutions so a company can mine, clean, organize, and store data. This career path will prompt you to work with difficult concepts, and your database skills must be superb. You can expect to work full time in an office environment.
If you enjoy working with complex problems and computational techniques, you should consider becoming a statistician. Statisticians have outstanding mathematical abilities and excellent analytics skills to help businesses find solutions and increase their revenue. Professionals usually work full time alongside data engineers, scientists, and analysts.
Management analysts have the relevant skills to help a business optimize its processes. This analyst position requires strong business acumen, analytical skills, and impressive communication skills. You will spend most of your time traveling between businesses.
Operations Research Analyst
When businesses need help making better decisions for improved performance, an operations research analyst will help them. These experts assess current operations, suggest winning strategies, and help businesses achieve more efficient operations. Many professionals work full time in an office, but they also travel to meet clients.
Market Research Analyst
These professionals conduct market research to help a business determine how to improve its products. You can expect to conduct product research and competitor research to stay ahead of market conditions. Market research analysts work full time in office environments.
Data Science Career Path
There are many career paths in data science depending on your skill level. Below is an overview of the top entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level data science jobs.
Entry-Level Data Science Jobs
- Junior Data Scientist – A junior data scientist works under experienced data scientists and engineers. You will assist senior data scientists in fulfilling their tasks.
- Assistant Database Administrator – Professionals in this career organize and store data according to business goals. You will also have to perform troubleshooting and data recovery tasks.
- Junior Business Analyst – Data analysis will be your top responsibility. You’ll work with senior business analysts to ensure the business meets the demands of customers.
Mid-Level Data Science Jobs
- Systems Analyst – These professionals analyze a business’s systems. A systems analyst will then recommend ways to improve and optimize these systems.
- Python Developer – A developer of this type uses Python to develop data science applications. Experts also develop sustainable solutions powered by technology to help businesses.
- Data Analyst – These analysts look at the data stored in databases, conduct data analysis and data visualization, and turn their findings into useful insights.
Senior-Level Data Science Jobs
- Data Scientist – Data scientists work with big data, both unstructured and structured, to gain insights that help businesses. These professionals also work with statistics and algorithms.
- Data Engineer – These engineers gather data for data scientists. They also create the infrastructure data scientists use to fulfill their duties.
- Quantitative Analyst – Quantitative analysts help a business reach its financial objectives. These experts achieve this through risk analysis and management, as well as investment consultancy.
Data Science Certifications
You don’t need a degree to obtain data science certifications. These certifications range in difficulty. Some are ideal for beginners whereas others suit experienced data scientists better. The top three certifications are listed below.
Principal Data Scientist (PDS)
Once you have ten or more years of experience in the data science industry, this Data Science Council of America (DASCA) certification is the one you want. There are four available tracks, which you can complete online at your preferred pace.
Azure Data Scientist Associate
For this Microsoft certification, you must have a firm understanding of Azure, data science, and machine learning. You should know how to manage Azure resources in machine learning projects. It’s also vital to know how to train models, conduct experiments, and apply machine learning solutions.
Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS)
From The Open Group, this certification confirms you have the abilities, experience, and values of a true data scientist. You don’t have to complete any exams or training courses for this certification. There are three stages you have to fulfill before becoming certified.
Tips on How to Get a Job in Data Science
To land a data science job, you’ll need to master a set of programming languages, practice your skills, create a jaw-dropping portfolio, and create a GitHub profile. In addition, you must hone your soft skills, as they are pivotal for work on a data science team. Below are the best tips to secure a job in data science.
Master a Set of Programming Languages
When you’re filling out a job application, employers will be more impressed by your having excellent skills in a few programming languages than basic knowledge of many. Choose the programming languages you prefer and that are aligned with the projects you’d like to work on, and master them.
Hone Your Practical Skills
During the job application process for data science, employers might include a technical assessment. Because of this, make sure you’ve practiced your skills instead of simply focusing on theoretical knowledge.
Create a Data Science Portfolio
A data science portfolio is a fantastic way to hone your skills, collaborate with fellow data scientists, and demonstrate your skills to employers. Create a professional portfolio that highlights your greatest strengths. You can also flaunt your academic qualifications or learning achievements and work on data science projects for beginners to add to your portfolio.
Create and Update a GitHub Profile
GitHub is an excellent resource for data scientists because you can upload your portfolio and projects to your profile. Without the need to apply for a job, potential employers can see your work and send you an offer. It’s best to update your profile regularly.
Focus on Soft Skills
Data scientists work with various team members daily, so communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, and leadership skills are crucial. Become comfortable talking about your cutting-edge research and projects, because you’ll have to do it often.
Should You Get a Job in Data Science in 2021?
If you love statistics, mathematics, and machine learning, you should get a job in data science in 2021. This career path has several well-paying fields and high job growth. There is also ample opportunity for career development in data science since you can work with global companies.
Becoming a data scientist takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and learning. However, you have many education options, such as coding bootcamps, online courses, and degree programs, to help you. If you want a profession with job security, career development, and flexible learning pathways, choose data science.
Data Scientist FAQ
Yes, you can become a data scientist without a degree. Although most professional data scientists have a degree, you can become a data scientist through a coding bootcamp or online courses. Provided you have extensive hands-on experience, employers may be flexible with the education requirements.
This depends on your previous experience and qualifications. If you have experience in a STEM field or a career related to data science, then it shouldn’t be too challenging. However, if you don’t have any qualifications or experience, it will take some time before you can break into the data science field.
No, you can’t become a data scientist with no experience. This job is highly complex and requires extensive industry experience. It’s best to learn through a coding bootcamp, online courses, community college, or a four-year university, and then gain experience working the field of data science.
Yes, data scientists do get paid well. These professionals earn much higher salaries than the average employee in the technology sector, and the job growth is very high. Plus, there are many career opportunities you can pursue to maximize your earnings.
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