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How To How To Become A Data Scientist In 2024

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Data is everywhere, right? Just think about Googling something or buying stuff online. That’s all data doing its thing.

Big companies, when they buy other companies, they’re often after the data. It’s like the secret sauce for making money these days.

But here’s the catch: data is worthless if you don’t know what to do with it. It’s like having a ton of online shoppers’ info but not knowing what they like or how to sell to them. That’s where data scientists come in.

 A data scientist digs into the numbers, find patterns, and make predictions. And even create reports that help businesses figure out their budget and stuff. So, data is cool, but data scientists are the real MVPs.

But a question might come to mind: Is it worth becoming a data scientist?

To answer this question, I did some research and collected some reasonable stats that can help you make an informed decision. 

  1. According to Coursera, Data scientist jobs are predicted to experience 36% growth between 2021 and 2031. It indicates the high demand of Data scientist jobs. 
  2. According to Glassdoor, data scientist jobs are #2 in the US, and it’s been hanging out in the top 3 for the last 6 years.
  3. As of May 2023, the median annual salary for data scientists in the United States was $108,020, with the highest 10% earning more than $184,090. This is more than double the median annual wage for all workers, which was $46,310 during the same period.

PLUS, They’re tackling real-world problems in every field imaginable:

  • Healthcare: Predicting diseases, discovering new drugs, even streamlining hospital operations.
  • Business & Finance: Figuring out why customers leave, catching fraudsters, and making savvy investment moves.
  • Environment: Modeling climate change, saving endangered species, and helping us use energy wisely.
  • Social Issues: Predicting crime, tracking disease outbreaks, and even fighting poverty.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Data scientists are also crunching numbers in sports, marketing, traffic management, and so much more. It’s a field that’s changing the world, one data point at a time.

Did you see how cool data science is…

If that’s you thinking about becoming a data scientist and solving real-world problems, I’m here to help you take those first steps.

Let’s discuss every step you need to take to become a data scientist. 

Let’s first discuss what it takes to become a data scientist. I mean how do you know that Data Science is a great for you.

How to know if you’re a good fit for data scientist:

Answer these questions to figure if it’s a good fit.

  1. Does the idea of exploring datasets, identifying patterns, and drawing conclusions excite you?
  2. Do you like to ask questions, dig deeper into problems, and use logical reasoning to find solutions?
  3. Programming is a core skill for data scientists. If you enjoy it or are motivated to learn, that’s a plus.
  4. Do you enjoy tackling challenges and finding creative ways to address complex issues?
  5. Data science has the potential to drive significant changes in various fields. Does this motivate you?

A few basic skills that you need to consider before choosing Data Scientist as your career option. 

  1. Becoming a data science is not an easy task, you need to love numbers, mathematics, and analytics. It’s the basic!
  2. You must have curious and problem-solving mindset to extract the solutions from the critical data. 
  3. You must know the basic math concepts like statistics, probability, and other mathematical concepts to analyze and interpret data effectively. 
  4. Proficiency in Python & R for data manipulation, analysis, and model building. 
  5. Communication & Collaborative skills
  6. You must have a good understanding of industry you’re about to work in. For example, if you want to become a data scientist in healthcare industry, then you must learn to frame right questions and interpret results effectively. 

If you think that Data Scientist career is right for you, then keep reading to learn how to become one!

Before getting started, first let’s talk about a few questions…

FAQs…

1. Do You Need a Degree to Be a Data Scientist?

A degree isn’t mandatory for a data scientist career, but it often helps. While 88% of data scientists hold master’s degrees and 46% have PhDs, relevant skills and a strong portfolio can outweigh formal education.

Common degrees for aspiring data scientists are in computer science, math, or statistics. However, as demand surpasses supply, companies are increasingly open to candidates with proven skills and experience, even without traditional degrees.

2. How Long Does It Take?

If you choose academic path, it might take up to 6 years from a complete scratch. 

