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Data Science Career and Jobs: A Complete Guide

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Admin

We look at the state of play in the data science industry. You’ll find details about a data science career in the data sector, including the types of roles, salaries, and skills you’ll need to get started.


Data plays an increasingly important role in our lives. Everything from healthcare to entertainment is driven by information millions of people produce. The data industry grows as we continue to create data in more significant volumes and on a larger scale. We look at everything you need to know about the current landscape. 

As we explore this fascinating field, we look at some sectors, jobs, and data-related challenges. We’ll also cover some of the skills you’ll need to enter the industry and how you can get started with a job related to information.  

The global data industry

First, let’s look at what we mean by the term ‘data industry and the current landscape. This will help us get some context as to some of the global trends and what the future might hold: 

What is it? 

The data industry is significant, touching on different areas and sectors. The opportunities and applications related to data are vast and varied, from relatively straightforward tasks like data entry to complex data science. It can be hard to define the exact parameters as one industry.

That being said, a few fields stand out in particular. These areas will often overlap, but there is generally a high degree of specialization and variety. Some examples include: 

We’ll further look at some of these areas and relevant data jobs. As we’ll see, all kinds of roles fall under these specializations. 

How big is the industry? 

Given the data industry’s scope, it comes as little surprise that it’s a rapidly growing sector. Some figures suggest that, in 2018, the big global data and business analytics market was valued at $168.8 billion. This figure is expected to grow to around $274.3 billion by 2022, increasing by 13.2%. 

A similar trend is seen in the world of data science. Estimates indicate that the global data science platform market size will be worth around $25.94 billion by 2027. This represents a growth of 26.9% between 2020 and 2027.  

This increase in the industry’s value is also seen in the demand for data jobs. One report from the UK’s Royal Society found that the need for professionals with specialist and considerable data skills more than tripled over five years, increasing by 231%.


Similarly, in the US, the demand for data scientists increased by 344% between 2013 and 2019. Data science engineering is a relatively new field combining data science and software engineering elements.

However, despite this incredible growth, there is a problem. Many sources report that there is a data skills gap.

Across fields like data analytics and data science, there are reports of shortages of skilled professionals. Moreover, employers generally feel that their employees lack data skills, harming productivity

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How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the data industry? 


However, it’s not all bad news. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted just about every industry in some way. With lockdowns, remote working, and job losses felt worldwide, conditions have been difficult. The same is true, in part, for the data industry. 

Data science and big data analytics have played a role in helping us track and understand the virus. As well as monitoring things like health system demands, the ongoing efforts for virus testing, data modeling, and contact tracing have helped turn the tide. 

You’ll undoubtedly have seen a lot of data visualization related to the pandemic. Efforts to present the facts and current situation in an easy-to-understand way have been crucial in keeping people informed. It’s also played a role in convincing people to change their behavior – take ‘flattening the curve’ as an example. 

Despite the successes of the industry, there are still some issues. According to the job site Indeed, in July 2020, US-based data science job listings were 43% below their 2019 levels. Other reports suggest that the global big data analytics growth is expected to be ‘restrained’ in the wake of the pandemic. 

Data Science vs Data analytics: The Major Differences

Data science and data analytics are two terms often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference between the two.

Data science is the process of extracting valuable insights from data. This can be done through various methods, including statistical analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

On the other hand, data analytics is the process of analyzing data to make better business decisions. This can involve anything from marketing campaigns to product development.

So, what’s the difference between data science and data analytics? Data science is focused on extracting insights from data, while data analytics is focused on making better business decisions.

Data science relies heavily on statistical analysis and mathematical models, while data analytics relies more on business acumen and domain knowledge.

And while data science can improve decision-making in all business areas, data analytics is usually specific to a particular function or department within an organization.


While both disciplines require strong analytical skills, data scientists need to be able to code to develop algorithms and models. This means that data scientists tend to have a more robust background in computer science than data analysts.

Both data science and data analytics are essential tools for businesses today. By understanding the difference between them, you can use them more effectively to improve your organization’s bottom line.

What kinds of jobs are there in the industry?

So, despite the current pandemic-induced climate, there is still much to be excited about in the data and analytics industry’s future. The field is diverse, with new and exciting roles appearing frequently.

The area is mixed, with new and exciting parts appearing frequently. If you’re wondering about some, They’ve picked out some of the best data jobs across various niches to give you an idea of what’s out there. Of course, there may overlap between these roles, and some may fall into multiple categories. 

