Do I need a degree to become a data scientist?


Data scientist as a job is the most wanted, highly important and incredibly lucrative job in recent years. It is the important job in all industry as well as public institutions. The demand for data scientists is growing day by day. Therefore, anybody having an analytical mind, patience, and skills in deduction and inference is eligible for that job.

Those having just degrees without experience cannot outperform a person with good observation, analytical skill, and intelligence can do. Major decisions depend upon the statistics and conclusions derive from consolidated data. There are many opportunities to show your knowledge and expertise even though you may not have a valid educational qualification.

The likes of Mark Zuckerberg are dropouts from college. However, they are now some of the wealthiest people in the field of information technology. Similarly, reddit AMA of Andrew Ng., Stanford professor, the co-founder of Coursera is another example. To know your perfect skill is the key to achieving success.

A degree is not a must, but it is complimentary. If you are comfortable with programming, mathematics, and analytical skills, you are fit to perform a data scientist job. There are some colleges which have courses for undergraduate as well if you need to get a degree. To find out more about educational opportunities, visit the program page.

What if you do not have a degree? A course certification can also net you a data scientist’s role. These colleges offer you an innovative online program which provides an academic background equivalent to a Master’s program for professionals like you, who have the experience but do not require a degree.

Data science is a subject which is based on logic and does not need theory or equations. It is mostly dependent on experience, and result orientated forethought. With these courses, you will accumulate authentic expertise, case studies, and knowledge of required programming languages.

Many companies require experience rather than a degree. However, some big companies who get applications in thousands daily need the criterion of having a degree to eliminate applications in the first round. Still, you can get a job with your experience. If you already are a professional, you can get a promotion as well.

Data scientist courses mostly constitute Master’s degrees, postgraduate degrees in data science and postgraduate diplomas in data science. To opt for various postgraduate degrees, you should atleast be a graduate, or have a doctorate from recognized university and experience along with fluent English. The eligibility criterion requires spending a disproportionate amount of money and seven+ years in education.

Even after spending this amount and time, you may not be well versed with the tumultuous and ever-changing situation concerning programming languages and machine learning. Instead, if you have even a certificate of data science, knowledge of current programming languages like R or Python and buckets of experience in various fields like banks, government institutions, astronomy, census, laboratories, medicine, elections, and research assistance you are most eligible for the job.

Take the example of farming. If you are an agricultural graduate and don’t know what is to be done in case of an untimely monsoon, what would be the use of a degree? However, if you are an experienced farmer, you will promptly search for remedies from records. Similarly, you can provide more organized reports considering the requirements of your organization. Therefore, it is better to invest these four / five years in getting more experience, even if in small companies. You can additionally get these degrees in online courses and enhance your portfolio.

You can also sharpen your mathematics, programming, and analytical skills in boot camps. Always be vigilant for new trends and new programming languages fit for your job and update yourself.

Robert Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” So, be curious and start arriving at a conclusion on small practical happening around you. That being said, a degree is not entirely essential for work as data scientists, but beneficial if you already have one.