In India, a lot many academic decisions are taken on the basis of how good a career one will have after graduation. This is all the more true for STEM streams like data science and data analytics that make up some of the hottest courses (and professions) in the country.
Aspiring students are signing up for these courses across universities in large numbers. But is a data science career in India a good bet? Can you lead a prosperous and content life by becoming a data scientist? Let’s find out.
Is Data Science Career in India Promising?
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The short answer is yes.
There is enough research to support that a career in data science is promising and that it is a high-demand skill right now. Why? Because it’s a stream that has seen a spike in demand globally since the start of the 2010s decade.
A lot of data is being generated, but the number of people who can process them is still relatively negligible. Although tech startups are mushrooming in every corner of the world, there is still a gap in demand and supply. New technologies, tools, and systems are being invented in the stream but there is still a lack of talented and skilled professionals who can drive them. This points to the reason why there is a growing need for data scientists.
Companies across sectors need insights to aid in their decision-making. This is why industry analysts around the world are regularly commenting on the gap between demand and supply. The demand is only growing – from behemoths like Amazon.com to smaller local startups needing data and insights – while the supply of professionals remains truncated.
A reason for the dim supply is the overall poor understanding of data science as an academic field. It is a complex course and one that requires in-depth academic proficiency and experience.
What Does a Career in Data Science Look Like?
Before becoming a data scientist in India, one should understand what the stream is and what all will entail in the profession. Only then can one make a decision if they are fit for the role.
As noted above, it is a STEM degree. And according to Northeastern University, a data scientist is a ‘computing professional who has the skills for collecting, shaping, storing, managing, and analyzing data [as an] important resource for organizations to allow for data-driven decision making.’ It then takes the example of Amazon as one of the largest organizations utilizing data science for its business development.
Take, for example, all the purchases made on Amazon.in in a single day. The data that is generated from these purchases – types of product, prices, the weight of the package, locations, etc. – are then collated to understand user buying behavior among other things. These insights are then used to better the process.
When you become a data scientist, you will begin as an analyst and mainly work with streams of huge data. It can be purchases made on an eCommerce website as in the example above or the data about Covid-19 cases in a specific geography. Whatever it may be, your role as a data scientist will involve collating and analyzing data. Tools like Microsoft Excel, Tableau, Power BI, MATLAB, and Apache Spark will be heavily used.
To conclude, a data science career in India is a good bet considering the world is quickly moving into a data-driven world. If you have an academic background in mathematics and engineering, then it’s time to take it up seriously and become a data scientist.