Data science jobs

There is no doubt that data science is one of the hottest jobs in the market today. Companies are looking for individuals with the skillset to help them make sense of all the data they are collecting. As a result, there is a growing demand for data science jobs.

Data science focuses on analyzing data for insights and using algorithms and machine learning to make decisions and predictions. As you can imagine, a data science career can bring work in many different areas. Some data science roles include:

  • Data scientist. This role focuses on processing raw data to create meaningful and insightful information. Across fields such as finance, science, healthcare, IT, and even the games industry, data science uses data to solve problems and help organizations make decisions. 
  • Machine learning engineer. By combining software engineering and data analysis, machine learning engineers create algorithms and programs to help computers learn automatically. Again, the applications for machine learning and deep learning are vast. 
  • Statistician. Professional statisticians are often problem-solvers. They collect, analyze, interpret and present information for businesses and big data companies. 

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Data analysis jobs 

While a data science career focuses on the end product of information, data analysis focuses on inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling it. Professionals in this field usually conclude from the data and spend time processing it first. 

  • Data analyst. Data analyst jobs exist to identify trends and present those findings in a way that’s easy to understand. This role is similar to that of a data scientist but often not as hands-on in creating algorithms.
  • Business intelligence analyst. BI analysts help organizations improve and overcome obstacles. They look at data to highlight weaknesses and use modeling and technology to propose solutions. It’s a role that’s increasingly in demand. 
  • Marketing analyst. This role is all about studying marketing conditions to determine what products and services a company should sell and to whom. They use data analytics skills to look at customer demographics, competitors, and market requirements.

Big data jobs

A career in the big data industry focuses on dealing with sets of information that are too large and complex to apply traditional data processing. In a world where we’re producing more data than ever before, there is a significant demand for people with data skills in this area: 

  • Big data engineer. Data engineer jobs often require professionals who can create and manage the infrastructure that deals with vast amounts of data. They work on collecting, storing, processing, and analyzing relevant information. 
  • Data architect. A data architect focuses on building databases that handle large data sets. They work on planning and integrating the databases, ensuring they’re secure and accessible for those who use them. 
  • Database administrator. While a data architect creates the databases, a database administrator ensures they run smoothly. They make sure they’re safe and backed up, as well as helping to troubleshoot any issues. 

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How do data job salaries compare? 

If you’re looking for a job in the data industry for a data science career, you’ll probably want to know much such work pays. Given the variety across the roles, it is little surprise that data jobs’ pay scales differ significantly between positions, industries, and locations. 

According to Payscale, the average data science salary in the United States is $97 609 yearly. Salaries for data scientists vary depending on experience, location, and industry.

Data scientists with one to three years of experience earn an average of $95,000 annually, while those with four to six years of experience earn an average of $116,000 annually. The highest-paid data scientists earn an average of $138,000 per year.

We’ve picked out a range of data industry jobs and the average salaries in the table below. Data comes from PayScale

Job Role UK US Canada Australia
Data scientist £40,115 $85,473 $70,385 $76,367
Machine learning engineer £50,584 $112,357 $76,663 $77,171
Data analyst £27,348 $60,985 $55,897 $69,972
Marketing analyst £27,237 $56,525 $51,847 $70,072
Data Engineer £40,324 $92,291 $79,879 $99,747
Data Architect £63,778 $119,242 $99,169 $134,600
Salary details for various data science job profiles

What skills do I need to enter the industry?

If you’re hoping to get started with a job in data, plenty of opportunities are available. As we’ve seen, the data skills demand is high right now, and that trend is set to continue. The exact skills and knowledge will depend on your career aims. However, they are needed no matter what role you’re aspiring to. 

Usually, employers look for hard and soft skills in data job applicants. As well as demonstrating you have the applied knowledge to work in this field, you’ll also need to show a range of interpersonal and transferable skills. 

Hard skills 

This refers to the practical and quantifiable knowledge you need to do your job. Often, these are acquired through formal study and qualifications, although it is possible to learn them yourself. Some of the most relevant ones include: 

  • Structured Query Language (SQL)SQL is a type of programming language that’s designed specifically for managing data and databases. It’s a valuable skill for just about any role related to data. 
  • Python and other programming languages. Other programming languages are often required, particularly for data science and analytical roles. Python is always a good start, and Java and C/C++ are also helpful. 
  • AI and machine learning. Predictive analytics is a hot topic in the world of data right now. Artificial intelligence and machine learning skills, massive data technologies, are highly sought-after. 
  • Data visualization. It’s essential to present data sets in an easy-to-understand way. Skills in data visualization can help you do that, so they’re practical learning. 

