A job as a data scientist may seem like it is all about working with numbers and data and evaluating and interpreting information. Most individuals who are interested in this career understand they will need a bachelor’s degree in math or science to complete the work. This field is not yet clearly defined, however, and it requires a diverse skill set. A variety of college majors can help prepare you to take part in this dynamic industry.
Biological sciences require extensive research skills to understand the intricate workings of biology. These research skills easily translate into data science because scientists must be able to closely evaluate why things happen and develop conclusions based on their observations. Employees trained in biological sciences also develop strong organizational skills, another element essential to data science.
Computer science and math are among the most common skills needed for a career in data science. A degree in one of these areas provides employees with an understanding of the technological background required in most data science jobs.
Some data science jobs relate to the human population and how data impacts society. Those who have a degree in social sciences can utilize the skills they have obtained, including the ability to identify patterns and apply them to society and humans for the general good.
Gathering and interpreting data is useless if the results aren’t properly communicated to the appropriate end users. A degree in communications offers data scientists the capabilities to effectively communicate results and potential solutions to other employees who need the information to complete their jobs and to the general public.
Similar to a degree in communications, an English degree ensures a data scientist is able to clearly relay the results of the data analysis that is conducted. Data scientists who have this degree are often able to translate results into simpler terms, allowing even laypeople to understand the outcome of the data analysis.
Art and design may seem a long way from data science, but both can be beneficial. Data can often be best represented through the use of graphs and other visual cues. An art or design major can show other employees or society the outcome of data analysis.
How data is used is important to the data science field. An employee with a background in business and policy making can evaluate data and use the information to create policies that can enact effective changes in society and business.
While math and science remain an essential aspect of data science, they aren’t the only skills required to work in this field. Math and science professionals can connect with individuals who have earned these additional degrees to create an effective team that will make the most of the collected data and evaluate it accurately.
This article was written by Social Brand Manager, Jenna Dutcher on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U – an education-technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the UC Berkeley School of Information (I School) to offer a Master of Data Science degree.
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