To make it simple, data science is analyzing, storing, and recording data to get information out of it. It is the study of both unstructured and structured data to gain knowledge about them. Though related to Computer Science, it is an entirely different field altogether. However, companies around the world need to deal with a mountain of data every day, which makes data science an essential part of the IT sector.
But let us be honest, data science can be intimidating at first, with no knowledge of the field. Therefore, if you are looking for a career in data science, take a look at the detailed understanding of this domain.
What role do you want?
Data science is a vast field with many integral roles within it. Be it a machine learning expert, a data scientist, engineer, or visualization expert, and so on, there are various roles available. Therefore, the first thing that you would want to do is to figure out what to pursue precisely. To get a better understanding of what role would suit you better, you can get into the following:
- Rely on your previous experiences, both knowledge, and work-wise. Getting into a position that you have a better idea of would be better than getting into something you did not know of previously.
For instance, you need a thorough knowledge of statistics and probability, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and optimization methods, and so on.
- Talk to people who are already into the industry to gather more ideas about individual roles. Who else to refer to than the experts themselves?
- Understand what you would like to do and what you are good at. Job satisfaction is important too.
Get along with a data science course and stick till the end
Once you have inferred what role you want to take on, the next step would be to take the course and complete it. Dedicate your time to understand your role further and enhance your skills by sticking to it. Completing the entire course will give you better insights, enabling you to understand the role you have chosen. Given that data science has such high demands in the IT sector, being well aware and educated is always a beneficial factor for jobs. For this, you may:
- Go through the coursework, complete assignments, and take part in discussions.
- Select a language/tool and become a specialist in it. It is always the most asked question and a confusing one at that. There are various languages out there, such as Python, SQL, R, Spark, or Hadoop. Choose one that complements your previous experiences the most. However, the knowledge of the concept is more important because tools are just for implementation purposes.
Always better in a group
Data science can be pretty tough and intimidating. However, if you have people who share similar interests as you join you, the journey becomes far easier. Having a group will keep you motivated. Also, when people sharing the same interests gather, there tends to be a flow of constant new information.
This method will contribute to extending your knowledge about your subject. What you may do is form a group of people you can meet daily. If not a physical group, join online forums for free online courses and meet new people through the vast Internet.
Gain both practical and theoretical application of data science
Theories merely tell you how to do it, but the practical aspects give you the experience. Therefore, make sure to focus both on the theoretical as well as practical applications. Besides helping you understand better, it will also help you realize its applications in reality. Here are some tips to excel at it.
- Follow your coursework. It will contain various assignments and exercises to help you with practical applications.
- Always apply whatever you have learned on open data sets. Even if you do not understand the logic behind it, practically trying it may enable you to understand the process.
- Refer to solutions already provided by experts. They will be able to give you an answer much faster at that.
Networking and resource gathering
Your priority should always be learning. Data science jobs in San Francisco can be found in abundance, but only the right resources and networking can get you the best of the jobs. Thus, make sure you are following the right resources and continuously learning.
- Follow influential data scientists as they keep on updating their works and findings regularly. They are incredibly active, and you may follow them on corporate social sites such as LinkedIn.
- Keep a habit of reading about the latest scenes in the data science field and keep yourself updated. However, make sure you follow legit practices only.
- Attend various industry events, such as conferences, meetups, and participate in local hackathons. These visits will increase your chances of making new connections, and thus, may help boost your career.
- However, keep a check that you do not get too focused on just networking. You must keep a balance between your practices, learning process, and networking.
Importance of communication skills for a data scientist
The myth is that communication skills are not crucial in the field of data science. You cannot believe how wrong that is. Communication skills are one set of skills that applies everywhere.
The ability to communicate will assist you in networking, making acquaintances in your desired field, but most importantly, it will help you secure a job.
Having technical skills is a definite must, but having the ability to communicate the fact that you have skills is equally important. Thus, make sure you polish up your communicating skills alongside.
Keep a target on your aspired job
One of the main things about any occupation is to have a job that satisfies you. Therefore, once you are on with your course while strengthening your networks, start targeting a company that you would prefer to be a part of.
Formulate a list of companies that frequently give advertisements for the role that you have chosen. Also, you may use networks to know more about your preferred companies.