Data science is a fascinating field, with plenty of exciting opportunities and job roles out there. For people who already have a background in data analysis, a career as a data scientist could be the perfect move.
But what is data science, what does a data science job look like, and how does it differ from that of a data analyst? In this article, we’ll be going through the key differences and will show you how you can transition into this exciting career field.
Starting a career within data
One of the best ways to move into data science is first taking on a role within IT or data analysis. Beginning your career in IT could involve taking specialist courses or even studying for an IT-related degree at university.
You could become a data analyst by taking dedicated courses. In these, you’ll learn how to process large amounts of information and report them in a way that’s easy for other members of your company to understand.
Some of the other main responsibilities of a data analyst include:
Ultimately, having a solid understanding of how to process and disseminate large amounts of data will put you in an ideal place to begin your career as a data scientist.
If you’re keen to move your career in data analysis forward but are still unsure whether you’re ready to make the step up into data science, becoming a data visualisation specialist could be the right move for you.
This role uses many of the same skills as a data analyst but places a greater focus on reporting data in more visually engaging ways. Being able to build and craft new ways to make data more engaging would be a fitting skill for data analysts who want to take the step onwards to becoming data scientists.
What is a data scientist?
If you feel that you’ve gained enough experience and knowledge to become a data scientist, but you’re still unsure of how to get into data science, finding out what a role in this area would look like may answer some of your questions.
So, what is a data scientist, what does a data scientist do, and what exactly does a data scientist job description look like?
Data scientists are different from data analysts in one simple but important way. Data analysts analyst information and present it within reports, noticing trends or helpful insights. Data scientists think of new ways to capture data, either through establishing new data models, data sets, algorithms, and predictive models, or using machine learning and AI programs to mine data and must be able to make sense of large amounts of unstructured data.
Your range of knowledge will be a lot wider, as you’ll have to get to grips with machine learning models and machine learning algorithms, as well as artificial intelligence and a basic understanding of how software engineering and computer science interact with data.
The two roles have a lot in common, but moving from one to the other can be a tricky process if the right preparation and training doesn’t take place.
How to make the transition from data analyst to data scientist
If you want to know how to become a data scientist using the skills you already have, there are steps you can take to move into this career field.
Assess your current skill set and level of experience
The first thing to do is to look at the skills you currently have and examine whether you feel you’re ready to make this challenging transition. Although data analysis and data science are related, the level of expertise needed to succeed in a data science role is high.
Think about large projects you’ve worked on before and assess the skill set you used to deliver those projects. If you feel that you could’ve gone further or offered even more insights but were unsure of how to make it happen, this could be a sign that you’re ready to do additional training to become a data scientist.
If you feel that you’re one step ahead of your current role or feel that you’ve reached your limit of data analysis and data insights, it might be time to upskill in the field of data science.
Take relevant courses
If you’re thinking of becoming a data scientist, taking online courses in preparation can be a good idea. Taking online courses in big data or digital skills courses can be a good way to cement your knowledge in data analysis before moving toward data science.
If you’re keen to make the transition straight away, taking a Data Analyst to Data Scientist Pathway online course could be the ideal choice. This data science course will give you a thorough understanding of data architecture and statistics, as well as a deep understanding of analysis programming skills. You’ll get to grips with how to use programming languages such as Python and R. Using that knowledge. The course will also help you to process that data through data analytics software like Spark and Hadoop.
You’ll also learn how to operationalise and scale data, all whilst keeping regulations and compliance in mind. Lastly, the course will teach you how to visualise that data in a way that makes sense to others in your company or business. Overall, you’ll have a solid understanding of the fundamentals and soft skills, as well as technical skills, analytics skills, and data science skills needed to succeed within a data scientist role.
Career prospects for a data scientist
After you’ve gained your data science qualifications and skills, you’ll have a wide range of opportunities open to you as you begin your career transition. Data scientist prospects from a career perspective can be vast and lucrative, with salaries for experienced professionals rising as high as £70,000 a year. This can rise to even higher amounts if you choose to work abroad or on a freelance basis.
If you’ve already got an established career as a data analyst and have chosen to study alongside your current job, becoming qualified in this area could open up new opportunities within your company and could even allow you to manage entire data management teams to deliver outstanding insights.
Are you keen to get started and begin your career path as a data scientist? Explore our courses today and see how we can help you take your first step toward your data science career field.