5 Must-Have Data Science Skills That Will Get You Hired (2024)

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Marta Teneva 11 Apr 2024 7 min read

What 5 Skills Do You Need To Land Any Data Science Job?

As a budding data scientist embarking on the adventures of your new career, you are probably pretty curious about how to land a data science job in this highly competitive area.

As a matter of fact, being tuned into what’s happening in the job market is always a good idea for everyone! Maybe you are already a seasoned data scientist who wants to be up-to-date with the latest job requirements. Or you are an employer who wants to check out what other companies are looking for in a data science resume.

Anyhow, regardless of your motivation and professional experience, in this article you will find out what key data scientist roles and responsibilities are essential for this attractive data science career path.

We at 365 Data Science are always on a mission to keep you up to speed.

This is why, once again, we did our research diligently and drew up a list of the 5 most important skills required in data science job descriptions. We looked into LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed in search of the 50 hottest offers out there. Then, we analyzed their common traits to outline the big picture.

Just scroll down and in a few short minutes you will have all the information (and, hopefully, reassurance) you need.

Data Storytelling Skills

Yep, that is correct. The data scientists’ work indeed requires imaginative way of thinking. Because one of the most widespread key responsibilities assigned to the job is “telling the data story”.  And to do so, you must be able to make complex data science concepts comprehensible to various types of audiences (including company leadership and stakeholders).

According to job descriptions, as a data scientist, you are the “voice” of the data, playing a major role in leveraging company data to drive business solutions. So, you should be able to draw a clear picture for the staff members, the VPs, and the customers.

After all, they will make important business decisions based on your data representation.

Not to mention that many companies will expect you to serve as a mentor and technical leader to other data scientists on the team.

So, here’s a good idea. Take the time to improve your data visualization skills. Explore various software tools and techniques. Expertise in such will definitely help you stand out once you start applying for a data science job. You can also read more about influencing people and telling stories as a data scientist here.

data storytelling, skills to match data science job description

Technical Skills: Excel, R, Tableau, SQL, and Python

This one comes as no surprise. If you are aiming to achieve the data scientist status, your technical skills must be excellent. This lucrative job requires implementing machine learning algorithms, such as regression, classification, text mining, and time series. Moreover, experience with data visualization tools, and an ability to extract data from varied stores count as a big plus. That said, expertise in Excel, R, Tableau, SQL, and Python will skyrocket your chances to land your dream job.

Speaking of Python, our super-detailed Python Programming Guide will help you learn everything you need to get started, so check it out here. Lucky for you, even if you don’t have previous experience, we can help you master these crucial skills. Feel free to learn more about our comprehensive online program here.

Academic Skills: What Degree Do You Need to Become a Data Scientist?

When it comes to qualifications, a second-tier degree in technical disciplines is certainly a common trait in the data science job descriptions. Therefore, a strong background in engineering, computer science, machine learning, statistics, or applied mathematics will put you among the star candidates for the job.  Usually, a bachelor’s or a master’s degree will fill the bill. Fortunately, according to our research, even if you are a recent college graduate you can still make the cut.

No qualifications in the technical field? No worries.

A degree in Business Analytics, Economics, and Finance is just as valuable. Additional Marketing and Social Science background could also help you hit the spot. Interestingly enough, these findings are further supported by our research on what it takes to become a data scientist in 2023 where we go into a lot more detail and inspect every aspect of the career.

So, keep calm and carry on. Yes, it is true that some companies prefer a PhD, but it is not a must. Also, there is a noticeable trend of requiring a specialized data science certification or degree.  

Practical Skills

According to job descriptions, 3-5 years of working experience gives you a higher chance to seal the deal. There is a high data scientist demand in 2024. So, naturally, companies are looking for candidates who are confident in applying data science techniques to drive business decisions. Don’t be quick to despair, though.

Every expert was once a beginner. So, as long as your enthusiasm matches your skills, you will find your place in the bright data science sun. This is particularly true, if you are willing to gain initial speed as an intern, preferably at a tech company. (And if an internship position is starting to strike your fancy, we can help with getting one with this article.) However, keep in mind that most employers in the field are interested in candidates who can use quantitative techniques to arrive at a solution based on available data. This should be sufficient incentive for you to get yourself out there and search for ways to gain that experience. Courage and positive attitude, data scientist comrades!

practical skills for data science job description

Problem-Solving Skills

Believe it or not, there is more to data science than data. Once you start browsing through job offers, you will see for yourself. Apparently, strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills are what great data scientists are made of. So, rather than emphasizing solely on academics, make sure you get these traits covered. Companies are in constant search for candidates who exhibit both responsibility and out-of-the-box thinking. You should strike them as proactive and deeply curious team-player who doesn’t hesitate to share their point of view. On top of that, as a data scientist, you must be self-motivated, highly organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Also, it won’t hurt if you are highly collaborative and open to giving and receiving feedback. Phew! Sounds like data scientists are the unicorns of the business realm. Even so, there is no room for doubt. You have what it takes, just believe in yourself and take it one step at a time.

Well, now that we have covered the 5 skills you need to match any data science job description, take a deep breath, exhale, and take the first step towards your goal.

Just make consistent preparation your priority and leave the rest to us. If you have set your heart and mind on becoming an accomplished data scientist, you can greatly benefit from our Complete Data Science Training Program. Thanks for being here and best of luck on your data scientist career adventure!

Marta Teneva

Senior Copywriter

Marta is a former Senior Copywriter at 365 Data Science. Digging into her own experience of transitioning into a new field and all the uncertainty that initially goes with it, she creates informative and fun to read content that helps our readers expand their career options in data science and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.