Three data scientists reveal what it takes to transition from physics to a data science career

  • Science students with a physics background can also be groomed to become the data scientists of tomorrow.
  • According to Kim Nilsson, who co-founded Pivigo in the UK, the key to becoming a data scientist is a ‘scientific mindset’'
  • India is estimated to have less than 10% of data scientists that is available globally, according to LinkedIn.
  • The minimum salary of a data scientist stands at nearly ₹7 lakhs per annum

India is short of data scientists, as the country and its systems embrace digitisation. Yet, this new coveted job role is not limited to engineering graduates only.

Science students with a physics background can also be groomed to become the data scientists of tomorrow.

A Scientific Mindset

According to Kim Nilsson, who co-founded Pivigo in the UK, the key to becoming a data scientist is a ‘scientific mindset’.

Physics scholars also have the knowledge of coding languages, software development and statistical evaluation of data. This helps them ease into the job of a data scientist.

The job of a data scientist or analyst is to sift through data focussing on it from an end user perspective, and identify trends and other outcomes. They are required to draw meaningful insights from the data provided.

According to Nilsson, all it takes is a ‘commercial polish’ to implement the research to make inferences from the data.

Yet, those physicists who want to make a career change might have to learn a little more. Programming languages like Python and R, machine learning and understanding of database with SQL (Structured Query Language) are the top skills required to become a data scientist, according to Deepak Mahtani, Community Manager in Data Science.

Why data science?

The US has over 40% professionals skilled in big data and analytics. However, India is estimated to have less than 10% of data scientists that is available globally, according to LinkedIn.

The remuneration of a data scientist might also attract a large number of people into the profession.

While the minimum salary stands at nearly ₹7 lakhs per annum, experienced professionals with three to five years of experience can make as much as ₹50 lakhs.

A survey done by Analytics Vidhya and ed-tech platform Great Learnings revealed that India currently has 50,000 vacancies in data and analytics.

See also:
Big data and analytics may be the hottest sector, but India has a serious dearth of data scientists

Here’s why it might be the best time to opt for a career in data analytics
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