By 2023, the big data analytics market will reach a value of $275 billion. As organizations around the world look toward ways to turn information into actionable insights, they’re realizing that numbers matter.

Do you have an inquisitive nature? Are you always looking to get to the root of an issue, then back up your findings with cold, hard facts? If so, a career in data science might be right for you.

This promising, expanding industry centers on using information to help solve complex issues. If the idea of unwinding unstructured data, then mining it for value appeals to you, read on.

Today, we’re sharing seven ways you can jumpstart a career in this field so that in four years, you’ll have your own share of that massive market value.

Ready to learn more? Pick up that pencil and let’s take some notes.

1. Find Your Niche

Starting a career in data science begins with determining the kind of role you want.

For instance, you might gravitate toward machine learning. Or, you may be interested in becoming a data analyst, data engineer or even an information architect.

In some cases, your prior educational and professional experience can help steer you down a specific path. If you have a background in software engineering, for example, data engineering would be a natural next step.

If you’re just starting out, consider what aspects of data science interest you the most and consider what kinds of projects you’d enjoy working on. Talk to a few people who are already working in those positions to get a clearer picture of what to expect.

2. Start Honing Your Skill Set

Before you can begin working in a data science career, it’s important that you learn the ropes.

While you don’t have to be an expert in every aspect of the position you’re eyeing, you should have the basic skill sets required to succeed within it. The good news? There are now plenty of online resources that can help you in this effort.

Start by taking a data science course online to get the fundamentals under your belt. Most of these are available to take on your own time, affording you the flexibility to continue working your current job while learning a new trade at the same time.

3. Create Practice Projects

Once you have a few courses under your belt, you’ll feel more confident in your role as a future data scientist. Yet, it’s important to not stop there.

Keep your skills fresh by creating data projects that challenge you and test your knowledge.

Don’t overcomplicate this step, especially in the beginning. Simply look for a dataset you can use, then come up with a few questions you’d like to solve by analyzing that information.

As you use the myriad tools available to do so, you’ll grow in your craft. You’ll also have plenty of work to showcase in your portfolio, which will come in handy during a job interview.

4. Network Within Your Community

The old adage is true: Sometimes, it really is all about who you know. To this end, it’s helpful to get out there! Attend local networking events for professionals in your community.

For a general business or entrepreneurship event, bring along copies of your resume and make connections with as many people as possible. This gives you an opportunity to practice your communication skills and grow as a leader in your field.

Sometimes, you can even find data science meetups near you, where you can learn from others who are walking down the same career path you are.

If you can’t find a local event, check for online hangouts and meetups, wherein you can connect virtually with people around the globe who are also interested in this field.

5. Learn Your Coding Language

To successfully learn data analysis, you’ll need to determine which coding language you prefer to work in. While there are various ones to choose from, you don’t have to be literate in every one to turn this into a lucrative and rewarding career.

Instead, do your research to determine the languages most commonly used within your preferred niche. Generally, most projects will center on Python, SQL, R or Java.

These are all valuable langauges for any data scientist to know, though learning them isn’t always easy. Look for advanced online training courses to get started and if possible, connect with a mentor who can walk you through the basics.

6. Practice with Bootcamps

When you’re ready, take a deep dive into the world of data science by participating in a bootcamp.

Often spanning multiple weeks or even months, these are intensive programs that allow you to gain hands-on experience as you work alongside your peers on real-world problems.

A simple online search can yield you plenty of options for courses you can take at brick-and-mortar locations near you or via a virtual portal. Though these often carry a high price tag, the career you’ll see makes them well worth the investment.

7. Fine-Tune Your Resume and Start Applying

You’ve learned the skills and you’ve networked with the right people. Now, you’re ready to check out data scientist careers and apply for one yourself.

Before you do, take a second look on your resume. Make sure your applicable recent projects and completed courses are prioritized over your experience (as you likely don’t have much, yet). Create a list of the coding languages you use.

Focus your initial job search efforts on mid-sized companies. Startup companies in Seattle may be suitable for you as there is a lesser competition and a greater chance to grow in your career.  Here, you’ll have plenty of senior scientists to learn from, and they won’t be too busy to share their knowledge with you. In the interview, explain what led you to choose this career and highlight the special skills that you bring to the position.

Start Your Career in Data Science Today

Now that you know more about how to crack into the industry, are you ready to get started?

A career in data science can be the ideal way to mesh your love of analytics with your quest for answers and fact. Globalization and digitization continue to propel businesses to take closer looks at the information present in their agencies. This means there will always be a need for someone to crunch those numbers.

To learn more about how to succeed in business and find the role you’re meant to fill, be sure to follow our career page. We’ll help you find the tips and tricks you need to make every workday count.

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