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How to Become a Data Scientist

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Data Scientist?

Ready to start your career in Data? Find out more about BrainStation's Data Science Bootcamp

No, you do not need a specific degree to be a Data Scientist, but you do need the right hard and soft skills to be considered for a role in data.

Keep in mind that Data Scientists have traditionally been very highly educated; at last count, 88 percent have at least a Master’s degree, and 46 percent have a PhD. Some of the most common educational paths to a career in data science begin with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or statistics.

But that level of education is not a hard requirement. A strong portfolio and a resume replete with all the requisite skills can go a very long way—especially as the demand for Data Scientists continues to outpace the rate at which universities can produce them. Ultimately, the surest way to become a Data Science is simply to begin doing data science.

Are Data Science Bootcamps Worth It?

In short, yes. Because many organizations now value demonstrable skills and experience over mere credentialism, enrollment in data science bootcamps—with their emphasis on focused, hands-on, immersive learning—has surged. The popularity of these bootcamps and other more tailored courses also rests on the fact that even established Data scientists need to continually upgrade their knowledge with new skills.

Make no mistake: even where Data Scientists are required to have a degree in computer science, a degree in computer science does not a Data Scientist make! Especially if that degree is a few years old; it will need to be supplemented with the highly specialized technical knowledge that all Data Scientists are now expected to possess—a body of knowledge that changes at the same pace as the field of data science itself.

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