How to become a data scientist

Interested in becoming a data scientist? In this article you'll discover the benefits, qualifications, and different routes you can take to pursue a career in data science.

What is a data scientist?

Data scientists understand complex data using skills in advanced analytics and machine learning. These skills are in demand in many areas such as finance, healthcare, retail, and technology. Learn more about what data scientists do below.

Routes to become a data scientist

Although formal qualifications are preferred, you may wish to consider a self-taught route. Each path offers unique challenges and insights which we explore below:

How long does it take to become a data scientist?

The journey from university to a career in data science can take between 4 to 10 years, depending on your individual goals. Check out our timeline below to find out more.

Undertake a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as Computer Science, Mathematics, or Data Science.

Studies should equip you with foundational knowledge in:

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Programming languages like Python and R
  • Data analysis techniques

If you decide to study with us look out for our sandwich year option and gain real experience in industry. A sandwich year extends the duration from 3 to 4 years but provides valuable work experience and opens doors to employment. 

"Maths opens so many doors in terms of career options. Data is becoming bigger than ever and most employers offer training to apply your maths knowledge to data science."

Simon McCormick - BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Frequently asked questions