How to become a Data Scientist

How to become a Data Scientist, has this question crossed your mind? Data Science is the hottest key word today and Data Scientist is probably the hottest career choice today.

But before you take a jump in this area, first spend some time in understanding what this area is and is it the right choice for you?

What is a Data Science ?

Data Science is a field where you use various methods, algorithms, processes etc to study the data and get some value from it. The data can be in a varied form. It can be structured data i.e data is well defined and it can be unstructured as well, like the feeds from social media.

To look into this data and understand patterns in this data is job of a Data Scientist. Yes the term Data Scientist, is a role of a person who works in the area of Data Science.

Data Science is a complex field and involve many interdisciplinary skills.

How to become data scientist

What skills are needed to be a Data Scientist ?

As I said before. Data Science is a interdisciplinary skill. So if you are good at below, you can be a a good Data Scientist

  • Mathematical / Statistical Skills
  • Various Data Modelling techniques like Linear Regression etc
  • Knowldege of various Machine Learning / AI frameworks
  • Good at computer programming / Software engineering
  • Good at representing data in proper format / Data Visualization.

What educational qualification are needed to be a Data Scientist ?

Remember data science is a highly skilled task and hence a correct qualification is very much needed to be a data science. A bachelors degree (Bsc/BCA/BS/BE/BTECH) is very much needed in one of the area of

  • Computer science
  • Core Mathematics / Applied Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economics etc

A master degree in above field is a plus.

Today universities have started data science as one of the subjects in bachelors and there are master degree with specialization in data science. We will cover them later.

How long it takes to become a Data Scientist ?

The Master program or the Post graduate diploma programs are generally of the duration 18 months to 2 years and hence you need to invest this much time in your education.

If you are already an experience person in the area of Data Analytics, you can probably gain the skills of Data Science by yourself.

There are many good self learning courses available on platforms like coursera and edx which you can take to self learn and become a data scientist.

Such short term courses take somewhere around 6 months to complete. But remember Data Science is all about practice and learning.

You apply one model or algorithm and do not get desired results, you try another. You keep learning on the way.

So even if you get into the job or project, you learn with experience.

How much Data Scientists earn ?

This is a very important question to answer. How much a data scientist earn?

In India, average starting salary of a data scientist is approx INR 5 to 6 Lakh / Year which is around 20 to 30% more than a entry level programmer salaries.

Of course the salary increases by experience and experienced Data Scientists ear upwards of INR 20L/year.

Data Scientists are in great demand in US / European market too with salaries in US for experience Data Scientists going above $1 Lakh / year.

So Data Science is definitely a high paying job!

Popular courses in Data Science

Below are some popular courses in the field of Data Science which can help you move forward in this career.

Masters in Data Science from IIIT-B through Upgrad

Form Bits Pilani

Msc Program in Data Science from IIITM-K

IISc Programs :

Advance Program in Data Science from IIM K

Check it out on : Courses on Data Science

Check it on Coursera.Org : From John Hopkins University

Are you a senior IT professional in 40’s. This may be a good read!

So guys, this gives you a fair bit of idea on Data Science and how you can take your first step towards it. It is going to be a tough learning, but worth it.

Happy Learning!

You friend – Sanjeev

Should you have any questions, do write to me at

or send you comments in the comment box below!

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