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Considering that data science is currently regarded as one of the best-paying and most desirable tech jobs in 2018, many students are currently wondering: “How do I know if data science is a good degree path for me?” The following 5 qualifications can alert a student as to whether s/he’s likely to be successful in a data science degree program; these qualifications are also indicative of a likelihood to succeed in a future career as a data science professional.

Another excellent resource: 20 Best Data Science Bachelor’s Degree Programs

An Inclination to Analyze Everything

The most successful data scientists answer questions by analyzing facts. When relevant facts are not available, they next resort to using probability theory or statistical modeling to answer the questions. Any candidate who has the tendency to resort to logic rather than emotion when solving urgent problems could be a good candidate for a data science degree program. Additionally, candidates should demonstrate the ability to outline and organize their thoughts and research logically.

An Aptitude for Mathematics, Probability and Statistics

Data science degree programs are typically multi-disciplinary programs that require the student to interface between several different departments at their academic institution of choice. The mathematics department is almost certain to be one of the departments where the data science student will be taking numerous classes. If a candidate is not excited about loading up on math, probability and statistics courses, s/he’s probably not a good candidate for a data science degree or career.

Computer Coding Ability

The computer science department is the other department where a data science student will be spending a lot of time. Data science typically requires expert coding ability in an ever-changing variety of programming languages.

Extreme Curiosity

A curious mind is a primary hallmark of a talented data scientist. It is often a sense of curiosity that motivates the data science professional to persist beyond failure in order to find answers to challenging data-driven problems.

The Ability to Explain Difficult Technical Concepts in Layman’s Terms

Communication skills are one of the most important criteria for success as a data scientist. Data professionals typically have to extract data from the sales, marketing, product development, customer service and other teams within their organizations. It’s usual for them to have to communicate the results of their work efforts to members of various teams within their organizations. The upper-level executives at most companies are also not technically minded people. Explaining the things that need to be communicated requires finely tuned communication skills on the part of the data scientist.

Anyone who meets the majority of these qualifications would be likely to succeed with the requirements necessary to complete a data science degree program. A data science degree is well worth pursuing, considering data science has been named one of 2018’s top 8 most in-demand and highest-paid tech jobs, according to TechRepublic.com. Any student who’s wondering “How do I know if data science is a good degree path for me?” can use this list of 5 qualifications as a checklist to determine whether s/he should consider enrolling in a data science degree program and embarking on a future data science career.


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