Data science is one of the fastest growing fields in the world today — named the sexiest job of the 21st century by Harvard Business Review.

This rapid industry expansion has resulted in a massive demand for data science professionals, including data scientists. You’re only five steps from becoming a data scientist and earning an estimated $145,000 per year.

What is a data scientist?

A data scientist is someone who specializes in analyzing and interpreting different kinds of data. 

They need a strong background in subjects like mathematics, statistics and computer science. They typically have a curiosity that helps them identify the most effective solutions for different complex problems, and they also possess the technical skills necessary to solve data-related problems.

There are many different careers within the data science field, each with varying responsibilities to help companies fulfill different needs. While each data scientist position is unique, there are a few similarities.

Some of the most common data scientist duties include:

  • Collecting and organizing large amounts of data
  • Solving business problems through a data-driven approach
  • Working with different programming languages and softwares
  • Communicating and collaborating with both the IT and business teams
  • Identifying data trends and patterns (positive or otherwise)

As a data scientist, you are an integral element in the overall function and success of an organization.

Why are data scientists important?

The number one reason why data scientists are so important is their expertise in a variety of data niches, knowledge that enables them to be the go-to person for complex problems.

If you had all of the information you could ever want about your company — your target demographic, your competition, your customers’ buying preferences — but you have no way of collecting and analyzing that data  — all of that information would be useless.

In a world where companies are constantly inundated with change, the need to interpret data is more important than ever. Data scientists fill that need.

How do I become a data scientist?

There are a few steps to fulfill to become a data scientist, including education in data science fundamentals, building your own projects, networking with peers and professionals, obtaining a certification and pursuing ongoing education.

1. Learn data science fundamentals

Before you’re able to take any additional steps in your career path, you’ll need a firm grasp of data science basics, including fundamental concepts, skills, techniques and trends.

There are many different ways to do this, including self-study, online courses, apprenticeships and bootcamps, which have quickly become one of the most popular education models.

2. Build your own projects

Once you’ve established foundational knowledge and skills, it’s time to begin sharpening them by practicing them in a work-like environment. Some data science bootcamps offer a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning, and many will allow you to work on “real world” to add to your portfolio, even before you begin applying to jobs.

3.  Network with others / learn from others

Networking is one of the most timeless, underrated and effective practices for joining a like-minded community, and also for expanding your knowledge and skills.

The key to successful networking is to simply be yourself. Authenticity is freeing, but networking can sometimes feel uncomfortable or overwhelming for those new to the practice. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to network effectively.

You can join an online data science community, “connect” with peers over social media platforms, Facebook groups or other professional platforms, and sign up for any virtual meet-ups or “conferences” that intrigue you.

4. Get a certification

Not everyone has the time or money to attend a traditional university and pursue a four-year degree. Fortunately, a bootcamp offers a high-yield alternative to a traditional college degree, helping students learn in-demand data science skills after weeks — not years — of coursework.


By earning an industry-recognized and -respected certification, you are showing others in your field that you have a fluent understanding of data science knowledge and a dedication to your field.

5. Enroll in a data science bootcamp

For many people, the best way they set their careers up for success is through a bootcamp.

Data science bootcamps have become one of the most popular training methods in the twenty-first century, largely due to their flexible schedules and cost efficiency.

Accelerate your data science career today

Pace offers a top-tier Data Science Bootcamp designed to equip you with the education, training, skills and practical hands-on experience you need to build a successful career in data science. 

To learn more about how Pace can help you build your dream career in data science, contact our Solutions team today.