Data science is a combination of statistics, computer programming and domain knowledge. Data scientists do extract insight from data from different domains to inform businesses or organizational strategic decisions. The demand for data scientists in Nigeria and in other countries is on the rise, and data scientist role is the job of the 21st century that will remain in demand for a long time due to the increasing number of data generated by businesses and new technologies. Below are a few quick steps on how to learn and become a data scientist effectively in Nigeria and beyond.
Find your Niche
The first thing to think about when starting a career as a data scientist is how you want to use the skill. You need to identify what niche you want to apply data science to and tailor your data science skill towards that niche. Discover the field you are passionate about and research how data science is been used in that field.
Acquire Training Beyond Coding
Acquire the training that will give you hands-on experience in data strategy. Knowing data science programming languages like Python, SQL, R e.tc., does not automatically make you a Data Scientist, you need to know how to define business goals, develop KPIs, supporting metrics, data sources, business desired outcomes and optimization plan. You need to also acquire soft skills like communication, project management, stakeholders engagement and business-facing skills which are essential skills for a Data Scientist.
Stay Consistent and Current
You must be committed to lifelong learning. Data science is a fast-evolving field and often result in cognitive overload. You will find yourself needing to learn many tools to stay relevant.
Work on Projects
You must have a project you are working on from time to time this enables you to practice and makes you better at what you are learning.
Join a Community or Network
It is always in the best interest to be in an association of like minds. You can join physical or online communities or subscribe to newsletters to stay up to date with recent developments in data science.
Participate in Competitions or Practice as a Freelancer
From competitions to freelancing, a lot of boundless opportunities abound for data scientists. You can develop your data science career by doing projects.
You can have a fast switch to a data science career by joining an Internship program that will allow you to learn by working with in-house Data scientists on company projects. Most training in Nigeria is not structured this way, but you can find one here.