Is a Data Science Degree Really Worth it?

A degree in science is one of the most difficult and respectable degrees to earn, whether that be specializing in physics, chemistry or biology.

A degree in science is one of the most difficult and respectable degrees to earn, whether that be specializing in physics, chemistry or biology. Whilst these scientists are the most recognizable variants in the field, there has been an increasing demand for professionals with a degree in a subject that you most likely have never heard of, and that’s data science. In a world where there are so many different subjects on offer at university, it can be difficult to decide whether a degree in data science will both interest you and benefit your long-term future. Read on to learn more about what a data science degree is all about and how you can make a well-informed decision on whether to pursue this career path.

What is a Data Science Degree?

A data science degree is a lesser-known degree; however, it requires a strong sense of determination and logical thinking. As a data scientist, you will receive raw data and be tasked to make this valuable to large organizations or companies by pairing it with analysis. Some of the many ways that this is done is by interpreting data to find solutions and changes that must be made, validifying data to ensure that it is as accurate as possible, and determining correct data sets and valuables. 

A good data science degree should ensure that you are equipped with not only all the necessary information but also the all-important technological and computer-oriented skills to succeed in this line of work. Whilst a degree in any subject demonstrates to potential employers that you are skilled and dedicated, a degree in data science will ensure that employers know you possess fundamental skills needed in any profession, such as analysis, a good understanding of mathematics, and the ability to think quickly and logically.

What Do I Need to Be a Data Scientist?

The skillset required in order to become a data scientist is a long and arduous one, as this is a profession that requires a high demand of knowledge to succeed. When partaking in an interview with a company, one of the very first skills that they will demand to see evidence of is a thorough understanding and experience with technology. As most of your time will be spent analyzing data on a computer screen, it’s only natural that you must be technologically advanced to do your job to a good standard. Programs such as Java and Python are some of the most common programming languages used by employers, so a good understanding of these applications will give you an easy start to becoming an established data scientist. 

Whilst it may not be the first thing that you think of when you hear the term data scientist, presentation skills are not just highly desirable, they are essential to become a top data scientist. Once you have fully analyzed the raw data and created a plan for the business to take according to your findings, this information must be presented to the CEOs and managers of the company, and they won’t accept an email. As large corporations normally have a large team of leaders, you will be required to give an exciting and informative presentation of your findings to ensure that everyone understands the steps that they now need to take in order to succeed.

How in Demand are Data Scientists?

Data scientists are currently in extremely high demand in the fields of retail, finance and e-commerce, as they wish to expand their profits by understanding and meeting the needs of its clients by offering them further products that were proven successful in certain demographics. In fact, data scientists are in such high demand at the moment, that a study has proven that another 28% of workers in the data science profession must be recruited by 2020 to meet worldwide demand. Some of the largest tech companies in the world are searching for data scientists to help improve their profits, so with the right skill set and degree, you could find yourself working for retail and technology giants Amazon and Apple, amongst many more world-famous corporations. 

So, the question is, with such a high salary, why is there a shortage of data scientists? The answer is simple, data science was not a highly desired profession and was largely associated with technological and finance positions. However, in recent years, almost every company out there is desiring an analyst to help improve their profits, meaning that the demand has risen greatly. As there were not many professionals due to a shortage of jobs, the increasing demand means that there are not enough data scientists for every company. With the demand for data scientists rapidly increasing, companies are offering these professionals extremely high salaries of an average of $107,000 a year to ensure that they secure the best workers possible.

How Do I Choose the Right Course for Me?

When deciding which data science course is right for you, there are many things that you must consider. Key information that you must research before you apply is what reputation the different universities have. It is vital that you research online and go to university open days to hear what both current and past students think of the course, as they have been through exactly what you are about to sign up for. If the data science course that you are applying for is relatively new to the university, and therefore has little to no feedback on prospects or teaching, you should research and judge the university as a whole to get an overall feeling of what students like and dislike. 

To get an idea of how useful this degree will be to you, it is incredibly helpful to seek out and research data science alumni. By doing this, you can see what job prospects lie ahead for you, and also if the university has a good enough reputation to land you a job at the end of your studies. 

In addition to the intellectual and career benefits of the course, you should also consider the practical aspects. If the university that you are applying to is too far away, or you don’t have the time or money to fully attend classes, it might not be worth applying at all, as this degree takes a lot of dedication to complete. If you’re sure that data science is the career path you want to pursue but can’t physically attend university for the aforementioned reasons, the wonderful world of the internet can provide you with a data science online course from an institution like UNSW that will provide the same standard of education as a physical course.

Whilst a degree in data science is not as prestigious or respectable as a degree in medicine or biology, the high demand for data analyst professionals speaks for itself on how popular this degree has become in recent years. The skills and determination needed to complete a data science degree are extremely difficult to achieve, but the career prospects, potential salaries and the possibility of working with world-wide famous brands like Apple and Amazon make having this degree in your possession highly admirable. There are many different data science degrees out there to choose from, so make sure that you don’t apply to the first one you see without doing your research first. Ensure that you make the right choice for your future and the future of business and technology by enrolling on a data science course today.

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