How to Grow Your Data Science Career

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13 March 2015

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Data scientists are some of the most in-demand professionals in the marketplace, and the field is only expected to grow over the next 10 years. If you are a data analyst looking to grow your data science career, here are some things you must do in order to take the next steps:

Develop a Solid Foundation

Before you can become a data scientist, you’ve got to hone your skills as a data analyst. This means developing skills in statistics, data handling, databases, and data platforms.  Typically, a solid foundation requires skills in basic SQL knowledge.  You should know how to create a MySQL server, understand relational databases, learn Excel like the back of your hand, bone up on HTML, Java and XML, and know how to create dashboards, tables and reports.

There are many local and online skills and certification programs that can help you become a strong data analyst. Take as many classes as you can, and get involved in professional groups, as well.

Become a Statistics Wizard

When working with massive data sets, number crunching must come as second nature. Learn and get certified in statistical programs like Stata and SaS, and start learning languages like Python and Ruby on Rails. These are all essential skills and knowledge sets for data scientists, and the stronger you are in these areas the farther you can go in your career.

Data Scientists Know Business

It’s not uncommon for data scientists to hold MBAs in addition to their advanced math and computer degrees.  Why? Because data science is about more than just knowing how to manage information. The decisions and recommendations that data scientists make have a significant business impact. They must know how their work will impact the company immediately, in the short term and over the long term. They have highly developed problem-solving skills and are creative thinkers, allowing them to develop solutions that are actionable and optimized for the business.  If you want to be marketable as a data scientist you’ll need to get serious about business, as well.

Learn to Love Your Open Source

The open source community is an integral part of big data.  Scientists use these communities to network with other professionals, hone their skills, and run problems by their peers. The community is collaborative and supportive, and according to Tech Republic, data scientists who are active with open source technology typically earn more than those who work solely on proprietary programs.

In order to grow your big data career and become a data scientist, you’ll need to commit to learning all you can about both analytics and business, and you should be willing to take the intermediate steps required to develop a strong knowledge of the field. If you are big data analytics professional looking for new opportunities to grow your career in data science, contact OnBoard Recruitment Advisers today. We specialize in analytics and business intelligence positions in a variety of fields, and we will work to connect you to a position that will help you reach your career goals.

Click here to view Analytics & Big Data career opportunities.

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