Do I need a Masters/PhD to become a data scientist?

Gyansetu Team Data Science

Data science certainly has surged to evolve as one of the highest-paying jobs in the world today. Technological companies’ need and fixation with data scientists is a promise for notable windfalls in the business. This is mainly because they not only reduce their workload and provide solutions to their shortcomings after identifying them but also earn the corporation more revenue through data computation. It’s also the foundation of understanding machine learning and artificial intelligence and applying it theoretically and realistically. 

So many undergraduates nowadays who want to pursue a career in this field are confused about whether they should do a master’s or Ph.D. to become a data scientist. Here are some points that’ll help them decide.

What data scientists’ work?

In the twenty-first century, where every activity is composed, the role of data scientists is more crucial than ever. As we have already mentioned, a data scientist is a professional who works with data digitally and utilises his or her knowledge and understanding to infer that data to enable businesses to make better and informed decisions. They work with a great amount of data that sometimes extends to terabytes in size. The amount of data and its breakdown depends on the business or industry the data is related to.

Data scientists use subjects of mathematics and programming to compile, rectify and interpret data. Their main function is to modify statistical and arithmetical models for attaining data. In simple words, they discover data to apply for further utilisation and improvement.

Data scientists swerve conventional business quandaries into data questions so that all these corporation problems carry data-driven solutions. They convey data to all other less technically involved team members and shareholders of the company by visualising this data. Data scientists also have expertise in programming languages, including SQL, Python, R, and more.

Data scientists take other titles, such as data engineers, machine learning engineers, analytics managers, and data architects. But their coding capability differentiates data scientists from the remainder of the group. Though their work is related and somewhat similar in terms of analysis, there are some fundamental differences:

  • Data analysts are the supervisors of a corporation’s data, assisting team members in comprehending it and wielding that data to create strategic and data-oriented decisions. A data analyst works more like a translator, and pursuing this career needs lesser technical skills.
  • Business analysts carry the strategic task further, concentrating on utilising the data provided by analysts to raise questions and discover their answers.
  • While Data scientists wield that data or information by digging through it and compiling it to find drawbacks and trends, developing predictive prototypes based on the informatory data.

There is, however, another major factor that makes the job of data scientists stand out. It’s the salary. Data scientists typically earn much higher salaries because of their high expertise in the technical field.

Skills data scientists require 

There are various intricate skills required by professionals working in this field that pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. degree can help enhance, such as Programming languages.

Coding and programming are comprehensive skills that can help a data scientist in several ways.

  1. R is a programming language for graphic and statistical computing tasks.
  2. Python is a programming language used for an overall function to perform data manipulation and recited tasks. It has a more extensive application than R and is widely used.
  3. Structured Query Language, more commonly known as SQL, is relied on by companies to extract data for analytical and presenting purposes. It is developed for organising and managing data in relational database administration systems.

So to answer our original question, a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Data Science isn’t compulsory to work as a data scientist if you’re already well-versed in these areas or related fields. Still, these degrees give you an edge during the hiring process along with valuable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Ph.D. necessary for a data scientist?

A PhD is not required to become a data scientist. However, if you graduate and want to be a data scientist, that is the most important requirement here. Clearly, there is still a strong preference for individuals with degrees in the business.

How many years is a PhD in data science?

A PhD in Data Science takes around 4-5 years, depending on the university and country you’re pursuing from. 

Gyansetu Team

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