Solar Flare

The key skills for a data science career

Data science is one of the fastest-growing fields in the business world with job openings within it growing to match. According to recent statistics, the global machine learning market is projected to reach $20.83 billion by 2024.

Taking a course that will enhance your skills and employability within this ever-growing field will provide more opportunities for you in the future as the world continues to rely more and more on the findings of computer-driven analysis.

What is data science

Data science deals with large volumes of data using tools and techniques to find previously unidentified patterns, derive meaningful information from them and use these findings to make important business decisions. Data scientists use complex machine learning algorithms to build predictive models, utilizing data from many different sources and presented in a variety of formats.

This process is now an essential part of many industries, and more and more organizations have started to implement data science techniques in order to help grow their business and increase customer satisfaction.

Specific and soft skills

What are the specific skills you need to thrive within this industry? Firstly, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of data science, which will give you a solid grounding in the subject. Other areas to familiarize yourself with include data manipulation and analysis, machine learning, big data and statistics. It’s also important to understand database management and analysis techniques as well as data-mining algorithms, in addition to being proficient in data-analysis software.

Soft skills such as structured thinking, as well as communication and storytelling skills are also vital to produce effective work within the industry. This is because you will often be required to explain your findings to people who do not necessarily understand the mechanics behind data analysis.

Teamwork skills and having a collaborative approach to sharing ideas and finding solutions are absolutely key to success in this field. You will need time management and organizational skills as well as the ability to deliver under pressure and against tight deadlines. Great attention to detail is also vital, as is the ability to self-motivate, especially if you are working on specific projects.

An interest in science and technology and the desire to keep up with trends and information from a range of sources is also useful.

Getting the right qualifications 

If you’re interested in a career in the constantly expanding field of data, it’s important to acquire the correct qualification to suit your needs.

If you already have a related undergraduate degree, your studies will have covered specific areas such as algorithms, math and statistics. However, further degrees may require familiarity with different areas of study, depending on where you take your course. If you are pursuing an online master’s in data science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, for example, you will need to have experience with popular programming languages such as Python, Java, C or C++. These programming languages are also a necessity in a lot of in-demand data scientist jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of data scientists alone is projected to grow 36% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for other occupations, so getting a foot in the door within the industry could be a very positive step for your career.