The Basic Skills You Need to Become a Big Data Scientist

The Basic Skills You Need to Become a Big Data Scientist Big Data Scientist – is the hottest job in the tech field for 2016 and is projected to only grow in demand. With a median base salary of $116,840 (according to Glassdoor) and opportunities abound including some that neteffects’ is working to fill for our clients, it’s a career in tech definitely worth considering.


Basic Big Data Skills

To land a coveted data science job there are some basic skills that you’ll need to have including:


First, you should have a basic understanding of statistics. What does that entail exactly? If you can’t provide the correct definition of a p-value, you’ll need to brush up on statistics 101. Data science candidates need to be familiar with statistical tests, maximum likelihood estimators, distributions, etc. In addition, you’ll need to be able to understand when different techniques are (or are not) a valid approach.

Been a while since you’ve sat in on a statistics class, if ever? Not a problem. Here are two options for online learning to get you up to speed:

edX statistics courses

Udacity statistics course

Tech Skills

Do you know how to code? Good. Familiar with some programming languages already? Even better. To work in data science, you will need to know a statistical programming language like Python or R and a database querying language like SQL.

Don’t have those skills in your wheelhouse just yet? Check out these online courses:

code academy’s Python course

coursera’s R course

KahnAcademy’s SQL course

Other Skills

Data will come to you in all forms and some of it WILL be messy. Knowing how to work with imperfect data is part of the job and having data munging skills will only help you.

Communication skills are ESSENTIAL for data scientists. You must be able to communicate technical findings to non-technical team members (think: sales, marketing, product management) you’ll likely be required to speak to it and present it visually.

Data science professionals also tend to be naturally curious and passionate about digging deep to find that golden nugget of information. Being self-motivation is also essential for on-the-job success.

Candidates for data science jobs tend to have a Master’s (or higher) degree in math, statistics, computer science, or engineering. However, more employers are becoming more lax with this and do consider talent without a formal degree but a very strong technical background and direct experience.

Interested in learning more about becoming a big data scientist? There’s a great discussion over on Quora on the subject and you should also check out this great article by Kunal Jain over on the Analytics Vidhya website.