Soft skills

These interpersonal and transferable skills make you a good team member. They’re often less defined than hard skills, but employers look for those with solid and soft skills. For data jobs, some essential ones include: 

  • Communication. Many data jobs require you to communicate your findings in terms non-experts can understand. You’ll also have to work with a range of other professionals. As such, good communications skills are essential. 
  • Critical thinking. As we’ve seen, data jobs tend to be highly analytical. By working on your necessary thinking skills, you’ll be able to analyze your data and ask the appropriate questions objectively. 
  • Problem-solving. Many data roles focus on helping organizations identify and solve problems. Sometimes, knowing the right problem to solve is half the battle. It’s also a skill that can benefit your personal and professional life. 
  • Collaboration. Those working in the data industry rarely work in isolation. You’ll need the skills and knowledge of other professionals if you’re to be successful. Teamwork and collaboration are vital to this success. 

Data science syllabus

Data science is a relatively new field that combines computer science, statistics, and mathematics to draw insights from large data sets. As such, a data science degree syllabus can vary considerably between institutions. However, some core topics are typically covered.

These include programming languages (such as R and Python), statistical methods, machine learning, databases, and data visualization.

Other subjects included are ethics, text mining, and web scraping. In terms of practical skills, students taking a data science course should expect to gain experience working with real-world data sets using appropriate software tools and techniques.

Assuming you want a data science syllabus for an introductory course:

Data science is a rapidly growing field that employs scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from data in various forms, both structured and unstructured.

It is an interdisciplinary field that combines statistics, computer science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. A typical data science syllabus would cover topics such as:

  • Basics of statistical analysis and machine learning
  • Python programming for data analysis
  • R programming for data analysis
  • Data wrangling with Python/R
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Supervised learning (regression and classification)
  • Unsupervised learning (clustering)
  • Deep learning
  • Big data platforms and tools (Hadoop, Spark, NoSQL)

Most data science programs include core courses in statistics, probability, linear algebra, and programming languages such as R or Python.

Students will also learn about databases, SQL, NoSQL, and how to wrangle and clean data. Machine learning is another key component of data science, and students will typically take courses in supervised and unsupervised learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning. Other topics that may be covered include natural language processing (NLP), time series analysis, and text mining.

Data science career path

The landscape of data science careers is ever-evolving, with 2024 poised to offer an array of opportunities for those adept in navigating the world of data. The continuous growth in technology, especially in data-driven decision-making across various sectors, ensures a buoyant demand for data science professionals. Such roles are not only diverse but also integral to the operational success of organizations, highlighting the necessity for skills in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data, among others.

Salaries in the data science realm are reflective of the high demand for these skills, with positions ranging from data analysts to machine learning engineers commanding competitive compensation. The variance in salary is influenced by several factors, including the individual’s expertise, the industry in question, and the job location, underscoring the lucrative nature of careers in this field.

The spectrum of roles within data science is broad, encompassing positions like data engineers, database administrators, and data scientists, to name a few. Each role carries its unique set of responsibilities, from designing data infrastructures to extracting actionable insights from complex datasets. This diversity not only illustrates the dynamic nature of the field but also the critical role these professionals play in steering organizational strategy through data-driven insights.

Entering or advancing in the data science sector necessitates a commitment to ongoing learning and skill development. Key to this is a solid understanding of how to process and analyze data, coupled with the ability to effectively communicate these insights. Prospective data science professionals are encouraged to focus on building a comprehensive skill set that marries technical proficiency with strategic thinking.

The future of data science careers is bright, marked by a steady demand for skilled professionals capable of leveraging data to inform business strategies. As the field continues to evolve, staying abreast of industry trends and enhancing one’s skill set through continuous learning and certification will be paramount to seizing the opportunities that lie ahead in this dynamic and rewarding career path.

There are many different data science career paths that you can take. The most common way is to become a data analyst. Data analysts collect and analyze data to help businesses make better decisions. They use their skills in math and statistics to find trends and patterns in data sets.

Another data science career path is to become a data engineer. Data engineers build the infrastructure that allows businesses to collect and analyze data. They design, build and maintain databases and other systems that store and process data.