But you can take certification courses, practice more, build your portfolio, to become a data scientist in 12 months — 24 months without a degree.

What are the data scientist job roles you can apply for?

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Architect
  • Business Analyst
  • Data and Analytics Manager
  • Statistician
  • Database Administrator
  • Machine Learning Engineer

So let’s start with the basics…

When you prepare for something, you need to follow a simple method…

It’s called “pen and paper ” method.

 and write down the set of skills you currently have. Define your values; Your values can help you prioritize career options that resonate with you.

Let’s break down the PEN & Paper method into a more actionable step-by-step guide for aspiring data scientists:

Phase 1: Planning & Preparation (P)

Take a piece of paper and write down your long-term career aspirations as a data scientist. What specific role do you want? Which industry interests you the most? What impact do you hope to make?

Create two columns on your paper: “Strengths” and “Weaknesses.” List your current technical skills (e.g., programming languages, statistical knowledge, machine learning algorithms) and soft skills (e.g., communication, problem-solving) under the appropriate columns.

Based on your strengths and weaknesses, create a step-by-step plan for acquiring the skills you need. Research online courses, boot camps, or degree programs that align with your learning goals and budget.

Determine how you’ll connect with other data scientists. Will you attend conferences, join online forums, or reach out to professionals on LinkedIn? Set specific targets for the number of people you’ll connect with each month.

NEXT…

Phase 2: Exploration & Experimentation (E)

Start working on personal data science projects. Choose topics that interest you and document your process in a notebook or online portfolio. This will showcase your skills to potential employers.

Find interesting datasets online (Kaggle, government websites, etc.) and experiment with them. Analyze, visualize, and derive insights. Keep a record of your findings in a dedicated notebook.

Practice your programming skills by solving coding challenges and exercises. Many online platforms offer these resources for free.

Set aside time each week to read data science books, articles, and research papers. Summarize key takeaways in your notebook.

Phase 3: Networking (N)

Create a spreadsheet or notebook to track your networking efforts. Record the names, contact information, and conversation highlights of the people you meet.

Use a spreadsheet to organize your job applications. Track the companies you’ve applied to, the dates, and the outcomes of your applications.

Seek out experienced data scientists who can offer guidance and advice. Ask them questions, share your challenges, and learn from their experiences.

Regularly review your progress and adjust your plan as needed. Are you achieving your learning goals? Are your networking efforts paying off? Use your journal to reflect on your journey and identify areas for improvement.

Okay, you know the initial process of preparing for Data scientist. Let’s move to the actual process of becoming a data scientist. 

 In this section, you’ll learn the type of skills and qualities you need to master. 

Let’s begin…

Here is a simple roadmap to become a data scientist

1. Starter — 

Define Your Dream Companies: Find out which other companies resonate with your career aspirations and values? Identify a few “big giants” you’d like to target.

Dive into company websites, Glassdoor reviews, and LinkedIn profiles of current data scientists at these companies. This will give you a clearer picture of their culture and expectations.

2. Technical Skills 

Foundation:

  • Programming: Python (NumPy, pandas, scikit-learn), R, SQL
  • Statistics: Descriptive and inferential statistics, probability, hypothesis testing
  • Machine Learning: Regression, classification, clustering, deep learning (optional)
  • Data Visualization: Matplotlib, Seaborn, Tableau, Power BI, Excel, Plotly 

Advanced:

  • Big Data: Spark, Hadoop
  • Cloud Computing: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform
  • MLOps: Deployment, monitoring, model versioning
  • Specialized Areas: Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computer Vision, Time Series Analysis.

How You Can Master:

  • Structured Learning: Online courses (see recommendations below)
  • Hands-On Projects: Kaggle competitions, personal data analysis projects
  • Continuous Learning: Staying up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques.

