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Data Scientists: What They Do and How to Become One

Data is everywhere.

Now that new, emerging technologies have advanced our ability to accumulate data, companies of all sizes, across all industries, are collecting massive amounts of data. In many ways, that’s the easy part.

The hard part is actually manipulating and making sense of all that data. Organizations need someone to analyze it in order to help make better, data-driven decisions. Cue the data scientist!

Many companies are more than willing to pay a competitive salary for a good data scientist. Everyone wants one, but not everyone can get one. As you might imagine, given the excess demand, salaries for data scientists are remarkably high, with a national average of over $117,000.

With high paying job opportunities at every turn, data science is undoubtedly the field to be in right now. In fact, Glassdoor released a list of the 25 best jobs in America, and yes – you guessed it – data scientist holds the #1 spot.

Data science is growing, and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re a student planning for the future, a working professional looking to change careers, or a data scientist trying to brush up on the latest practices, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, and it certainly isn’t too late to do so. Regardless of your current exposure to data science, here are a few courses to help further your knowledge of this promising field:


Data Science Orientation – Microsoft – Self-Paced

This is the place to start. Learn what it takes to become a data scientist and begin planning your learning schedule. This course is part of the Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science developed to help you gain the skills you need to get the data science job you want. 


Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics – ColumbiaX

Build the statistical foundation essential to your career as a data scientist. This course is part of the Data Science for Executives Professional Certificate program.


Python for Data Science – UC San DiegoX 

Learn to use open-source Python tools to analyze data and solve compelling data science problems. This course is part of the Data Science MicroMasters program.


Programming for Data Science – AdelaideX

Develop your computational thinking and programming skills to solve real-world data science problems. This course is part of the Big Data MicroMasters program.


Introduction to Analytics Modeling – GTx

Learn to implement a variety of fundamental analytical models that you can use to gain insights from data and make business decisions. This course is part of the Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods MicroMasters program.