How to Become a Data Scientist

Updated: Nov 4, 2019

Data scientists are in demand! Some consider data scientists to be one of the hottest jobs right now. A plethora of businesses need data scientists. From large corporations to small companies, data scientists are essential. Many current open positions have a great starting salary. By searching online, you will find many job openings for data scientists.

If you have a strong interest in math, numbers, technology, data and solving complex problems, you might want to become a data scientist. How does one become a data scientist and what does a data scientist do? A data scientist collects, analyzes and interprets large volumes of data to help a company improve its operations. These professionals develop statistical models in order to analyze data and use different analytics to find patterns, trends and relationships in data sets. This information can be used to predict consumer behavior, while identifying business and operational risks. The data scientist is often a storyteller, presenting data insights in a simple manner to people at the organization*.

People with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Data Science, Statistics, Computer Science, or Mathematics typically have the experience and credentials to become a data scientist. On the other hand, some people can become a data scientist without a degree because there are some employers who simply prefer a person with a specific skill set regardless of educational background.

Assuming you do not have a degree in Data Science, Statistics, Computer Science, or Mathematics, you may be asking yourself, “what courses should I take to become a data scientist?” or “what kind of education do I need to become a data scientist?” The courses below will provide a foundation of skills and knowledge to help you become a data scientist. These courses can be taken at a college or university. However, the rising cost of tuition can be a deterrent for many students. Luckily, we live in a digital age and many of these courses can be taken online for free! The internet contains a vast amount of knowledge. There are numerous websites that offer free, quality online courses to help students learn concepts. You can search the internet for these free courses. Our website, Your Stat Class, is one of them! You can learn Elementary Statistics for free via our online course!

Being a data scientist can be a rewarding career. There are many benefits to becoming a data scientist. If you want to become a data scientist, get started today by learning concepts taught in the courses listed below.


  • Calculus I

  • Calculus II

  • Linear Algebra

  • Discrete Mathematics

  • Elementary Statistics

  • Linear and Multiple Regression

  • Data Mining/Text Mining

  • Machine Learning


  • Excel

  • Access

  • Introduction to Computer Programming

  • Data Structures/Algorithms

  • Relational Databases

  • R (or Python)

  • Hadoop

  • SQL Database Design

  • Data Visualization


  • Composition

  • Speech

  • Ethics

  • Business

  • Microeconomics

  • Finance

  • Financial Accounting

Disclaimer: This list of courses is not meant to be exhaustive. Some employers may require more skills and/or credentials such as an accredited degree. On the other hand, some positions may not require the knowledge taught in some of these courses. Skills, qualifications and required credentials vary from job to job. We do not guarantee employment upon completion of these courses.


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