Here are a few certification courses Online to learn these skills

Best Online Certification Courses:

1. IBM Data Science (IBM)

Kickstart your data science journey with this comprehensive course, covering everything from Python basics to machine learning. It’s perfect for beginners with no prior experience and provides practical skills through hands-on projects.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn data science fundamentals and build a strong foundation
  • Master Python programming for data analysis and visualization
  • Apply various machine learning algorithms to real-world problems
  • Gain experience with databases and SQL for data management
  • Build a portfolio of projects to showcase your skills to employers

2. Python for Data Science, AI & Development (IBM)

This Coursera course is a great starting point if you’re interested in Python and its applications in data science, analysis, or even software development. It’s perfect for absolute beginners with no coding experience and covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

Key takeaways:

  • Python fundamentals: You’ll learn the very basics of Python, like different data types (numbers, text) and how to work with them.
  • Data structures: You’ll understand how to store and organize data using Python lists, tuples, and dictionaries.
  • Logic and control flow: You’ll learn how to make your code do different things based on conditions (if statements) and how to repeat actions (loops).
  • Working with data: You’ll get an introduction to powerful libraries like Pandas and NumPy, which are essential for data analysis.
  • Web scraping: You’ll even learn how to collect data from websites automatically, a valuable skill for many projects.

3. Google Data Analytics (Google)

Kickstart your data analytics career with Google’s professional certificate program. Learn job-ready skills at your own pace, no prior experience needed.

Key takeaways:

  • Master data cleaning, analysis, and visualization techniques.
  • Gain hands-on experience with spreadsheets, SQL, R programming, and Tableau.
  • Build a professional portfolio through real-world case studies.
  • Prepare for in-demand roles like Junior or Associate Data Analyst.
  • Receive career support from Google and access to 150+ hiring partners.

4. What is Data Science? (IBM)

This course provides a basic overview of data science, exploring its history, applications, and the career paths it offers. It’s great for beginners curious about this “sexy” profession.

Key takeaways:

  • Data science in a nutshell: Learn the core definition and how it’s used to solve real-world problems.
  • Data scientist toolkit: Get a glimpse into the skills and qualities needed for success in this field.
  • The big data boom: Understand the impact of massive datasets and the tools used to handle them.
  • Career paths: Discover different roles within data science and how to position yourself for a job.

5. Data Science (Johns Hopkins University)

This specialization offers a solid foundation in data science, taking you from beginner to proficient in R programming and key data science concepts. Ideal for aspiring data scientists or those seeking to upskill.

  • Master R Programming: Learn to clean, analyze, and visualize data using R, a widely used language in data science.
  • Navigate the Data Science Pipeline: Gain a holistic understanding of the data science process, from acquiring data to publishing results.
  • Collaborate with GitHub: Learn how to manage data science projects using GitHub, a popular version control platform.
  • Statistical Inference and Modeling: Explore core statistical concepts and their applications in data science, including regression analysis.
  • Practical Application: Complete a capstone project where you’ll apply your newfound skills to real-world data, demonstrating your proficiency.

6. Foundations of Data Science (Google)

This course gives a good overview of what data analysts and scientists do, the tools they use, and how they fit into companies. It also introduces a helpful framework (PACE) for tackling data projects.

Key takeaways:

  • Data roles: Understands the difference between data analysts (who focus on analyzing existing data) and data scientists (who also build models to predict future trends).
  • Tools of the trade: Gets you familiar with spreadsheets, SQL for querying databases, and R programming for more complex analysis.
  • Data’s impact: Shows how data-driven insights can help businesses make better decisions and improve their bottom line.
  • The PACE framework: Introduces a step-by-step process for planning, analyzing, constructing, and executing data projects, making them more manageable.
  • Communication is key: Emphasizes the importance of clearly communicating findings to both technical and non-technical audiences.

7. Applied Data Science with Python (University of Michigan)

The Applied Data Science with Python Specialization on Coursera was a practical and engaging introduction to the field. The focus on real-world application made the content relevant and applicable.

