In 2020, data scientists could expect to earn about $123,800 per year, more than twice the median household income in the United States. However, getting to that point requires learning some essential skills and getting a few years of experience in the field. Luckily, experts believe that the number of open positions for data scientists will grow considerably over the next decade. If you think you might want to explore a career in data science, you can learn more by taking a free, 20-hour introductory course from Practicum.

Essential skills for Data Scientists

Some data scientists spend years going to college to learn essential skills that will prepare them for the job market. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time and money on college courses, though. You can learn a similar skill set with about 800 hours of bootcamp training.


Mathematics forms the basis of all data science. Even if you have technology that can do most of the work for you, you should know the underlying math that your tools use to process data. The areas of mathematics that data scientists should master include:

  • Statistics and probability
  • Linear algebra
  • Calculus

Programming languages

Python stands out as one of the most critical languages for data scientists as it plays key roles in automation and when integrating with other tools. Data scientists also need to know SQL since most companies rely on SQL databases.

Machine learning

For the most part, data scientists benefit from machine learning libraries full of algorithms that can be applied to common problems. Two of the most useful machine learning libraries for data scientists include PyTorch and LightGBM. These libraries can be used to build new products that can make predictions using data.

Data visualization

Data scientists often need to report their findings to people who don’t have a background in math. Data visualization makes it easier for people to understand data trends even when they don’t have much experience with data science. The most popular data visualization tools will let you display information as pie charts, bar graphs, bubble charts, scatter plots, line graphs, and waterfall charts. Data scientists should know their audience and choose a way to visualize their data that clearly communicates their ideas.

Practicum’s program delivers results

Practicum’s Data Science course takes a results-oriented approach to making sure students learn the skills they need to begin careers. Each lesson teaches you an important skill that you can then apply to a section project. Practicum also includes mentorships, social interactions, and challenging projects that help solidify learning.

Explore your interest in data science

Before you commit to a data science course through Practicum, you can take a free, 20-hour introductory course. During the class, you get to experience the platform and the types of projects you will undertake during the full course. If you decide that you still want to pursue your interest in data science, you can sign up for the professional course. This course takes most people about 9 months to complete.

Building on your data science skills

Throughout each section of the data science course, students learn essential skills. As you learn, projects will challenge you to use multiple skills at the same time. As you improve your knowledge, you can advance from a beginner to a graduate in less than a year. When you finish the complete course, you will have enough experience to start a career in data science.

For more information about data analyst profession, read  “What’s Inside: Data Analyst Program.”

Tutors and code reviewers connect with students online

Many bootcamps create lessons, take money from students, and force them to learn without much support. Practicum understands the importance of learning directly from experienced data scientists. During your course, you and other students will connect on Slack or Zoom with a tutor who can answer your questions and offer insights into making your projects more successful. All of Practicum’s tutors and code reviewers work as professional data scientists. They have real-world experience, so they can show you practical approaches to completing projects.

Independent projects test your knowledge

Practicum’s interactive platform lets you complete and check assignments within your favorite browser. As you progress, the projects become more challenging. You will complete 17 independent projects that test your knowledge.

After you submit your projects, you will get feedback from a code reviewer who can show you places where you excelled and places where you could have done better. Your code reviewer can also reject your project until you’ve corrected all major mistakes, which gives you an incentive to improve your skills. You get positive reinforcement that keeps you motivated, but you also get straightforward feedback that will help you deepen your understanding of data science.

Social support from “classmates”

When you start Practicum’s data science bootcamp, you get grouped with other students. These students form a loose class that you can interact with throughout the bootcamp. Even though students move through the course at their own pace, you can rely on support from each other when you encounter problems that you don’t know how to solve. After all, some of your fellow students have already gone through the challenges that you face.

Like tutors and code reviewers, working alongside other students can provide a tremendous amount of feedback and motivation to continue learning.

Prepare for your career as a Data Scientist

Practicum’s Data Scientist Course puts highly-motivated students on the fast track to starting new careers as data scientists. After completing the course, you will have a portfolio of projects that show you can meet the demands of an entry-level position. From there, you can gain real-world experience and move up the career ladder. Within a few years, you could have your dream job, work on exciting projects, and while earning a great living that leaves you with money to spare.

Learn more about the data science bootcamp and other courses by visiting Practicum and signing up for your free introductory class.


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