Data Scientist

Data Scientists are playing an increasingly vital role in corporations all over the world. Data Science is about using data to make better decisions, predictive analysis and discover patterns in an organisation. As a result, Data Scientists are analytical professionals, utilising data tools and various techniques and applications to provide their employers with crucial information regarding customers, buying patterns, product awareness and pathways to market. These individuals are responsible for collecting, analysing, and interpreting the data to help drive decisions.

 A Data Scientist’s job is to combine traditional and technical jobs, such as the use of mathematics, science, statistics and computer programming to seek trends and come to actionable conclusions. The data they acquire can influence company policies both now and many years into the future. As such, the data scientist job role is integral to any organisation’s future growth success. 

Duties and responsibilities - What does a Data Scientist's job consist of?

A Data Scientist's primary role is to turn raw data into valuable insights for an organisation to grow and stay competitive. Therefore, the responsibilities of a Data Scientist can be varied as they cover a wide range of analytical elements. There's not a definitive job description, and each job description will depend on the organisation's goals, but most duties that come under the auspices of a Data Scientist include:

  • Researching organisations and industry sectors to improve processes and systems
  • Collecting data that will benefit the employer, and communicating which sections of data are important
  • Filtering out unwanted information, using data cleansing techniques
  • Developing algorithms to assist with data searches and streamlining future searches
  • Organising data and communicating information to senior management, including highlighting patterns of relevant information
  • Presenting conclusions and recommending actions to both senior management and potentially to affected departments
  • Communicating findings to other stakeholders using visualisation or other methods
  • Working with various programming languages to generate data models and extract information.

Qualities needed to secure a Data Scientist job

The role of a certified Data Scientist is a highly technical one, often requiring a strong academic background allied to extensive experience in a particular field. They will have a natural intellectual curiosity and a penchant for solving problems. Strong levels of business acumen will also be an advantage, as well as the ability to perform equally well when working alone and as part of a team.

Furthermore, effective communication skills are important, especially when there is a need to interpret information for those with a less technical understanding of processes and systems. Experience in a Data Scientist job role is always beneficial, even more so if the candidate has a strong understanding of a specific sector of industry. Business knowledge, especially in global business, will be a major advantage for a Data Scientist candidate.

In summary, here is an overview of some of the qualities of a certified Data Scientist:

  • Have an analytical mind to ask the right questions
  • Be curious and systematic in exploring and collect, extract and clean data points
  • Imaginative in ways to interpret, analyse and present the data for various levels of stakeholders
  • Stay focused and disciplined to replace missing values, see inconsistencies or errors
  • Be accurate to represent the results as best as possible

Qualifications and technical skills - What are the Data Scientist qualifications?

Formal qualifications for Data Scientists are often a must-have. The majority of Data Scientists in the corporate world have a master's degree at the very least, and many have passed PhD exams as well. There are several subject specialities and Data Scientists’ qualifications that potential employers will be looking for, including computer science, mathematics, physical and social sciences, statistics, engineering, operational research, machine learning and data science.

Data Scientists are often required to have in-depth knowledge of the topics listed above as they deal with a large amount of data daily. This also means a natural curiosity for this data is also important. Data Scientists need to be able to think creatively and critically to make sense of the data, what to do with the data and look for undiscovered or hidden opportunities within the data. These skills are crucial to becoming a successful Data Scientist. 

Potential employers may also need various technical requirements. Some of the most in-demand Data Scientist skills include sound knowledge of programming, Python coding, Hadoop platform, Apache Spark SQL/noSQL databases and ETL processes. Using data visualisation software such as Tableau, Power BI, Looker, D3 and Jupyter notebooks to communicate and interpret that information can be of vital importance. 

Overall, certified Data Scientists with Data Science-related qualifications are criteria that employers judge more favourably. They are essential to finding a role successfully in this field. However, Data Scientists can come from all different backgrounds. It is important to look at all the requirements of a role. 

Career development - What is the next step after becoming a certified Data Scientist?

Newcomers to this role often come directly from universities or internships and placements. Experienced and certified Data Scientists can also easily transfer their skills and knowledge from sector to sector, providing an opportunity to build a rewarding career path along the way.

There is a wide range of industry sectors in which certified Data Scientists can work, such as financial, health, retail, IT, governance, e-commerce, engineering, maritime, aviation, logistics and more. Future development roles include that of Senior Data Scientist and in specialisations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, unstructured data, and data visualisation. 

All in all, getting a Data Scientist job can open up a variety of exciting career developments, including management, consulting, or further specialisation. The data industry is constantly innovating and developing, making it an exciting choice for many individuals. 

Salary and remuneration - What is a Data Scientist’s salary?

Data Scientists’ salary levels will often be viewed in relation to the value they offer to the company. Entry-level data science positions pay a comfortable salary. Mid to senior roles go on to be highly rewarding financially and usually include an impressive benefits package. Senior Data Scientists typically have at least 5 to 10 years of professional experience. 

Data Scientists are also in high demand by organisations, therefore Data Scientists’ salaries, perks, and packages are highly competitive. That being said, Data Scientists usually sit comfortably on the high end of the salary spectrum. This is also why Data Scientist jobs are often voted one of the most promising careers and best jobs to work. 

Is a Data Science job a good or rewarding career?

Yes. Certified Data Scientists are in high demand as they play a crucial role to support an organisation’s growth and future development across a multitude of sectors. Besides being financially rewarding, it is also highly rewarding personally, where individuals are able to explore and develop a range of skills across technical, analytical and communication. 

Data Scientists are also some of the fastest-growing jobs in technology, demanded by organisations in various sectors such as business, retail, finance, manufacturing and more. As many organisations continue to deploy data-driven decision-making, demand for Data Scientists will continue to rise well into the future. 

Find a Data Scientist job

At Michael Page, we have access to a wide range of vacancies and roles in Data Science. We support candidates in understanding a Data Scientist’s qualifications, role and responsibilities, and expectations for a data scientist’s salary. We then help match candidates to their perfect roles. 

Set up an email job alert with us to find out about the most suitable roles. And be sure to forward your CV to our team as well.