Key takeaways:

  • Strong emphasis on Python libraries essential for data science (pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn)
  • Projects are well-designed, building on concepts learned in each module
  • The course strikes a good balance between theory and hands-on coding exercises
  • Instructors are knowledgeable and provide clear explanations
  • Text mining and social network analysis modules offer unique insights not often covered in introductory courses.

8. Google Advanced Data Analytics (Google)

The Google Advanced Data Analytics Professional Certificate on Coursera is a practical, hands-on program for experienced analysts or those with the Google Data Analytics Certificate.

Key takeaways:

  • Broad skill development: Gain proficiency in Python, statistical analysis, regression models, and machine learning.
  • Real-world projects: Apply skills to practical scenarios with Jupyter Notebook and Tableau.
  • Career-focused: Prepare for roles like senior data analyst, junior data scientist, or data science analyst.
  • Industry recognized: Certificate from Google, valued by over 150 U.S. employers.
  • High success rate: 75% of graduates report a positive career outcome within six months.

9. Machine Learning Specialization

Coursera’s Machine Learning Specialization is an excellent starting point for those looking to break into AI. With a focus on hands-on projects, this program teaches you to build and deploy your own machine learning models.

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Covers essential ML concepts like supervised and unsupervised learning, neural networks, and recommender systems.
  • Practical Skills: Develop Python programming skills and learn to use popular libraries like NumPy, scikit-learn, and TensorFlow.
  • Real-world Applications: Learn to build practical AI solutions for various problems, from predicting housing prices to classifying images.
  • Engaging Instructor: Andrew Ng’s clear explanations and passion for AI make complex topics accessible.
  • Supportive Community: Connect with fellow learners on the forums to discuss concepts and get help with projects.

10. Introduction to Data Science Specialization

This Coursera specialization is a great introduction to data science for those with no prior experience. It covers the basics in a clear and concise way, providing a solid foundation for further learning.

Key takeaways:

  • Data science fundamentals: Understand what data science is, its applications, and the role of a data scientist.
  • Essential tools: Get hands-on experience with popular data science tools like Jupyter Notebooks, RStudio, and GitHub.
  • Data science methodology: Learn a structured approach to solving data science problems.
  • Databases and SQL: Gain practical skills in querying databases using SQL and Python.

11. Data Science Math Skills

This Coursera course offers a solid foundation in the essential math concepts needed for data science. It’s perfect for beginners who haven’t taken advanced math courses like algebra or pre-calculus. The course is well-structured, starting with basic set theory and gradually progressing to more complex topics like calculus and probability.

Key takeaways:

  • Set Theory: Understand sets, intersections, unions, and their applications in data science.
  • Functions and Graphs: Learn to visualize relationships between variables using functions and graphs.
  • Derivatives and Integrals: Grasp the fundamental concepts of calculus, including rates of change and optimization.
  • Probability: Master probability theory, including Bayes’ Theorem, essential for understanding and working with data.
  • Clear Explanations: The instructors provide clear explanations and examples, making even complex concepts easy to grasp.

12. Crash Course on Python

This beginner-friendly course is a great starting point for anyone curious about programming and automation. It offers a solid foundation in Python basics, making it easy to grasp even without prior experience. The hands-on exercises and real-world examples keep things engaging.

Key takeaways:

  • Python fundamentals: You’ll learn the core building blocks of Python, from syntax to variables and data types.
  • Automation with scripts: Discover how to write simple scripts to automate repetitive tasks, a valuable skill in IT.
  • Functions and control flow: Understand how to create reusable code blocks (functions) and use loops and conditional statements to control program flow.
  • Data structures: Learn how to work with lists, dictionaries, and other structures to organize and manipulate data.
  • Problem-solving: Develop a problem-solving framework to tackle programming challenges step by step.

