The Future of Jobs report 2020 has found that COVID-19 has led to an increase in demand for usage of cloud computing, big data, and e-commerce in business ventures while 84% of employers are focusing on digitalizing work processes as well as focusing on remote work opportunities.
Data Science is at the forefront of this technological evolution, even more so during this pandemic, creating a great number of jobs and opportunities for people to venture into. It is but natural, that more and more people are drawn to this field of work.
Data science is getting applied all over the place
Data science helps make systems more efficient, its applicability extends to determining the different ways in which data science knowledge can be used to resolve issues in fields such as pharmacology, medical health, and engineering. Furthermore, it can be used in marketing and advertising products to expand the consumer reach or detecting fraud so as to help organizations make better and more successful business decisions.
Data Science as a field is intersectional with various other industries and requires personnel who possess the ability to not only analyze the data gathered but also understand how the data can be generated and collected in those domains and results can be utilized for the specific field.
Varied applications mean different skill sets
Some of these tasks have more to do with functional and managerial skills as opposed to merely using technical skills to find a solution. While the field has been predominantly associated with building up mathematical and programming skills, clearly, it also has other components which are just as important as the ability to extract insights from data.
The functional and managerial aspects of data science are often forgotten about when thinking of a career in data science.
One person cannot have the breadth of skills needed for data science implementation
It has become improbable for a single person to inculcate mathematical abilities in addition to being a business developer and a manager who assess the extent to which data science is needed, come up with a plan to implement technology, and oversee the entirety of the project.
There is a greater need for people with different skills and ways of understanding the use of data science to manage the varying levels of work. Teamwork is the need of the hour as a single person cannot be expected to evaluate, plan, and implement operations at the micro and macro level structures of an organization.
Today’s enterprises need
- business leaders with data science awareness,
- engineers and technical teams with data science knowledge in addition to
- programmers and mathematicians.
You need to map your strengths to the most suitable data science role
Individuals interested in data science careers must align their skills and strengths with one of the aforementioned roles and analyze how they might contribute to the industry/organization that they would like to work with before jumping in to mastering the mathematical skills.
If you are a people person, becoming a consultant who acts as a bridge between the technology teams and the end users is the right career option. This calls for a managerial understanding of data science along with plenty of design thinking skills. You will also benefit from learning counseling skills.
If you are a technical person (engineer, pharmacist, chemist etc.), a deep understanding of using one of the off-the-shelf ML tools along with a know-how of data collection and cleaning of data from your domain is a better skill to have than coding and mathematics.
Of course, the programmers amongst you can choose to become an ML engineer with excellent coding skills and mathematics foundations.
Irrespective of your academic and professional background, you can still switch to data science as long as you carefully map your skills with the corresponding area within data science.