If you’re interested in research, you could become a data scientist. Data scientists use statistics and machine learning skills to find insights in data sets. They work on problems like predicting consumer behavior or identifying fraudulent activity.

No matter what path you choose, working in data science can be very rewarding. You’ll get to solve interesting problems and help businesses make better decisions.

And as the field of data science continues to grow, there will be even more opportunities for you to make a difference.

Why choose a career in data?

Consider a few things if you’re thinking of a career in the data industry but aren’t sure whether it’s for you. Here are some reasons you might choose a data science career

  • There’s a lot of demand. As we’ve seen, despite the current uncertainty in the world, the need for those who can understand, manage, and interpret data is high. This need for skilled individuals is expected to continue, meaning you’re likely to find work if you have expertise. 
  • It pays well. Average salaries, even for many entry-level positions, are generally relatively high. There is the potential for you to earn a significant amount just about anywhere. 
  • You can help people. As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, data can be used to help people in many ways. Understanding trends and predicting patterns can help anticipate and solve all issues. 
  • It’s future-proof. The data skills you’ll develop will likely last you your entire career. As we move to a more data-driven world, you’ll hopefully find a lot of career security in this sector. 

Data science courses typically cover statistical methods, machine learning, programming languages (like R and Python), and data visualization.

Some data science courses also include project components, which allow students to put their skills to use on real-world datasets.

Whether you’re looking to transition into a data science career or simply want to learn more about the field, taking a data science course is a great way to get started.

Additionally, a data science career in India is very promising and exciting. With the country’s rapidly growing economy and vast population, there is a massive demand for data scientists who can help organizations make better decisions and improve their operations. India is also home to some of the world’s top universities, which produce excellent data science graduates.

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Data Science Job Description

As a data scientist, you will be responsible for extracting and analyzing data to help businesses make better decisions.

In this role, you will need to have strong technical and mathematical skills and the ability to communicate your findings to non-technical staff. You should also be able to work independently and handle projects from start to finish.

A data scientist’s job description might include a wide range of responsibilities, depending on the employer’s needs.

However, some typical duties might involve extracting and cleaning data, performing statistical analysis, building predictive models, and communicating results to stakeholders.

Data scientists might also be responsible for managing databases, developing new algorithms, and software engineering. The ability to write code in languages like Python and R is often necessary for this role.

The job requires a deep understanding of statistics and computer science and the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively. Data scientists often work with large amounts of data, so experience with database management and big data tools is also essential.

Organizations across all industries are increasingly looking to data scientists to help them harness the power of data to improve their operations and make better decisions. As a result, the demand for skilled data scientists is high.

Prospective data scientists should have strong math skills and experience working with large datasets. They should also be able to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical audiences effectively. 

Data Science Course Fees 

Data science is a field that is constantly evolving, and as such, the fees for courses related to this discipline can vary widely.

In 2022, data science course fees will likely range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the specific program and institution.

Many online courses offer discounts for early enrollees, so they should research options thoroughly before enrolling in any particular program.

In addition, scholarships and financial aid may be available for those who wish to pursue data science courses but cannot afford the fees outright.

As with any educational investment, it is essential to weigh the costs and benefits of taking data science courses before deciding.

How to get started in the data industry 

So, you’re hopefully eager to move into a data science career, but where should you start? Thankfully, it’s a career with many starting points, although this depends on the exact role you’re hoping to move into.

Data science can seem like an intimidating field, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of resources out there for data science beginners. The most important thing is to start somewhere.

As with many industries, you’ll usually need skills and experience to get a job in data. We’ve outlined some of the ways you can get your data career started: 

  • Education. You’ll need to study the relevant material for data analyst or data scientist skills. Many top-paying data roles require at least an undergraduate degree, while others may even ask for a master’s degree. That said, you can gain knowledge in critical areas through independent learning. 
  • Training. Formal training usually takes the form of an internship or placement. However, through your projects and learning, you can gain many data skills you’ll need in your career. 
  • Experience. Having some industry experience is often vital to securing a role in data. Again, this can come with a placement or your projects. However, you could also gain exposure to data roles through your current job through a secondment or similar. 
  • Networking. Knowing the right people often helps in securing a new job. Expanding your professional circle and learning how to network can make new connections in the data industry. 

A data science degree can help you launch a successful career in this rapidly growing field. This interdisciplinary field combines statistics, computer science, and business to help organizations make better decisions with their data.

