A long-term Data Science roadmap which WON’T help you become an expert in only several months

A long-term Data Science roadmap which WON’T help you become an expert in only several monthsFrom time to time I am asked: how does one become a data scientist?.I have answered this question several times, so it seems to me that writing a post could be a good idea to help the aspiring data scientists.About meI got a masters degree at MSU Faculty of Economics (Russia, Moscow) and worked for ~4 years as an analyst/consultant in ERP-system implementation sphere..Most of the things were not inspiring, though I liked working with data..After a couple weeks of googling and reading numerous articles I realized that this could be my dream career.I left my job and 8 months later got my first position as a data scientist in a bank..Since then I have worked in a couple of companies but my passion for data science is still strong..Thus, I have some experience with studying data science and working as data scientist..I think that anyone wishing to become a data scientist must invest a lot of time and effort in it or they will fail..But without extended practice (which is not a part of most courses) you will not prevail.You do need internal motivation, but, more importantly, you need discipline, so that you will continue working after the motivation went away.Let me repeat again — you need to do things by yourself. If you ask the most basic questions without even trying to use Google/StackOverflow or thinking for a couple of minutes, you will never be able to catch up with the professionals.In most of the courses which I took, only around 10–20% of people completed them. Most of those who dropped out did not have dedication or patience.Who is a Data Scientist?There are many pictures showing data scientist’s core skills. For the purposes of this post any of them is good, so let us look at this one. It shows that you need Math & Stats, Programming & Devops, Domain knowledge and Soft skills.That’s a lot! How is it possible to know all of this? Well, it really takes a lot of time. But here are good news: it is not necessary to know everything.There was an interesting talk on 21 October 2018 at Yandex. It was said that there are many types of specialists, who have different combinations of aforementioned skills.Data Scientists are supposed to be in the middle, but in fact they can be in any part of triangle, having different levels in any of the three spheres.In this article I will talk about data scientists as they are usually assumed — those who can talk with customers, perform analysis, build models and deliver them.Switching careers? This means you already have something!Some people say that switchings career is quite difficult. While it is true, have a career to switch from, means you already know something. Maybe you have experience with programming & devops, maybe you have worked in a math/stats heavy sphere or you honed your soft skills everyday. At a bare minimum you have an expertise in your domain. So always try to use your strong sides.Roadmap from RedditIn fact there will be two roadmaps :)The first one is from Reddit, from this topic:First, read fucking Hastie, Tibshirani, and whoever..Write code to continuously retrain and redeploy your models in production as new data becomes available.While being short, harsh and very difficult, this guide is quite great and it will get you to a hireable level.Of course there are many other ways to data science, so I will offer mine..Make yourself comfortable with using select, group by, CTE, joins and other things.Try to work with raw data to get the experience of working with dirty datasets.While the previous point may not be necessary, this one is mandatory: complete at least 1 or 2 complete projects..The main thing to learn is how to create an idea, plan its implementation, get data, work with it and bring the project to completion.Go to Kaggle, study kernels and take part in competitions.Join a good community..I have joined ods.ai — a community of 15k+ active Russian data scientists (by the way, this community is open to data scientista from any countries) and it helped me a lot.Studying Deep Learning is a completely different topic.This is only the beginning..Following this roadmap (or doing something similar) will help you start your journey to becoming a data scientist.. More details

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