How To Become A Data Scientist In India?

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If you’re an aspiring data scientist in India, it’s only reasonable to evaluate your career prospects before investing time and effort in data science education.

It’s true that “data scientist” is one of the most sought-after roles over the world but does that apply for the job market in India?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the latest research to help you assess your chances of landing a data scientist job in India. Then we’ll focus on the education and qualifications you need to become a data scientist eligible for the job at any company. Finally, we’ll point you in the right direction in terms of where to look for data scientist job openings in India and we’ll share some extra tips that will help you stand out from the crowd.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

What’s the Data Scientist Job Outlook in India?

A recent report by The Hindu states that there are an estimated 97,000 data analytics job openings in India (Bengaluru accounts for 24% of these job openings, while Delhi/NCR for 22%).

Since the data science field is progressing at an extremely fast rate, the huge demand for data science talent, especially in the Technology/IT and Industrial domain, can hardly catch up with the supply of skilled data scientists.

Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that a significant part of the data scientists in India (more than 40%) have received a ‘data scientist’ job title within the last 24 months.

So, becoming a data scientist in India seems like a truly golden opportunity. But what does that mean in terms of salaries?

What is the Data Scientist Salary in India?

According to upgrad.com, “data scientist” is the highest paying job in India. The average data scientist salary listed on Glassdoor is above 1,000,000 rupees per year and it could go up to 2,000,000 rupees for more experienced candidates.

Of course, corporations based in large cities like Mumbai and Bangalore offer higher salaries. But keep in mind that this may soon change. Many international companies prefer to open an office in Hyderabad, as it’s much more affordable. No wonder giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and P&G already call Hyderabad their home. And that translates into even more career opportunities for data scientists in India.

Now that you know for sure that data science is a rising career in India, it’s time to learn what it takes to become a competitive data scientist in the field.

How to Become a Data Scientist in India?

As you can probably guess, the skills and education required for data scientists are, to a large extent, universal, regardless of the country you live in. However, we decided to dig deep into the numbers to paint the most accurate picture possible. So, here’s what we discovered about the education and skills of the typical data scientist in India.

What Education Do You Need to Become a Data Scientist in India?

According to our research, 50% of data scientists in India have a Master’s degree; 34% – a Bachelor’s degree; and a small 6% hold a Ph.D.

Now, regarding academic background: a degree in computer studies, economics, finance, business studies, statistics, and mathematics is certainly considered an advantage. However, more and more employers are willing to weave such requirements in favor of relevant skills and real-world experience.

The typical data scientist in India also speaks 2.3 languages, has taken at least 1 online course, and has posted 4 certificates on average on LinkedIn.

This goes to prove the increasing importance of online data science trainings not only when it comes to learning the fundamentals, but also for acquiring the latest in-demand skills.

What else? 79% of data scientists in India are male. This shouldn’t discourage you, ladies, as recent data indicate that women are becoming a competitive force in the data science field.

Our research also shows that data scientists in India generally have 7 or more years of working experience. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t concern those of you who are just getting started. There are plenty of data science job opportunities even for beginners in the field (you can find out more about those in the super-detailed and comprehensive 365 Data Science Career Guide)

What Skills You Should Have to Become a Data Scientist in India?

Everyone who’s considering a career in data science knows the must-have skillset for a data scientist includes:

  • proficiency in excel;
  • good practical knowledge of statistics and mathematics;
  • confidence in working with visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau;
  • and, of course – experience in scripting languages, such as SQL, Python, and R.

Speaking of languages, data scientists in India use more programming languages as compared to other countries (Python, R, SAS, etc.).

And while Python holds the lead in popularity in the US and Europe, in India it shares the winner’s place with R.

But how do you acquire all of these if you’re starting from scratch? Well, luckily, today there are many options to learn data science. For example, you can start a qualification program or study with private tutors. However, if going back to school is not on your agenda, an online certificate program can be the best way to begin your professional journey.

Where to Look for a Data Scientist Job in India?

Here’s the reality. It’s hard to do data science for Indian companies. The reason is that few of them are sophisticated enough and have sufficient data for a thorough analysis.
So, the most obvious choice for an aspiring data scientist in India would be the large US and globally recognized companies in the sector. Here’s a shortlist of the biggest players and the locations they’re hiring at:

  • Amazon – Bangalore, Hyderabad;
  • Walmart – Bangalore;
  • P&G – Hyderabad;
  • Oracle – Bangalore, Hyderabad;
  • IBM – Bangalore.

Some Additional Tips

Having the fitting education and skills isn’t enough to land a job as a data scientist in India. If you want to build an impressive resume, you should really make some extra efforts. So, here are a few ideas of how to distinguish yourself in front of potential employers.

  • if you are a college student or fresher, try to get a data science internship, even if it’s unpaid. Your goal should be to get industry experience that you will later apply in your permanent data science job;
  • create a good GitHub repository and upload our own data science related projects and work there. Also, put your GitHub link in your LinkedIn profile. It is a good way to showcase your work to prospective employers;
  • participate in online data science competitions. This will help you validate your learning and also get some noticed by employers if is a sponsored competition;
  • attend local Data Science meetups that are taking place regularly in big cities like Bangalore, Pune, Delhi NCR. Try to network with the people – this can truly help you create more opportunities for yourself.

In Conclusion

Becoming a data scientist in India is worth every hour of studying, job-searching, and interview preparation (just look at the numbers above). That said, the most important thing to do is to focus on acquiring the right skillset. And, at the same time, you should take into consideration the specifics of the data science landscape in India. We hope this brief overview will help you get on the right track to data science success.

Ready to Start Your Data Scientist Career?

Check out the complete Data Science Program today. Start with the fundamentals with our Statistics, Maths, and Excel courses; build up step-by-step experience with SQL, Python, R, and Tableau; and upgrade your skillset with Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Credit Risk Modeling, Time Series Analysis, and Customer Analytics in Python. If you still aren’t sure you want to turn your interest in data science into a solid career, we also offer a free preview version of the Data Science Program. You’ll receive 12 hours of beginner to advanced content for free. It’s a great way to see if the program is right for you.

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