Data science has become the talk of the town these days and many are willing to explore it. An interdisciplinary field including many interesting aspects like data analysis, machine learning, and business intelligence, data science has a lot to offer for professionals. There are a variety of job roles in data science that are trending in every job portal these days, be it a data scientist, machine learning engineer, or data architect. Apart from the popularity, these job roles fetch the highest salaries in the technology sector, even higher than the renowned software developer role.
The reason data science has gained so much traction in the past few years is the generation of massive amounts of data, commonly known as big data, and the availability of high computational power to process it. Today, data science has allowed companies to gather large datasets, process and analyze them to gain meaningful insights so as to make more informed decisions. Some of the important benefits of data science for companies include reduction in costs, optimal utilization of resources, increase in sales, understanding customer behavior, designing better products, and enhanced productivity.
Professionals who are aspiring to kickstart their career in data science are often confused regarding the right learning path which would give them job-ready skills. They often go through some books, online tutorials, a free Data Science course, or enroll in a university program to learn everything from scratch. Among the various options available, it can be a daunting task to make the right choice. So, in this article, we will throw some light upon the best way to learn data science, helping you make the right decision.
How to Learn Data Science?
There are some factors to be taken into consideration when deciding how to learn data science. Educational background and prior experience are the important ones. For example, if you are from a technical background and have a graduation degree in fields like computer science, information technology, applied math, or statistics, then it will be easy for you to grasp the concepts of data science. Conversely, if you are from a non-technical background, you may need to put some extra effort into learning about data science.
Books – Till our graduation, we are habitual of reading through books. If you too are someone who prefers learning through books, then there are some good data science books that are worth your time and effort. You can purchase any of the following books and get started with data science:
- Data Science for Dummies, Author: Lillian Pierson
- Data Science from Scratch, Author: Joel Gurus
- The data science handbook, Author: Field Cady
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems, Author: Martin Kleppman
- Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know About Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking, Author: Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett
Online Training Programs – Today, studying under brick and mortar classrooms isn’t the only option you have; education has also moved online. There are some reputed online training providers who offer the best-in-class courses on data science. Unlike university programs, the syllabus of online courses is reviewed and updated regularly to include any latest trends or best practices related to data science. Simplilearn, Coursera, Datacamp, Springboard, and Cognitive Class by IBM are the top eLearning platforms whose data science courses are worth pursuing.
In comparison to books, you will learn data science concepts through live virtual classes, interactive visuals, and high-quality recorded videos. There are demos and case studies to enhance your practical knowledge, interactive quizzes and end-of-chapter assignments to test your knowledge at each step, and virtual labs to let you work on industry projects and become job-ready. This is probably the best option you can get to learn data science.
Certifications – Achieving an industry-recognized certification is suitable for those professionals who are directly seeking an entry-level job in data science. Basically, these certifications involve a rigorous exam that one needs to qualify for in order to achieve the credential. Some of the top data science certifications are:
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
- IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
- Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst
- SAS Certified Data Scientist
All the above certifications are highly regarded in the corporate world and will help employers understand that you have the right skills for the job.
Apart from the above methods, aspirants can also follow some useful blogs on data science to stay updated with the latest happenings and advancements in the field. There are platforms like Kaggle as well, where some competitions are conducted and participants have to solve data science related challenges.
Now that you know what are the different ways you can learn data science, choose the path that suits you best. There are various job opportunities for professionals with data science skills and companies are even ready to pay higher salaries to them. With growing digital transformation, the importance of data science will become more prominent and the field will continue to enjoy progress. So, time is ripe to learn data science and watch your career flourishing.