Data science is the discipline of study that combines expertise in programming, statistical skills, and understanding of statistics and mathematical data to extract useful insights from large-scale data sets. Data scientists apply machine learning algorithms to big data to generate new artificial intelligence ( AI) systems to solve problems that typically require human intelligence. Data scientists are an essential part of today’s business and technology communities. Data Science Association of America, DSA, provides six certifications for data scientists, who are expected to have:
The first certification, Data Sciences Associate, is a great entry-level certification and often a first step toward a Data Science professional career. Data sciences associates learn the core concepts and tools of data science through online short coursework. This online short coursework covers exploratory techniques, data cleansing, exploratory analysis, supervised and unsupervised learning, hypothesis testing, experimental design, and summary metrics. This course emphasizes supervised learning with the primary goal of developing predictive and explanatory models. Students will also learn how to communicate findings and interpret results from their own and others’ experiments.
The second certification, Data Sciences Specialist, is a slightly more advanced certification intended to give applicants an upper hand in climbing the data science career ladder. Data science specialists develop and implement advanced modeling and statistical techniques, and use programming skills to create, manipulate, store, analyze, and interpret large-scale data sets. They gain significant practical experience in the application of scientific principles to real-world situations.
Data Science Associates courses are designed for professionals already working in the industry who wish to specialize. In order to become a Data Science Specialist, a person must first enroll in a Bachelor of Science program with a concentration in Statistics or a related major. After completing their undergraduate degree, they can enroll in one of the many accredited Data Science Associates courses. These courses cover topics such as optimization, frequent data collection, decision trees, bayesian statistics, panel analysis, optimization tools, and primary key performance indicators. Students can complete these courses in two to four years.
An Associate of Science in Data Science (ASDS) is typically a short program of up to five weeks, offering a non-technical approach to the subject. Students can opt for a full specialization at the end of their program, which includes either statistical or computational methods, depending on their preferences. These courses offer advanced programming and statistical language knowledge, as well as broad understanding of conceptual models. In order to be a Data Science Specializationist, students must have taken all five courses listed above, as well as approved college courses in algebra, statistics, computer science, and other disciplines.
At the graduate level, Data Science graduates may pursue additional graduate studies or research positions within large companies, such as those found at hedge funds, investment banks, pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms, and government agencies. Many data scientists begin their careers as faculty members at academic research facilities or university departments, and pursue graduate degrees at the same time that they work within the company. A Data Science Associate’s degree is most commonly completed at an institution with an academic division devoted to the study of programming and numerical analysis, and typically requires extensive coursework completed in the field in order to fulfill the requirements.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the top schools in the Midwest and Illinois region. One of the strengths of the Illinois college is its high-ranking position in the national Human Resources Council. In addition to providing a comprehensive program in Data Science, the school offers courses in Business, Computational Analytics, Data mining, Healthcare, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics.
In order to enroll in the Data Science program, students must first complete an associate’s degree. After graduating, students can opt to take a course in Statistics or a course in Computing. Courses in Computing offer courses in statistical methods, linear regression, multiple regression, principal components, Kaplan’s theory of choice, problem solving techniques for Data Science, decision trees and neural networks, and r correlation. Students may also enroll in courses in business to learn about data management, database management and software engineering. Most Data Science degrees require specialized training; some require a year of internship or work at a laboratory, while others require only a bachelor’s degree.