3 Things You Should Do Before You Pursue a Course in Data Science
By Afia Ahmad
Data Scientists are in demand across a multitude of industries. A role in the field of Data Science is considered the most ‘Sexiest Job of the 21st Century’, according to Harvard Business Review. Data Science has become pervasive across a range of industries. From Analytics to Machine Learning, the necessity for Data science only continues to grow. As the prospects for Data Science, and with it Data Scientists, grows, there is no better time than now to act upon your passion for it.
The first step towards a well grounded data science career is a good educational founding in the subject. Whether it’s pursuing a full time degree or enrolling in an online course, it is necessary that the decision is based on thorough research and informed choices. There is a lot of information out there that can help you prepare for a course in Data Science.
Here are three things you should do that will ensure that you make the most out of your course and stay well ahead.
1) Speculate and Specialize:
The field of Data Science is so vast that learning everything about it is close to impossible. The learning path is a continuum in this field – one can never fully know everything about Data Science at any given point in time. Thus, the first step you should take before choosing to pursue Data Science is to figure your area of interest. This is not to say that you have to narrow down your options one single stream, rather, figure a preference in the vast field. For instance, if you believe that Machine Learning can be instrumental in solving big issues, then focus on that as your specialization and learn other sections to support your choice. Choose a path that interests and motivates you to keep learning based on your strengths and knowledge. If you can’t seem to decide, keep asking questions, experimenting and finding answers to them and remember to notice what leads you there. Constantly seeking solutions to issues you want to see fixed could lead you to figure the specialization you need. The more curious you get with Data, the more you learn. Once you’ve figured out your entry point into data science, things will begin to fall into place.
2) Basic skill sets add value:
A good Data Science course begins from building a base skill set that will work its way into making you a good Data Scientist. But, possessing a few basic skills or even an interest in them can propel your learning and growth. For instance, with basic statistical and programming skills, performing Data Science operations become much easier. If you have identified your area of passion in Data Science, further research will clearly dictate the basic skills that can go a long way in achieving your aspirations as a Data Scientist. For instance, if Data Engineering is your dream, then a foundation in programming can help widen the scope of your dreams when you begin your course in Data science. A strong founding will not only help you understand the course better, it will help you set higher bars for yourself.
3) Ensure that your course will take you to the next level:
Once you have made the decision to pursue Data Science and have performed your initial research about the field, the next big step is to take your goals to the next level. There are wide variety of Data Science courses available out there – online, offline, full-time and part-time and so on. You need to make sure that what you expect to achieve through your part in the field of Data Science aligns with what the course can offer you to get there. While there are courses that offer specialization in varied aspects of Data Science, very few start from the beginning and prepare you for a wholesome career and personal development, such as the course in Data Science from Manipal’s ProLearn. Ensure that you do thorough groundwork and choose the Data Science education that befits your goals and aspirations.
A flair for coding, basic knowledge of some programming language and a good understanding of databases can take you a long way in your Data Science training. The best way to prepare for a career in Data Science is to develop the passion that would be much larger than getting a job; a passion to solve a bigger world issue. Make the right choice with your course and that will be the first step to realizing your passion.
What are some of the other things that one needs to do/ know before pursuing a Data Science course? Tell us in the comments!