With a data science degree, you can pursue various exciting career paths, such as working as a data analyst, data engineer, or data scientist. Furthermore, Data science masters programs are becoming increasingly popular as the demand for data scientists grows.

While a traditional masters program in computer science or statistics can provide the necessary technical skills, a data science master program focuses specifically on developing the skills needed to work with large amounts of data.

Data science masters programs typically include courses on big data management, machine learning, and data visualization. Students in a data science master program will also have the opportunity to gain experience working with real-world datasets through projects and internships.

Final thoughts 

Embarking on a career in data science opens up a world of lucrative salary prospects and a variety of roles across industries. The allure of a career in data science salary is significant, reflecting the high demand for skilled professionals capable of turning data into strategic insights. Data science career opportunities are abundant, spanning sectors from tech to healthcare, finance, and beyond, showcasing the versatility and essential nature of data science skills in today’s digital economy.

As for data science career paths, they are diverse, offering multiple entry points and progression routes depending on one’s skills and interests. From data analysis to machine learning engineering, the journey in data science can be tailored to individual aspirations and strengths. Fresh graduates looking into data science job opportunities for freshers will find that the field is welcoming, with internships, junior data analyst positions, and roles in data management serving as gateways to more advanced positions.

In particular, job opportunities for data science in India are growing rapidly, with the country’s booming tech industry and digital transformation initiatives across sectors creating a high demand for data science professionals. Entry-level data science job titles might include Data Analyst, Junior Data Scientist, or Machine Learning Assistant, providing newcomers with a solid foundation in the field.

After completing a data science course, the jobs available can vary widely, from specialized roles in big data to more generalist positions in data analysis and business intelligence. The key is to align one’s skill set with the needs of the market, ensuring relevance and employability.

The data science career and jobs salary outlook is promising, reflecting the critical role these professionals play in organizational success. Whether starting out or looking to advance, salaries in data science are competitive, rewarding the expertise and impact of these roles.

For freshers, the data science career and jobs landscape is encouraging, with many organizations offering entry-level positions that provide on-the-job training and development opportunities. This accessibility helps to cultivate the next generation of data science experts.

In India, the data science career and jobs market is particularly vibrant, with cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune being hotspots for data science employment. The country’s focus on digital innovation fuels a constant demand for data science talent.

Entry-level data science job titles serve as the foundation for a career in this dynamic field, offering a glimpse into the diverse roles and specializations available as one progresses. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to transition into data science, the opportunities for growth, impact, and advancement are vast, making it an attractive career choice for those intrigued by the power of data.

The world of data is a fascinating and varied one. There are many exciting job roles for a data science career, and the demand for such positions is high. Whether you want a career in data analytics, data science, or big data, there are many skills you can work on to achieve your goals.

There are many ways to get started in a career in data science. You may not have much field experience as a fresher, but plenty of opportunities are still available. As the world becomes more data-driven, we will need to analyze and interpret data. So, working on your data skills can benefit your work and home life, even if you’re not looking for a career change. 

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What exactly does data science do?

Data science is a discipline that uses mathematical, statistical, and computational theories to extract information from diverse sources to make decisions and show patterns. Data scientists are usually hired when there’s a need for deeper insights into customer behaviors, and they often analyze data to identify customer trends.

Is data science a promising career?

Data science is an excellent career with a ton of potential. There are a lot of exciting problems in the world, from predicting earthquakes to curing cancer, and data scientists get to sit at the intersection of technology and science to solve these hard problems. The demand for data scientists is growing faster than any other type of job because we live in an abundant era of data.

What qualifications do you need to become a data scientist?

You don’t need a degree in data science to become a data scientist, but it helps. A top university degree is usually necessary to secure the best jobs. You’ll also be expected to have some programming skills (Python or R), good math skills and knowledge of statistics. Beyond that, it’s about being able to think logically and understand advanced algorithms for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Does data science require coding?

Data science is all about the data, and many people believe it requires coding skills. That said, coding skills are not a requirement for data science but can provide an additional avenue of analysis.

What careers are there in data science?

Data science is not just one career but several careers. To name a few: data analyst, data scientist, data engineer, and operations scientist. The different jobs are based on their work and whether they work with data in the business or research setting.

Is data science a high-paying job?

Data scientists are in high demand and are paid well. They work in many industries, including banking, retail, and healthcare. Data scientists’ salaries range from $100,000 to $200,000 a year.

How do I start a data science career?

Kindly thoroughly read this career guide to start your career in data science.

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