Is Data science for You?

What is Data Science? | Data Series | Episode 2

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In order to answer this question it is important that you are aware of three things:

What exactly is Data science?
So you have a good idea if it matches your interests.
How to become a Data scientist?
To see if you have the necessary skills and / or are willing to do what it takes to become one.
How happy are Data scientists?
This will give you insight into the relative stress, earnings and job satisfaction of the average Data scientist — although this may not apply to you it is good information to know.

100 years ago our collection and analysis of Data was very limited. Hand-written surveys would be carried out in societies to elect leaders or decide if a new project should go forward. This would give useful information and add value to society so often people would often get paid to carry out surveys like these and give advice to leaders of the time.

Over the past 20 years, due to the rapid evolution in technology, societies have been producing and collecting more data than ever before for a wide array of sectors such as:

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From studying data, by looking at trends and implementing algorithms we are able to answer more complex questions such as :

  • What are the chances that tomorrow is going to rain?
  • What football player should I recruit for my team?
  • What is the probability your going to finish reading this article?

Just as from 100 years ago — we are finding useful information to add value to society, in most cases, through business.

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It is only recently, since 2008 , that the rapid evolution in computer science, algorithms and statistics that has enabled us to study data to such a depth and obtain so much useful information that the field became a science in itself and this was first recognised in 2001 by William S. Cleveland in the book “Data Science”.

There are many ways to become a Data scientist. The most traditional route is:

Degree -> Masters -> Phd [in technical subjects such as Maths, Statistics, Computer science]

and then going on to apply for Data science job openings.

There are, however, many other ways to become a Data scientist, one where you don’t even have to go to University given that you have enough drive and discipline to succeed in this field.

More people than ever are self-studying Data science, building their knowledge and skills through online courses and competitions.

The two most famous online platforms for this are:
Coursera.com [ Data science courses to build knowledge]
Kaggle.com [Data science competitions to build skill ]

More and more employers are becoming aware of the immense knowledge and skills individuals can obtain through competitions and self-projects . A degree in a technical subject does not hold as much weight as it used it and more employers are allowing people without traditional higher-education qualifications to apply.

The purpose of the Data series is to build your knowledge and skills in Data science from the ground up, to make that journey of becoming a Data scientist that much easier.

If financial comfort is a goal of yours or something which you seek for in a job here is a simple table showing the median base salary of a data scientist in 10 different countries and comparing it the the country’s median salary for all jobs.

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On average the median base salary of a data scientist is almost twice that of the country’s median salary. The demand for Data scientists have grown significantly over the past several years across Europe and the UK by around 30–45%, so we can expect the salary to keep increasing. But as the age old saying goes money can not buy happiness — so how happy are Data scientists?

Glassdoor in a massive online recruitment company that gathers mass information on different jobs and ranks them according to: median salary, job satisfaction and number of job openings.

Data scientists consistently place in the top 10 careers in the world often with the highest job satisfaction and the career has placed first the U.S four years in a row [2015–2019]. It is important to note, however, that the majority of individuals surveyed have a real dedication and passion in the field which is important for you to develop if you wish to obtain the same job satisfaction.

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Data scientist ranks 6th in the UK with the highest Job Satisfaction

Data science has consistently been ranked as one of the top jobs in the world in terms of job satisfaction and salary. With a passion and dedication for problem solving, data analysis and a creative mind-set Data science can be a great career choice for you .

I hope this article gave you good insight into Data science as a career and has helped you decide if Data science is for you. If the answer is yes, stay tuned for more articles.

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