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4 Things to Ask Yourself If You Want to Become a Data Scientist

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It’s never too early to start planning your next steps after graduation, especially if you want to work in Singapore. I came across this report by LinkedIn featuring the 10 most in-demand skills to have in the Asia Pacific region while searching on possible career paths and job trends.

What caught my eye particularly was how AI or Artificial Intelligence, an area of computer science that uses machines to perform human-like tasks is expected to play a bigger role in companies’ decision-making. One such area of AI where careers will continue to be in hot demand is in data science. This got me intrigued.

Max Ang, SIM-University of London alumnus, has five years of experience in dealing with data.

I decided to find out more by chatting with Max Ang, an SIM-University of London alumnus who’s working as a Data Scientist with OneConnect Financial Technology, a subsidiary of the Ping An Group.

I asked Max how will I know if a career in data science is the right move for me. In return, he asked me these four questions:

  1. Do you love solving problems?
    Be it as a Data Analyst, Scientist or Engineer, you must have an innate desire to seek solutions and draw immense satisfaction out of the process. Starting as a Data Analyst, you will analyse available data in the organisation using Structured Query Language (SQL) to produce meaningful reports.  As you progress to become a Data Scientist, you will develop algorithms for machine learning to achieve specific outcomes, like optimising workflows. So if you love creating solutions that can make all the difference, this could be a viable career for you!
A list of book recommendations for aspiring Data Scientists put together by Max.
  1. Do you enjoy staying curious?
    If yes, that’s also a good sign! Because of the industry’s ever-changing nature, new technologies and algorithms are always surfacing. So it’s important to keep yourself constantly updated to stay relevant. Read everything, from academic papers to articles and books. Attend free conferences or events organised by the Singapore Computer Society, DataScienceSG, Tensorflow, and Deep Learning Singapore. All these will help give you valuable insights into the latest industry trends.
  2. Do you have a strong technical background?
    Even as new tools emerge, the syntax of programming doesn’t change. Invest time to strengthen your technical foundation, as well as subjects like statistics, mathematics and IT. These will go a long way to help build your career.
  1. Do you have great communication skills?
    Data scientists need to share and pitch solutions to stakeholders all the time. For larger projects that require various types of expertise, you could also be working in teams. Therefore it is important to have good written and verbal communication skills to ensure your work can be understood easily.

I hope that just like me, you’ll find the information given by Max useful in deciding whether a career in data science is right for you. If you’re wondering about the courses you can take, here’s a good place to start looking.

Beatrice

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