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Taking the next steps towards becoming a data scientist

Data science is rapidly becoming one of the hottest areas of employment throughout the developed world. Many people start out dealing with low-level data analysis tasks and have their interest piqued in learning more. This provides a great jumping-off point to enter the larger and more sophisticated world of genuine data science. Here, we’ll take a look at the reasons sharpening your data science claws can pay off and the ways in which you might go about doing so.


Why improve your data science skills?

There are a few very compelling reasons to consider honing your data science abilities. For starters, it is widely predicted that increasing automation will displace ever more workers throughout the world. A great insurance policy against that is to be the one doing the automating rather than the one getting automated out of a job.

Another reason that constantly learning new data science skills is a good bet is the increasing demand for the highly skilled in this area. Almost every organization above a certain size in every area of business will have some use for people who can glean real insights from challenging data sets. With the high demand and still relative rarity of highly qualified data scientists, the future for those who have genuine skill in this field looks very bright.


What are some good ways to improve data science skills?

The good news is that most data science skills can be improved without spending any additional money. There are many free online materials from sites like Coursera and Udemy. And there is an extensive machine learning course offered by Andrew Ng as well as a course on neural networks offered online by Stanford. All of these materials are free.

It is also possible to learn the core skillsets required of professional data scientists with minimal to no cost. Both the Python and R computer languages can and should be learned for free although some implementations may require a small fee for added functionality. Learning relational databases likewise requires no investment. Both the MySQL and Postgress database management systems can be learned without cost.

Also, sites like Kaggle offer the opportunity to sharpen one’s skills while gaining real-world experience. All of these things combined can put you well on your way to becoming a world-class data scientist who is always in high demand.