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All That You Need To Know Before You Start Learning Data Science

All That You Need To Know Before You Start Learning Data Science

With the trending Data Science market, everyone wants to learn data science and become a data scientist. There are various kinds of people who approach career counselors each day with a set of questions to verify if they can learn data science or not. They always tend to put forward their skills like expertise in maths, statics, or programming and whether or not these skills would help them learn data science. No doubt, a career in data science is the most trending topic in the scope of careers, but all you need to know is what is the prerequisite to step into the path of building your career in data science.

Prerequisites To Learn Data science

If you are asking this question, it can be easily guessed that you might have come across a lot of online sites offering various courses on data science. While you look forward to learning, you come across the requisites. Well, this can be a little discouraging as many resources demand the learner to have expertise, experience in skills like software development, database queries, machine learning, statistics and analytical skills, mathematics, programming, etc. Data Scientist is a canopy term for jobs based on different tones yet similar concepts.  The thing is you don’t need all. You definitely need certain skills while some you acquire as a process of learning. Let’s take a look to find what are the skills you need to have already in order to learn data science.

How essential it is to have a Master’s Degree or a Ph.D. to learn data science?

Practically speaking, a master’s degree or a Ph.D. can be a way of learning and developing your skills and that might be a filter for the job foreground. However, it is not a pre-requisite for the learning process. It is possible to learn data science, even without the highly quantitative degree. As long as you are skilled and expertise in the genre of your work no degree stands strong. These degrees do matter when you are looking for a job as they are filers for your skill set, but that doesn’t keep you away from becoming a data scientist. 

Where do Math and Statistics stand in the path of learning Data Science? Do you need to have a graduate degree in either of them?

Data science diversifies over chemical engineering, physics, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, operations research, etc. Most data scientists today may have a degree in statistics or machine learning which not a requisite. Although, a basic knowledge of concepts in Maths and Statistics like Linear algebra, calculus, probability, etc. is a necessity. 

How does your programming skill help you learn data science?

Well, it is necessary that you need to know how to program before you start learning data science. However, you need not be a top-level programmer. Having your base in basic programming languages like the concept of object-oriented programming will help you go ahead with data science programming tools like Python and R. What data science requires is an efficient code that can analyze big data and to pursue a career in it, you need not be a hardcore programmer. Your knowledge of basic and correct programming can take you a long way.

All That You Need To Know Before You Start Learning Data Science

Do you also need an idea of Database Query Language?

Since data science is all about data, most of the data scientist’s time is spent in working with the database and hence, the queries. You need to be familiar with the basic Data Definition Language, Data Manipulation Language, and Data Query Language (DDL, DML, DQL) which will serve the basic purpose of extracting the data and working on it. Learning SQL is a mandate regardless of what database is being used.

How necessary is Hadoop?

Hadoop is being widely used in the land of data science. But, there are many technologies already and yet developing for SQL interfacing with Hadoop which makes the job easy. With these technologies, a data scientist need not know how to write a Hadoop MapReduce job. However, the knowledge of basic system concepts like MapReduce, Pig, Hive, can help but will vary upon the place you work. Many companies are also incorporating Hadoop as a service that does not require a data scientist to be an expert in Hadoop.

Is a data science degree essential?

No data science programs available online or university training provides you the soft skills required as a data scientist. To talk to clients, manage and organize teams, you need to develop the essential techniques and for this, you can find dedicated courses online without drilling hole in your pocket or spending a lot of time in a university.

Is the knowledge of machine learning important to learn data science?

No doubt machine learning is an integral part of data science. You learn machine learning while you learn data science because if you already know it, you are halfway through. There are online courses or books which can help you pick up the concept of machine learning. 

You must have assessed the prerequisites of stepping your foot in the path of data science. Summarizing it all, you need to have a graduate or master degree of a Ph.D. in any of the STEM fields, basic programming knowledge,  basic knowledge of SQL queries and some basic maths and statistical concept. Alongside this, you need to have a knack for business development and data analysis. Having the minimum required knowledge and progressively moving on the path of learning will make you a great data scientist.

Ankita Mohanty
Ankita Mohanty is a Software Engineer who has the passion for content creation, tech and travel. She believes in that there's nothing in this world that's unachievable when you work hard for it.

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