13. Python for Everybody Specialization

This specialization is a great introduction to programming and data analysis using Python. It’s perfect for beginners with no prior coding experience. The courses are well-structured, building on each other as you progress through the series.

Key Skills Gained:

  • Python programming fundamentals (variables, functions, loops)
  • Data structures (lists, dictionaries, tuples)
  • Working with web data (APIs, XML)
  • Database interaction (SQLite, CRUD operations)
  • Data visualization (Google Maps API)

Key Findings:

  • Python’s versatility for data collection, analysis, and visualization.
  • Practical application of Python through hands-on projects.
  • A solid foundation for further exploration of Python’s vast capabilities.

14. SQL for Data Science

This Coursera course offers a solid introduction to SQL fundamentals, making it ideal for beginners in data science. It assumes no prior knowledge and gradually builds your skills from simple to complex queries.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn core SQL concepts: SELECT, WHERE, JOINs, etc.
  • Practice with real-world datasets: Apply skills to practical scenarios.
  • Understand data relationships: Explore keys, joins, and table structures.
  • Manipulate data: Filter, sort, aggregate, and transform data.
  • Prepare for data analysis: Gain skills essential for data science.

15. Data Analysis with R Programming

This Google-led course is a practical introduction to R for data analysis, perfect for beginners. It provides a solid foundation in using R and RStudio to manipulate, analyze, and visualize data.

Key takeaways:

  • R Fundamentals: Learn the basics of R programming, including functions, variables, and data types.
  • Data Manipulation: Master the art of organizing and cleaning data using R’s powerful tools.
  • Data Visualization: Create informative and visually appealing graphs and charts to present your findings.
  • R Markdown: Learn to create dynamic documents that combine text, code, and visualizations.
  • Practical Skills: Gain hands-on experience with real-world data analysis tasks.

16. R Programming

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to R programming and its applications in data analysis. It’s well-structured, beginner-friendly, and covers essential concepts effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding R Fundamentals: Covers data types, structures, functions, and packages.
  • Data Manipulation and Analysis: Learn to read, write, and manipulate data using R.
  • Control Flow and Functions: Master conditional statements, loops, and custom functions.
  • Debugging and Profiling: Gain skills in identifying and fixing errors, optimizing code.

17. Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst

Conquer data analysis with this comprehensive, beginner-friendly program. Acquire job-ready skills in Power BI, the industry-leading tool, and excel in the high-growth field of business intelligence.

Key takeaways:

  • Data Preparation and Transformation: Learn to connect to diverse data sources, and clean and transform data in Excel and Power BI to ensure accurate analysis.
  • Data Modeling: Understand the principles of data modelling, create relationships between tables, and build effective data models using the star schema.
  • DAX Calculations: Master DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) to create calculated columns and measures, enabling deeper insights into your data.
  • Visualizations and Reports: Build interactive dashboards and reports with Power BI’s rich visualization capabilities, making data-driven storytelling effective.
  • Capstone Project: Apply your knowledge in a real-world scenario, showcasing your proficiency in Power BI and data analysis.

18. Mathematics for Machine Learning and Data Science

A solid foundation for understanding the math behind machine learning.

  • Covers essential math concepts: linear algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics.
  • Intuitive explanations with visual aids and practical examples.
  • Prepares you for applying math in real-world machine learning problems.
  • Well-structured course with engaging content and helpful quizzes.
  • Great for beginners who want to build a strong foundation in machine learning math.

19. Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization

A solid intro to data viz, especially for Tableau newbies. This Coursera specialization walks you through the basics, building up to creating impactful dashboards and presentations. It’s great if you’re new to the field or just want to brush up on your skills.

  • Tableau from the ground up You’ll learn the interface, connect to data sources, and build your first visualizations.
  • Design matters: The course emphasizes best practices for creating clear, effective visuals that tell a story.
  • Real-world skills: You’ll work with maps, calculated fields, and KPIs – tools you’ll use in the workplace.
  • Storytelling focus: Learn how to craft a narrative around your data to make it more impactful and persuasive.
  • Hands-on project: The final project lets you apply everything you’ve learned to create a presentation for “executives.”

