There’s no denying that ‘data scientist’ is a hot job title to have right now, and for good reason. It’s a tremendously fun and challenging field to be in, and despite all of the often undeserved hoopla that surrounds it, data scientists are doing some pretty amazing things. So it’s no surprise that many people are clamoring to find out how to become data scientists. As I run a blog that attempts to teach some basic data science using sports analytics, I often get email asking how one gets started in data science and/or how quickly one can learn the prerequisites for being a data scientist. Instead of replying to these all the time, I thought I’d write my thoughts up here.
In short, there are lots of great, free resources out there for the motivated autodidact. I’ll list some of them here. The more nuanced take, though, is that I’m highly skeptical that many or even most people can ‘become’ a data scientist through MOOCs and tutorials. And certainly not quickly enough to be qualified to get a job as a data scientist before the data scientist salary market comes crashing back down to earth.