What Is A Data Scientist? Roles, Responsibilities, Qualifications & Necessary Skills 2022

Data science is fast becoming popular and all companies now have a use for a data scientist somewhere in the company ranks. If you’re looking to pursue data science as a career, this article is your ultimate guide to getting started.

A data scientist is a professional in the IT sector that specializes in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of large amounts of data. They also formulate strategies that a company can use to make the most out of the vast amount of data available to them.

data scientist

In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about data science as a career. Firstly, I’ll outline the meaning in detail and the job descriptions of the average data scientist. Then, you’ll learn all the necessary academic qualifications and soft skills required for a data science job.

Data Scientist Job Description

As hinted in the introduction, a data scientist is a professional that specializes in collecting and analyzing both structured and unstructured data to conclude. In most cases, they work with this data to build products and create action plans for their respective organizations.

Data scientists are usually experts in computer science, mathematics, and statistics, and they combine all of the knowledge from these fields to solve problems using data. There are many real-world uses for the skill of a data scientist, but since it varies across companies, the listing will be unnecessary.

Data Scientist Roles and Responsibilities

The term “data scientist” wasn’t used to describe a job title until very recently. After the advent of the internet and the big data that became widely available with it, it became very clear that there is a need for a professional to help manage the data for companies.

A data scientist will be required to work with executives and necessary stakeholders to help identify how to help advance the company using accessible data. They usually also have a clear strategy of how to get this data and the practical ways to use it for the organization’s growth.

They’re also saddled with the task of mining data from relevant sources for analysis, which they can decide how the mined data can be useful to the company. In some cases, they’ll also need to take on multiple tasks, but they should all be related to statistics anyway.

Qualifications and Necessary Skills for a Data Scientist

Data science, just like many IT-related careers today doesn’t require a college degree. However, if you want any chance to start a career in this field, you should consider going for a college education. Statistically, it’s nearly impossible to have a successful career in data science without going to college.

For one, it’s important to note that close to 79% of the professionals working as data scientists have a college degree at least. When you factor in people with their startups and the likes, you’ll see how impossible it is to get a job without much formal education.

Also, you don’t want to keep working as an underdog forever without leveling up, and no company seems to want to put a college degree holder as the head of their data science department. Going for a Master’s or Doctorate is necessary to get a leadership position as a data scientist in most firms.

With that said, you shouldn’t discount the importance of other technical and soft skills when applying for data science jobs. The following sections will outline the educational requirements, as well as the soft skills required to become a data scientist.

Educational Requirements for Data Science

Unlike some other emerging IT careers, many schools offer data science degrees as a four or five-year course. For your best shot at a related job, you should go for these kinds of degrees to hone your skills in data collection, manipulation, and presentation, preparing you for your first data science job.

If you’re unable to obtain a data science degree for some reason, many related courses will put you on the right path. For example, going for a computer science course with a focus on mathematics and statistics is also a great preparatory for becoming a data scientist.

After completing a data science course, you can usually apply at a relevant company to become a junior data scientist while you collect relevant experience to become one of the industry’s top guns. Also, you may want to consider honing some soft skills that may potentially get you a data science job faster

Best Technical and Soft Skills for a Data Scientist

While a degree in data science should suffice for getting a job, many other technical skills will make you climb up the ladder quickly. In addition to a college degree, here are some other skills you should pursue to become an excellent fit for a data science position in any company.

  • Research

Regardless of how bad it may sound, a data scientist is sometimes a data thief. Proficiency in data science requires the ability to search for data sources to the deepest depths of the internet and find ways to write code to extract these data and work on them.

  • Mathematics and statistical analysis

If you take a specialized course in data science, you’ll notice that it’s a mix between computer science and statistics. However, you may need to take separate statistics courses if you were unable to secure a degree in pure data science.

  • Communication skills

Most people run to IT jobs because you can generally get by without the need to have excellent communication skills. If this is the primary reason why you’re taking an IT job, a data science position mightn’t be the best for you. Generally, your communication skills should be above average to do well as a data scientist in the average company.

data scientist job description


While there is no massive shortage of data science professionals right now, it remains one of the best careers to consider in IT. Before getting a data scientist job, however, you may want to get relevant experience in related rules.

This article has explained all you need to focus on as an aspiring data scientist. By following this roadmap, you should become atop professional working for a big American company in a matter of years.

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