20. Excel Basics for Data Analysis

This beginner-friendly Coursera course is a great starting point for anyone interested in data analysis or looking to enhance their Excel skills for work. It provides a solid foundation for using Excel for data manipulation and analysis without requiring any coding knowledge.

Key takeaways:

  • Excel Fundamentals: Learn how to navigate Excel, enter and edit data, utilize formulas and essential functions, and reference data effectively.
  • Data Cleaning: Master techniques to import data, address privacy concerns, remove duplicates and inconsistencies, and ensure data accuracy.
  • Data Analysis: Discover how to filter and sort data, apply functions like VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP, and leverage the power of pivot tables for in-depth analysis.
  • Hands-on Learning: Reinforce your understanding through practical exercises and a final project working with real-world data.
  • Career Advancement: Develop valuable skills applicable to data analysis, data science, or any field that involves working with data in Excel.

21. Business Analytics Specialization

A solid introductory course to business analytics, covering the fundamentals across marketing, operations, HR, and finance.

  • Provides a broad overview of how data is used to inform business decisions across different departments.
  • Introduces key concepts and tools in customer analytics, operations analytics, people analytics, and accounting analytics.
  • Offers practical examples and case studies from real-world businesses like Amazon, Google, and Starbucks.
  • Develops basic data literacy and an analytical mindset for strategic decision-making.
  • Best suited for beginners and professionals with no prior analytics experience.

22. Probability & Statistics for Machine Learning & Data Science

This Coursera course effectively bridges the gap between probability & statistics and their applications in machine learning. It provides clear explanations, intuitive visualizations, and practical examples, making complex concepts accessible to beginners.

Key takeaways:

  • Probability fundamentals: Events, rules, conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem, and distributions (Binomial, Normal).
  • Descriptive statistics: Measures of central tendency, variance, skewness, kurtosis, and visualizing data distributions.
  • Statistical inference: Sampling, law of large numbers, central limit theorem, point estimation (MLE, MAP), Bayesian statistics.
  • Interval estimation and hypothesis testing: Confidence intervals, t-tests, and A/B testing in data science.

23. Introduction to Statistics

This course offers a clear and comprehensive introduction to statistics, covering essential concepts and techniques for analyzing data and drawing meaningful conclusions.

Key takeaways:

  • Exploratory data analysis: Learn to visualize and summarize data to uncover patterns and insights.
  • Sampling and experimental design: Understand how to collect data to ensure reliable and valid conclusions.
  • Probability and distributions: Grasp the fundamentals of probability theory and its role in statistical inference.
  • Hypothesis testing and regression: Master essential techniques for making statistical inferences and predictions.
  • Resampling and multiple comparisons: Explore modern statistical methods for addressing complex data analysis challenges.

24. Linear Algebra for Machine Learning and Data Science

A solid foundation in linear algebra is crucial for understanding and implementing machine learning algorithms. This course delivers exactly that, providing a beginner-friendly introduction to the core concepts and their applications in the field.

Key takeaways:

  • Data Representation: Learn how to represent data using vectors and matrices, and understand properties like singularity, rank, and linear independence.
  • Matrix Operations: Master essential operations such as dot product, inverse, and determinants, and their applications in machine learning.
  • Linear Transformations: Understand how some matrix operations can be expressed as linear transformations, a crucial concept in machine learning algorithms.
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors: Dive into eigenvalues and eigenvectors, which play a vital role in dimensionality reduction techniques like PCA.
  • Practical Application: The course demonstrates how these linear algebra concepts are applied to real-world machine-learning problems.

25. Machine Learning with Python

A practical introduction to machine learning using Python, covering essential algorithms and techniques for building and evaluating models. Ideal for beginners seeking job-ready skills and a foundation in ML concepts.

