What is data science and how do I get into the profession?

Organisations are increasingly looking to make more of the data they possess in order to inform and influence business thinking and strategy. As a result, people with the skills to mine big data and create meaningful insight from disparate data sources are in big demand. In fact, it is expected that Britain will create an average of 56,000 big data jobs a year until 2020!

Despite this growing demand, there is a shortage of people in the UK possessing the necessary big data knowledge and data science skills. This has meant that many organisations are looking for programmers and analysts in other fields to fill the gap – presenting an ideal opportunity for anyone with programming knowledge or analytic know-how to upskill and embark on a career in the new and exciting area of data science.

What is a Data Scientist?

Data scientists are responsible for making sense of the data an organisation possesses and they use a variety of methods, processes and systems to extract insight that enables organisations to make strategic decisions, spot trends and exploit market opportunities. To succeed in the data science world, prospective data scientists or big data analysts will need to have a range of technical and analytical skills supplemented by knowledge of specialist tools and excellent communication and presentation skills.

How to become a Data Scientist

The demand for Data Science professionals is increasing and training on big data tools and courses covering data science concepts can help you to stand out. While the need for skilled professionals able to handle large data sets is recognised across many industry sectors, the rise of data scientists is particularly evident in the retail, ecommerce and finance sectors.

Most employers seeking data scientists and big data analysts will usually be looking for a strong technical background and competency with code and data platforms. The most common programming languages used in big data applications are Java, Python, C# and R. It can also be useful to have an understanding of commonly used tools such as Spark, Mongo, Cassandra & Pig.

You will also need exceptional analytical skills to succeed as a data scientist. You will need to be able to both manipulate the data and extract usable insight that can be related in business needs and used to overcome operational challenges. In addition, communication and presentation skills are a fundamental aspect of the data science role.

Gain new skills through training

Training can give you the skills, which combined with your experience and existing knowledge-base, can help you take the first steps in a big data career. Focus on Training have a range of big data training courses that introduce the concept as well as courses designed to help you make the most of key data science tools and platforms, like Hadoop.

Many data scientists and big data analysts are also required to have programming knowledge, our range of programing training includes SQL, Ruby and Python courses – and these can help you gain the necessary background knowledge.