“How to start the Data Scientist Journey?”

The requirements for a beginner-level Data Scientist : Skills, Research Mindset, and an Incentive

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

Kicking off my vague plan last month, I ambitiously signed up for a bunch of courses on Udemy but quickly realized my lack of patience for 28 hours-courses that just give baseline knowledge. Also, my plan lacked the excitement factor. The next few days, I browsed through the sea of articles about data science on TDS and Twitter. I found two posts very relevant for a beginner in data science and forced me to rethink my approach.

Skills: This repost by KDNuggets on Twitter explains the journey and the skills you must acquire. The post validated my understanding of a Data Scientist’s role and added more clarity to it. From a skill-set point of view, it boosted my confidence as I could check the boxes next to a lot of the listed skills. If you are trying to figure out where to start, this post is spot on.

Research Mindset: Pan Wu on this kickass post (and other posts) provides succinct pieces of advice and detailed real-life examples. The mother of all is that a data scientist must build up a research mindset. It answers a load of beginner-level questions about data science such as “How does one approach problem-solving?”, “Is Ph.D. required to become a data scientist?” etc.

“The research mindsets are the thinking patterns or methods commonly used by researchers, to synthesize a holistic picture about the problem space from existing literatures, propose specific questions which are valuable to be addressed, and identify innovative solutions so that our knowledge in this area could be push one step further.” — Pan Wu

These posts taught me that a data scientist must carry a researcher’s mindset and stay open to learning. Well, how do we put that into practice?

What would a researcher need to begin his journey? a problem statement or a hypothesis. I must find a real-life problem where I can learn along the way while building a convincing thesis. My Udemy courses will surely come in handy in earning the skills while the real-life problem shall incentivize the journey itself.

For those of you who are in a similar situation, find something that incentivizes your journey — may be a problem statement that incentivizes you to solve, a skillset for your resume that gets you your dream job, etc. But make sure to embed the learning at every stage of the problem-solving.



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