What is a data scientist’s career path?

What is a data scientist’s career path? Which data science career option is correct for you? Data science is one of the most in-demand jobs in today’s market. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, occupational growth in data science-related fields is forecast to grow 33.8% by 2026. If you are interested in making a career in the data science field, keep reading further to explore your potential options. 

To become a data science professional, developing the right technical skills is more important than having a degree. A data scientist is required to work in both the IT and business worlds. Every industry has incorporated data science into its operations. As a result, there is an increased demand for highly skilled data scientists.

Therefore, you must acquire a wider set of skills to be able to extract value from data, understand it, and communicate it effectively. There is a wide range of career paths that data science offers and for each path different sets of skills and educational backgrounds are needed.  

What do Data Scientists do? 

The term ‘data scientist’ was first introduced in 2008. In response to the need for organizing and maintaining vast amounts of data, the profession of data scientist was invented.

It is the job of a data scientist to assist a company in getting actionable insights from a large amount of data. To accomplish this, the data scientist needs to master the five phases of the data science life cycle which are capture, maintain, process, analyze and communicate and ensure maximum returns in each phase.

Data scientists specialize in computer science, mathematics, statistics, and business trends.

They mainly gather, process, and analyze data from different sources using advanced analytics technologies and interpret the results into concrete plans to positively impact business decisions. Depending on the industry, data scientist job requirements may differ.

A career in data science offers a variety of roles with overlapping skill sets and responsibilities.

Different Career Paths in Data Science

Data is everywhere. To analyze and interpret data, different skill sets are required, which facilitates a variety of roles within the data science field. Some of the major career paths in this field are discussed below. 

Data Scientist

Data scientist is the most demanding job in the data science career. If you are interested in establishing a career as a data scientist, you need to be well-rounded, data-driven, result-oriented, and highly technically skilled.

You are required to have industry knowledge, context understanding, analytical skills, mathematics background, and programming skills to analyze large amounts of unstructured data, build quantitative algorithms and provide tangible solutions for business challenges. 

Data Analyst

Data analysts act as a bridge between business analysts and data scientists. As a data analyst, you need to analyze data, find the outcomes that align with the company’s strategy and transform the information into usable forms.

You also need to communicate the actionable insights from your analysis to the stakeholders. 

Data Engineer

Data Engineer is another demanding profession in this field. As a Data Engineer, you deal with rapidly changing data. You focus on creating, nurturing, and optimizing data pipelines and transferring the infrastructure to data scientists.

Data Engineers are responsible for the system to run smoothly. This is a senior position and requires an advanced degree.

Data Architect

The role of Data Architect is a combination of data analyst and database designer. In this position, you build the company’s database for performance and blueprints for all data management systems to maintain, integrate and protect data sources. This position requires a lot of experience. 

Business Intelligence Analyst

The position of Business Intelligence Analyst is less technical oriented and more business-oriented. You need to have critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills to get this position as your business analysis will impact the decisions of the company.

To convert data into insights, you will use analytical techniques, data models, data visualization, and industry trends.


A Statistician requires knowledge in mathematics to analyze and interpret data and to apply statistical techniques to solve real-world problems.

As a statistician, you will be responsible for collecting and analyzing data, trends, and communicating those to the stakeholders. You can find employment as a statistical analyst in different fields such as healthcare, business, government, and engineering. 

You can also explore other career paths in data science including database developer, machine learning engineer, data mining specialist, marketing analyst, and so on.

Regardless of which career path in data science you choose, make sure you have the skills and knowledge necessary for the position you wish to pursue.

Benefits of Building a Career in Data Science 

The demand for data science professionals has skyrocketed as companies across all industries are using data in their business operations.

It has become necessary to have data science skills in order to succeed in the current job market. The growing demand for this career field also offers high salaries. It is estimated that a data scientist can earn around $95,000 a year when starting out, and an expert can earn over $250,000.

In a data science career, you will get the opportunity to solve real-world problems that are both challenging and interesting. Also, if you meet the qualifications, you may be given the opportunity to work for top organizations. The range of your data collection can be broad, from marketing to healthcare, and even from sports to consulting firms.

In a data science career, you can easily avoid job automation risk, specifically as a data analyst. You can make an impact in the decision-making of the company as a data scientist. A career in this field offers ample opportunities to network extensively and to gain a thorough understanding of a number of industries. 

Demand for data science professionals is increasing by 50% on average. There is a shortage of sophisticated data scientists in the market.

As one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying fields in the world, pursuing a career in data science will be highly beneficial for you.

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