Social Scientist to Data Science Enthusiast
By Fareeha Sarwar | 23rd May 2023
If you’re studying social sciences and thinking about entering the tech industry, this article is for you!
We live in a world where understanding data is essential. It gives us valuable information to make important decisions. Data science is becoming crucial for social scientists, especially in areas like international relations and politics.
To keep up with the fast changing times, we need to learn new concepts and ideas. Universities around the globe are offering unique subjects like philosophy with data science and social data science. For example, the University of Manchester offers a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Data Analytics; New York University provides a doctorate in the same field; and The University of Oxford offers a Masters in Social Data Science. Similar programs are popping up in other European countries. But first let’s explore what data science is.
What is Data Science?
It is all about collecting, studying, and interpreting large amounts of data to make informed decisions. Data alone doesn’t mean much but when we change it into valuable information, it becomes very important. Industries like finance, healthcare, and education are increasingly using data science today. Companies use it to understand the behavioral pattern of consumers as well as predict the future trends.
Data science has become more relevant today and will become even more pertinent in the future because the demand for data scientists is growing. And when combined with social sciences, we can learn how to think critically and understand real-life situations. Jointly they can help us examine challenges that democracy faces; help us handle online hate speech; and can even predict election outcomes. Data science helps us make better, more accurate decisions in any field one can think of.
How can a Social Scientist turn into a Data Scientist?
If you’re a social scientist wanting to become a data scientist, you can start by understanding the basics of data science.
1. Understand the basics of Data Science
This means learning about data analysis, machine learning, and data visualization. It also means understanding how to work with data sets and using programming languages. Once your data is refined, it becomes valuable. When you understand the basics, you can start exploring online resources that can upskill you.
2. Find the right bootcamp for yourself
The next step for you is to find online courses or boot camps that offer hands-on training in data science. Choose a course that fits your budget and skill level. It should balance theoretical knowledge and practical application. Once you’ve completed your training, you can work on real-world projects and further develop your skills.
3. Define your Domain
It is important to note here that choosing your area of focus, or domain, is important. It could be finance, commerce, education, or governance. Knowing your domain helps you understand the data you are working with. It lets you ask specific questions and solve problems more efficiently and helps you communicate better. Domain knowledge, together with your soft skills, gives you an advantage in your career.
4. Jump into the Job Market Right Away
At this stage, you are ready to jump into the job market and gain hands-on experience. You can search for work on platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, KDnuggets, and Datajobs.com. And you won’t even need to worry a little about your social science background since now you have a tangible and highly paid skill at hand!
Today, data science along with the fusion of social science is used in many ways. It helps start-ups find markets, it can be used to control crime, and it’s useful in the food industry. You can also use the data to make decisions based on public opinion as well as understand consumer behavior and create predictive models in business analytics.
In summary, becoming a data scientist is an exciting journey. A social sciences degree paired with technological skills in data analysis can open up many career opportunities. You should be a continuous learner and have determination, as these will play a huge role in your success. Remember, data is the most valuable resource in the world, and data science will remain relevant for many years to come. So, let’s get started! Are you ready to upgrade your skills?