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What Qualifications do I Need to Become a Data Scientist?

by Nathan Zachary
Data Scientist

Artificial intelligence and Big Data are at the center of the current digital era. In this case, data is the lifeblood of every organization. It functions like fuel and is heavily reliant on the internet and modern technology. Every day, data is generated at a rate of roughly 2.5 exabytes. On the other hand, by 2025, the total amount of data generated worldwide will surpass 175 zettabytes. To keep ahead of their rivals in the market, a lot of organizations have made data the core of their operations and are prepared to invest more in this area. Consequently, this subject has become crucial in practically every firm.

The most sought-after field for a career is data science, where every action is tied to a vast amount of data. This expanding subject is becoming more and more popular as it assists corporate executives in making judgments based on data and current events. The perfect synthesis of many distinct streams and methods is data science. In fact, it encourages people to make more informed decisions. In order to evaluate the data and draw conclusions from it, data science uses a variety of statistical, mathematical, and scientific approaches. This is because its main goal is to discover patterns, trends, and insightful insights. This leads to the increased demand for Skilled and qualified data science experts who have optimum Data Science Skills to tackle data issues. If you want to understand what skills are employers actually seeking, then you can check out the Data scientist job description on various job portals. 

So this article is all about the data science qualifications required to become an expert in this domain. 

Data Science

Data Science is a vast area that consists of several different methodologies regarding mathematics, statistics, science, Big Data, artificial intelligence, computer engineering, and many more. Basically, it is the study of data to get meaningful insights for business. It is also known as a multidisciplinary approach that involves many practices and principles to process and analyze large amounts of data. Data science tools help business leaders to find answers to questions like what happened, why it happened, what will happen, what actions should be taken, and what can be done with outcomes. Therefore almost all organizations are hiring skilled data and science professionals and providing them with attractive salary packages.

Data science is an advanced sector that is being used in many important sectors such as Finance, Healthcare, Defense, E-commerce, medicine, communication, travel, entertainment, media, and every other aspect of human life. Here,  professionals who perform data-related complex tasks through special skills and expertise are called Data Scientists or data science experts. They are analytical experts who implement their skills in both social science and technology to find trends and manage data. Basically, they use “Data” to understand and explain the phenomena around them and help business leaders make improved and informed decisions. 

Top Data Science Qualifications and Skills Required

In today’s scenarios, data science jobs are considered the hottest and in-demand jobs worldwide. But it is not that easy to become a data scientist or any data professional because data science is a multi-disciplinary field that requires a variety of skill sets to become a perfect professional in this domain. 

When it comes to qualifications, data scientists are required to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in fields like computer science, information technology, mathematics, statistics, or other similar domains. A Master’s degree in data science is added benefit if you are serious about a career in this field. Now, if you are from a non-technical background, you can still start a data science career by taking proper courses and training online. 

Apart from the qualifications, let us have a look at some of the important skills required for the data science field. 

  • Database and Programming Languages- As the name shows, data science is all about processing data, So here it all started with database skills and programming languages, which are a must to know by every data professional. Programming languages help these experts to manipulate the data and apply sets of algorithms as and when required. Data scientists often use Python, R, Scala, SQL, etc., to perform their tasks. 

Besides these languages, Databases are also essential to learn to store data in a structured way and to ensure how and when data should be called as per requirements. MongoDB, MySQL, etc., are the most popular databases used by data scientists to generate adequate results that are desired by most companies. 

  • Mathematics and Statistical Analysis- These are the second most important skills that are a must-learn and something that can’t be ignored. Mathematics skills involve Calculus, statistics, Geometry, Linear Algebra and Matrix, regression, probability, Dimensionality Reduction, Vector Models, etc., which are essential to know for a data science expert. It helps to perform tasks and execute the desired output along with making your base strong while working in a data science field. All these mathematical and statistical algorithms go with the flow and ensure that you are learning them thoroughly to implement them in real-time scenarios.
  • Data Analysis and data visualization- Data analytics techniques are essentially required by data scientists to get meaningful insights from structured and unstructured datasets as there is an enormous amount of data is being generated. Knowledge of analytical tools such as Hadoop, SAS, Spark, Pig, Hive, and R is required to gain valuable insights/trends. 

 A data scientist is also required to have sound knowledge of data visualization tools to display pictorial forms of charts and graphs. Tableau, Power BI, Qlikview, and D3.js are some of the important visualization tools used by data scientists to present their outputs in an attractive way. 

  • Manage Unstructured Data-  A data scientist has to work with many new things in their daily routine jobs. So they must know how to deal with unstructured data sets by implementing appropriate skills and processes. These data sets come from different sources and channels, so they have to adapt to working with new data while working as a data scientist. 


  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence- When everyone is talking about AI and ML techniques, a Data scientist must also know about these relevant technologies to stay ahead of their competitors. It helps them perform their tasks in a better and easiest way. It also helps them solve complex problems specifically that are designed for predictions or for setting future goals. These techniques help data scientists to handle large datasets like cleaning data by removing redundancies. 

Other technical skills such as Deep Learning, smart computing, processing large data sets, data wrangling, web scraping, and big data skills are required to master your expertise in this domain.

Besides these skills, there are many more non-technical skills are required to know working as a data scientist, such as good communication skills, critical thinking, leadership skills, strong business acumen, data intuition skills, etc.

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