How to become a data scientist in the UK?


data scientist in the uk

The career as a Data Scientist is named “the most promising career” by LinkedIn. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be around a 28% increase in data science jobs by 2026. With all these fascinating stats claiming Data Scientists as one of the best jobs in the 21st century, it becomes imperative for people aiming to become Data Scientists to fast forward their efforts to boost their careers in Data Science.

It can be overwhelming for someone just starting their career in Data Science to process all the information available across the internet. Therefore, for better understanding, let us step-by-step understand the nits and grits of Data Science and the role of a Data Scientist in the United Kingdom.

We will discuss the following:

Who is a Data Scientist?

Data Scientists are analytical data experts who possess the technical skills to solve business problems with data. They manage, analyze, process, model, and interpret data to identify trends and develop actionable insights to be implemented to drive business growth.

They possess various skills like expertise in computer science, mathematics, and statistics. They use their industry knowledge combined with their knowledge of data and databases to resolve business challenges. A data scientist is a curious problem solver backed with data.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a data scientist?

The roles and responsibilities of data scientists vary largely from business to business and team to team. But we can sum up a few primary responsibilities that a Data Scientist caters to.

  • Gather and identify data sources as per business requirements.
  • Analyze structured and unstructured data.
  • Discover trends and patterns by combining different modules and algorithms.
  • Build predictive models and algorithms for organizing and visualizing data and deriving actionable insights.
  • Create, implement, and maintain databases while monitoring data pipelines.
  • Create solutions and architecture for the whole data processing cycle, starting from data collection to data presentation.

Now let us understand the skills required to become a data scientist in the UK or Europe.

Skills required to be a data scientist in the UK

Contrary to belief, becoming a data scientist is not just about acquiring technical skills. A data scientist needs to be well versed with some great non-technical skills. Below are some technical and non-technical skills required to become a data scientist.

Technical Skills:

  1. Data Scientist Skills: Machine learning, deep learning, data visualization, data wrangling, programming, statistics, Big Data, Statistical Analysis, and computing
  2. Programming
  3. Knowledge of SAS

Non-technical skills:

  1. Effective communication skills
  2. Strong business acumen
  3. Data Intuition

Best programming languages for data science in the UK:

A major chunk of Data Science mastery includes mastering programming languages. With a plethora of different frameworks and data models to work on, having basic programming knowledge in the following languages definitely helps.

  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • Java
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • R
  • Ruby

The average salary in Data Science in the UK:

The Data scientist job has been tagged as the sexiest job of the 21st century for a reason. Data Scientist job falls under the category of best-paying jobs for the decade. The number speaks for themselves.

The average salary of a data scientist in the UK:

London – 57,425/ year

Birmingham – 41,199/yr

Manchester – 43,945/ yr

Best cities for a Data Scientist in the UK:

Certain cities in the UK are currently booming with demand for Data Scientists. If you are looking for jobs in Data Science, target the cities below.

  1. London
  2. Manchester
  3. Birmingham
  4. Leeds
  5. Glasgow

Best Industries for a Data Scientist in the UK:

Data Science jobs are always in demand in the industries that operate and rely heavily on vast amounts of data. That being said, almost every company today needs people skilled in data to be able to make data-driven decisions. Although, there are a few industries where the demand for this skill is always at an all-time high in the UK.

  1. Technology/IT
  2. Industrial
  3. Finance
  4. Healthcare

How to Become a Data Scientist:

1. Bachelor’s degree:

The first and foremost requirement for the career path of a Data Scientist is to get an undergraduate degree. While it’s easy to become a Data Scientist without a technical degree as well, it’s anyways better if you start early by graduating in computer science, mathematics, or statistics. You can choose the field as per your area of interest.

2. Masters or specialization degree:

Once you graduate, it’s important to build a specialized skill for yourself which can be achieved by either opting for a Master’s degree or opting for a specialization course in data science. You need to be very picky while choosing the right course for yourself here. You must choose a course that entails the following:

How to choose the right course for Data Science:

– You must ensure that your lectures are taught by industry experts and renowned faculties.
– The course must offer you complete support for your doubts/ queries and provide you with expert mentorship. This especially helps while you work on projects.
– The course must have a few real-world, hands-on projects for you to practice on
– You must get a certificate of completion. This helps while you look out for jobs

If you are still confused about the courses to choose, check out the best in industry Data Science courses offered by Great learning, in collaboration with top-notch universities in the world like MIT and McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

3. Work experience:

Now that you have sound knowledge and understanding of data science, it’s time for you to look for entry-level jobs in industries of your interest and domains of your expertise. One must be looking for jobs that offer great exposure and opportunities to learn and challenge oneself constantly. Gaining the right experience within the right domains will reap good results even till the mature years of your career.

4. Portfolio:

With the projects you work on in your job, you can also start some side projects which offer you great exposure to hone your skills. This helps build a solid portfolio of projects, making it easy for recruiters to hire you.

While the role of a Data Scientist sounds very exciting, there’s a lot of effort and practice to become one. Becoming a data scientist or switching your career path to data science can be daunting, especially if you are new to the field. The right data science course taught by the right experts is what acts as a catalyst to your career in data science. Check out the best data science courses below from top-notch universities worldwide in collaboration with Great Learning.


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