Key takeaways:

  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning: Understand the difference and when to apply each approach.
  • Regression: Learn linear, non-linear, simple, and multiple regression for predicting continuous outcomes.
  • Classification: Explore KNN, decision trees, logistic regression, and SVMs for categorizing data.
  • Clustering: Discover k-means clustering for grouping similar data points.
  • Python libraries: Gain hands-on experience with SciPy and Scikit-learn for building ML models.

26. IBM Machine Learning Professional Certificate

This comprehensive program on Coursera equips you with the essential skills and knowledge to launch a career in machine learning and also prepares you for a data scientist role. In just 3 months, you’ll gain hands-on experience and become job-ready.

Key takeaways:

  • Master the fundamentals: Understand the core concepts of supervised and unsupervised learning, regression, classification, and clustering.
  • Dive into deep learning and reinforcement learning: Explore the theory behind neural networks and modern deep learning architectures, as well as the basics of reinforcement learning.
  • Gain practical experience: Work on hands-on projects using popular frameworks and libraries like pandas, sci-kit-learn, and TensorFlow.
  • Build a portfolio: Complete a capstone project to showcase your skills to potential employers.
  • Receive career support: Access resources like resume reviews and mock interviews to help you land your dream job.

27. Deep Learning Specialization

Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning Specialization is a must-do for anyone serious about mastering AI. It’s comprehensive, well-paced, and provides hands-on experience that truly sticks.

Key takeaways:

  • Solid foundation: Starts with the fundamentals, gradually building your understanding.
  • Practical skills: Teaches you how to build and optimize neural networks using TensorFlow.
  • Real-world applications: Covers diverse areas like computer vision, NLP, and sequence models.
  • Up-to-date content: Includes recent advancements like transformers and HuggingFace.
  • Industry insights: Offers career advice from experts in the field.

28. Neural Networks and Deep Learning

Andrew Ng’s clear explanations and well-structured course make complex concepts accessible. The programming assignments, though guided, provide hands-on experience in building neural networks. While not exhaustive, this course equips you with the essential building blocks for further exploration in deep learning.

Key takeaways:

  • Understanding the core components of neural networks: Neurons, layers, activation functions, etc.
  • Forward and backward propagation: How neural networks learn from data.
  • Building and training simple neural networks: Using Python and NumPy.
  • Vectorization: Optimizing neural network computations for efficiency.
  • Applying deep learning: To image recognition tasks (e.g., cat vs. non-cat classifier).

29. Visualization with Python

The course guides you through Python libraries like Matplotlib, Seaborn, and Folium, equipping you with tools for basic and advanced visualizations. You’ll master diverse chart types, from histograms to waffle charts, and learn to build interactive dashboards using Dash and Plotly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solid foundation: Get familiar with Matplotlib, the core Python library for data visualization.
  • Variety of charts: Learn how to create different types of charts like bar charts, pie charts, and scatter plots.
  • Interactive dashboards: Explore Plotly and Dash to build dynamic and engaging dashboards.
  • Real-world application: The final project gives you hands-on experience analyzing and visualizing data.
  • Beginner-friendly: No prior experience with data visualization is required, making this a great course for beginners.

Other Platforms:

  • Udacity Nanodegree Programs (e.g., Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist)
  • DataCamp Career Tracks (e.g., Data Scientist with Python, Data Scientist with R)

Apart from certification courses, you can consider reading one of these books for understanding.

Books You Can Read:

Projects:

  • Kaggle: Participate in competitions or work on datasets to gain hands-on experience.
  • Personal Projects: Analyze data that interests you, like sports statistics or social media trends.
  • Contribute to Open Source: Help improve data science libraries or tools.

3. How To Master Data Science Skills — 

1. Data Collection & Cleaning:

  • Sources: Learn how to gather data from databases, APIs, web scraping, and more.
  • Cleaning: Understand how to handle missing values, outliers, and inconsistencies in data.

2. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA):

  • Visualization: Create informative plots and charts to understand the distributions, relationships, and patterns in your data.
  • Summary Statistics: Calculate descriptive statistics to summarize key features of your data. 

3. Machine Learning (ML):

  • Supervised Learning: Train models to make predictions or classifications based on labeled data (e.g., linear regression, decision trees, random forests).
  • Unsupervised Learning: Discover patterns and structure in unlabeled data (e.g., clustering, dimensionality reduction).

4. Model Evaluation & Selection:

  • Metrics: Learn how to assess the performance of your models using metrics like accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score.
  • Cross-Validation: Understand how to avoid overfitting and choose the best model for your problem.

5. Data Storytelling & Communication:

  • Visualization: Create compelling visualizations to convey your findings clearly.
  • Presentation: Practice explaining complex concepts in simple terms to both technical and non-technical audiences.

Now that you know about the technical skills. Here are a few soft skills that you need to master before applying for this role…

4. Soft Skills:

  • Communication: Explain complex concepts clearly to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Collaboration: Work effectively in teams, share knowledge, and contribute constructively.
  • Problem Solving: Approach challenges with a structured, data-driven mindset.
  • Business Acumen: Understand how your work impacts the company’s goals and bottom line.
  • Adaptability: Embrace change, learn new technologies quickly, and thrive in ambiguity.

How to Master:

  • Active Listening: Practice empathetic listening to understand others’ perspectives.
  • Presentation Skills: Join a Toastmasters club or practice giving presentations to colleagues.
  • Mentorship: Seek feedback from experienced professionals and learn from their insights.
  • Networking: Attend industry events and build relationships with people in your field.

Finally, it’s time to shine your resume for your job application. Here is how to deal with a resume.

5. Resume

Crafting a compelling Resume plays a huge role in your job application. It’s your impression. 

In fact, A well-optimized Resume can significantly increase the chances of getting noticed by employer and finally got an interview call. 

How to Craft Your Resume

  • Clear Structure: Easy-to-read sections (Summary, Experience, Education, Skills, Projects)
  • Quantifiable Achievements: Use numbers to highlight your impact (e.g., “Increased model accuracy by 15%”)
  • Keywords: Tailor your resume to each job description, using relevant industry terms.
  • Projects: Showcase your skills through a portfolio of interesting data science projects.
  • Summary: A compelling summary that highlights your unique value proposition and career goals.

What Makes a Resume Stand Out

  • Results-Oriented: Emphasize the outcomes of your work, not just the tasks you performed.
  • Relevant Experience: Highlight projects and experiences that align with the target company’s needs.
  • Strong Technical Skills: Demonstrate proficiency in the tools and technologies they use.
  • Clear Communication: A well-written resume that is free of errors and easy to understand.

Here is a sample Resume you can craft… (Get a customizable resume template here)

Here is a sample Resume you can craft… (Get a customizable resume template here)

6. Job Hunting 

Resume & Portfolio:

  • Tailor: Customize your resume for each job application, highlighting relevant skills and experiences.
  • Showcase: Create a portfolio website or GitHub profile to showcase your projects.

Networking:

  • LinkedIn: Connect with data scientists and recruiters.
  • Meetups & Conferences: Attend industry events to meet people and learn about new trends.

Interview Preparation:

  • Practice: Solve coding challenges, answer behavioural questions, and discuss your projects.
  • Mock Interviews: Get feedback from experienced professionals or peers.

Remember building a data science career takes time and effort. Continuously learn and explore new technologies and techniques. Build relationships with people in the field to get advice and support.

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Shailesh Shakya

I'm a Professional blogger, Pinterest Influencer, and Affiliate Marketer. I've been blogging since 2017 and helping over 20,000 Readers with blogging, make money online and other similar kinds of stuff. Find me on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter!

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