We’ve looked at what a data scientist might do, and how in demand they might be; but do you have what it takes to be a data scientist?
What skills does it take to really succeed in this industry, and how would yours stack up in the real world?
Do you have what it takes to be a data scientist?
Data science requires a unique mix of personality traits, skills and abilities.
The good news? You probably already have, and use, a lot of them. Here are the top personality traits and skills you require to get started (and progress!) in this career:
Do you find yourself questioning things alot, and more importantly, questioning the right things?
A good data scientist needs a curious, inquisitive mind, and the ability to follow their gut hunches, so this is a trait that could come in very useful.
However, they also need to know which rabbit holes are simply dead ends- so those with shiny object syndrome should probably look elsewhere.
You see the world as an individual, through a unique set of eyes- and this is critical to coming up with novel solutions to complex issues!
Alternative thinking is fundamental to business advantage; and it’s fundamental to building models and algorithms that no one else has!
If you are looking for an industry you can throw yourself and your brilliant strategies into, then data science may just be the one.
Of course, it all depends on the company and job function, but if you can find an employer that needs a creative and fresh approach, this could be a match made in heaven.
3. Determination & Focus
Do you sometimes get so lost in your work that you forget to eat or sleep?
Once a project consumes you, will you rest at nothing to see it through?
Data is as intriguing as it is exasperating, and you need to be ready for some long and tedious stints of problem solving and inevitable hiccups. If this sounds like hell to you, then you probably need to ask yourself very honestly if you have what it takes to be a data scientist!
As for us, we love problem solving so much that it consumes us; and if you already display this level of focus, grit, and dedication in other areas of your life, then welcome home!
5. Communication Skills
It’s not all numbers and spreadsheets; results need to be presented and justified back to big bosses.
Can you listen to the upper echelons, and distil your work down to what they really need?
Can you translate the language of numbers and complex algorithms to those that don’t speak it?
Are you great at arguing your case and selling your ideas, compellingly?
It is not enough to be excellent behind a screen – to really succeed in this industry you will want to shine with your interpersonal skills, too.
6. Analytical Mind
Are you always looking for patterns, meanings and (seemingly) obscure correlations?
Do you consistently find answers to problems that no one else even notices?
Then you may have just found your calling.
Data Science is all about taking raw data, uncovering unique insights, and digging out profitable business strategies – and if they were obvious or simple then you wouldn’t be paid the big bucks!
So if you have an excellent analytical muscle that is dying to be flexed, then it’s time to join an industry that needs you.
7. Technical Ability
So, do you have what it takes to be a data scientist? Up until now you may have thought so – but remember you will also need a solid knowledge of programming languages, databases, analytical modelling and visualisation tools.
That’s right, you need to have the technical know-how as well.
But this does need mean you need to spend four years at university and spend thousands of pounds, not does it mean your previous professional experience is not relevant.
In fact, as long as you have a thirsty mind, willingness to learn, and work hard, then we should have you covered with our courses – starting with an entry level Python course for those just starting out.