With Big Data, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence on the rise, three roles grow in demand (and therefore get attractive job offers). If you’re looking for starting a fast-paced career and work for top American companies in the future, three big options are ahead of you. Get to know what Data Scientists, Data Engineers, Data Analysts, and DBAs do – and learn some of the steps needed to get you on the right track to attractive salaries.
In common, the three roles share abilities in information handling, algorithms, decision trees, and data modeling and simulation. Depending on the specific job title and company-specific requirements, you’ll lean more towards one or the other.
What is a Data Scientist and what are the responsibilities of the role?
Data Scientists are specialists in solving complex issues through analytical analysis. This means they combine different fields of knowledge, ranging from Mathematics to Programming and even Design for Data Visualization.
In short, Data Scientists capture large amounts of unstructured data and transform them into meaningful datasets that can be used for decision making, for example.
This is why it’s important that these professionals are able to:
- Apply statistics and analytic knowledge to find patterns and identify trends.
- Work with different programming languages to process data (R, Python, etc.).
- Communicate and interact well with both engineers and administrators.
Additionally, it is increasingly relevant to gain proficiency in Machine Learning and Deep Learning. So let’s look at what skills are needed, shall we?
How do I become a Data Scientist?
In terms of general skills, you should evaluate whether you enjoy working with numbers and logical thinking. However, the role of a Data Scientist is a complex one, so a Masters’ Degree might be a nice addition to a BA diploma in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Finances, Marketing, or Computer Science.
We broke down basic knowledge you need to accumulate and mention some sources you can use. Hope it helps!
- Statistics: Fundamentals of Statistics
- Programming: Python for Everybody (30h) and/or Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python (120h)
- Machine Learning: Stanford (60h) or Washington
The good news is, there is a manual: Joel Guns’ Data Science from Scratch: First Principles with Python. If this seems like a lot, here is a quick source of inspiration:
You can watch AlphaGo – The Movie | Full Documentary on YouTube.
What does a Database Administrator (DBA) do?
DBAs are infrastructure experts, being the ones with solid knowledge of the resources that store and manage proprietary, user, and system data used by the company.
Responsibilities are related to database performance tuning and monitoring, which include:
- Combing for bugs, glitches, and corrupt data.
- Migrating data to/from third-party systems.
- Load balancing.
- Planning and executing solutions for large-scale errors.
- Storing and backing-up data in case of system failure.
While DataBase Administrators are responsible for the functioning and upkeep of databases, Data Engineers create or refine them. More on that later.
What are the necessary steps to become a Database Admin?
As a DBA, you’ll be fully responsible for the integrity, consistency, and security of business data. There is an awesome cheatsheet by TechRepublic, but we recommend the following path:
- Make sure you have what it takes to become a DBA. Look up job descriptions on job sites, especially the soft skills. Do you match? We wrote a whole article on the most desirable skills companies look for in tech pros – check it out!
- Enroll in higher education. Courses in Information Systems and Technology, IT Engineering or Computer Science are needed.
- Sign up to learn the specifics. There are a series of Database System certification classes out there. Coursera has offerings from IBM, AWS, Google, and UCLA, just to name a few.
- Get Certified. There are three main certifications out there you should investigate: IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.
So what are Data Engineers responsible for?
Data Engineers work together with Data Scientists, aiding them in running algorithms that improve their analysis capabilities. The Data Engineer is the one who finds trends and helps to turn raw data into useful information. How? By organizing and collecting data, doing the preparation work so that the scientist has something to analyze.
Curious to know more? You might like Dataversity’s article on additional roles: Data Architect vs. Data Modeler vs. Data Engineer.
How do I become a Data Engineer?
Just like DBAs, you will probably begin by graduating in a related field, such as Computer Science, Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or other IT discipline. By default, you’ll also have to learn several programming languages (Python, for sure!) and also Structure Query Language (SQL) databases.
That (huge) step out of the way, it’s time to specialize. Bootcamps and short courses can be extremely helpful. We outline two types for you to sign up for:
- Tech-based programs: Scala, Apache Spark, Java, Amazon Web Services,
- Skill-driven programs: ETL Integrations, Data Modelling, Big Data Analysis, Software Development. These usually result in pay raises once you’re already working!
Once you’re done studying, time to go live!
First of all, you’re never done learning! As market needs and technologies evolve, so should you. However, there are great ways to boost your career once you have decided which role you want to aim for.
- Experience is invaluable, so consider working on your own, parallel projects by yourself or with colleagues. This is a great opportunity to experiment and learn with freedom.
- Once you’re confident enough, you can begin to work with Open Source Communities, for example, or other volunteer projects to build a portfolio and network. These relationships are key for you to get referrals and a real-life perspective.
- Apply for jobs! Data Scientists, Data Analysts, Data Engineer and DataBase Analysts are all in high demand. You will find the right company for you and go from there. Focus on gaining seniority.
Once you’ve reached a senior-to-lead position, it’s time to become a world-class data specialist. You can expand your options by looking for career opportunities abroad, for instance.
For Brazilian professionals, Ubiminds is a reliable way to get introduced to solid companies with welcoming product teams. You are prepped and trained to excel and have full support well after the hire so that you are most likely to succeed. Curious? Send us a message below and our team will be happy to clarify any questions you may have.
International Marketing Leader, specialized in tech. Proud to have built marketing and business generation structures for some of the fastest-growing SaaS companies on both sides of the Atlantic (UK, DACH, Iberia, LatAm, and NorthAm). Big fan of motherhood, world music, marketing, and backpacking. A little bit nerdy too!