• How to Become a Data Scientist

  • Data scientists are like the private investigators of the data world. They study large quantities of data and look for analytics insights. Then they use these findings to help their companies or organizations make smart and informed decisions.

    Data science is a quickly growing field, and salaries can rise into the six-figure range. As a data scientist, you can work for companies throughout the industry spectrum, and hold titles like computer systems analyst, data scientist, and computer and information research scientist.

    Want more information on the field of data science? Read on to learn more about the job, as well as Drexel University’s data science programs.

    How do I start a career in data science?

    How to become a data scientist step by step
    There are different paths you can take to become a data scientist. Getting an education in data science, whether that is a master’s degree, a doctorate or a certificate, is a great way to build a strong knowledge foundation and signal to potential employers that you have experience. But there are other ways to support your degree and help you stand out in the job market:

    • Take the time to learn some of the common tools data scientists use on the job, like Hadoop and Python.
    • You should also build a sample portfolio of projects you completed either independently or during your data science degree program, so your potential employers can see concrete evidence of your familiarity with the field.

    What skills are needed to be a data scientist?

    If you want to enter the data science field, it’s important to have a mix of technical skills and nontechnical skills. Some of the most relevant technical skills are programming, machine learning and AI, and analysis. Equally important nontechnical skills include business savvy and communication.

    Does data science require math?
    Some math is required for data science, and it’s helpful (though not required) to have a prior degree in a math-related field. For the most part, you should be familiar with the principles of calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics.

    Does data science require coding?
    You should have a familiarity with programming languages if you want to work in data science. Specifically, you should have knowledge of Python, Perl, C/C++, SQL, and Java.

    Data Science Education Requirements

    Do I need a degree to become a data scientist?
    Having at least a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university is a great starting point for a career in data science. If you do not have a technology background, don’t worry: anyone with good quantitative abilities can pursue a degree in data science. However, earning an advanced degree that specifically focuses on the skillsets data scientists need will help you build a strong foundation in the field.

    Drexel's MS in Data Science offers a choice of electives to ensure you graduate with a well-rounded view of data science. The program is structured around three main areas: Analytics, Mining, and Algorithms; Visualization and Communication; and Management and Accountability. In addition to core data science courses and a capstone, you will take three classes in each of these main areas.

    How long does it take to become a data scientist?

    Drexel's MS in Data Science is a 45-credit program that can be completed on either a full- or part-time basis. If you choose to pursue it full-time, you can complete it in as little as two years.