Companies across the globe process huge amounts of data on a daily basis. They use this information to optimize their business strategy and make informed decisions. It’s the job of talented data scientists to collect, store, organize, and analyze this data.
Data scientists aim to gain insight into customer behavior, competitors, and markets. They report to key stakeholders within the organization to drive the business forward.
Data science plays a pivotal role in the success or failure of any major organization. Salaries for the position start from $95,000. This is well above average and reflects the high level of responsibility and skill required to perform the job.
If you’re passionate about big data, a future career in data science could be perfect for you. And we're exports on how to get started in this rewarding field. We’ll list a few job search platforms and take you through some data scientist interview questions to help you get hired as a data scientist.
First Steps to Break into Data Science
Before we drill down into specifics, here’s a list of general tips for landing your dream data science job:
Master The Skills: There are some fundamental skills required to become a data scientist. Mastering programming languages, statistics, and data visualization is a great way to get started.
Get Certified: Data science certificates will help validate existing skills and show prospective employers that you’re passionate about the role. Even if you don’t have any experience, certification courses look great on your resume. You can enroll online and acquire skills within a relatively short time frame.
Create an Online Portfolio: Build your data science portfolio on websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and GitHub. You can showcase your skills, achievements, and personality. These platforms also enable you to connect with both established industry professionals and aspiring data scientists.
Work on Projects: If you’ve worked on any past data science projects, be sure to mention them on your resume. This will help you stand out from the crowd and convince employers of your capabilities.
Prepare for an Interview: Run through common data science interview questions before your meeting. Revise basic concepts, theories, and formulas. Talk to established data scientists and seek advice. Make sure you get plenty of rest before the big day and always be polite and friendly to everyone you meet on site.
Where to Find Data Science Jobs
The data science job market has expanded considerably over the past few years. The Internet is a great place to start your search. Many tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, advertise job vacancies on their websites. Other companies use job portals for advertising their job openings. Here are some great job search websites:
Upwork: This website is perfect for data scientists looking for freelance work. You can find hundreds of job listings from small firms to big companies like Microsoft, and Netflix. You can even get work on an hourly or weekly basis. The site has powerful search filters to help you narrow down your search.
DataJobs: This platform was founded by Frank and Amy Lo and is dedicated to data-oriented positions. You can find jobs in data technology, data science, and data analytics.
Glassdoor: Although not specifically for data scientists, Glassdoor is one of the largest recruitment platforms online. Apart from job openings, you’ll also find company overviews, interview reviews, work environment descriptions, and company packages.
Kaggle: This is where you’ll find data scientists, machine learning engineers, and statisticians. You can subscribe to their job opening updates. Kaggle gives you the opportunity to build a network with people who share common interests. You can also find small projects and challenges to help refine your skills. Remember to include your Kaggle projects on your resume.
StatsJobs: This is specifically designed for data analysts, data scientists, and statisticians. Many reputed companies advertise job openings here. In order to apply for a job, you don’t have to create an account.
Indeed: Indeed is one of the most popular job sites in the world, and it’s as useful for data science openings as it is for any other industry. It’s simple to search for a job. You just enter the job title in the search bar and instantly get a list of available jobs. You can also use filters like location, salary, date posted, company, and employer.
AngelList: This is a great place for finding data-related jobs. AngelList is primarily meant for job opportunities posted by start-ups. This is a perfect platform for those who are looking for remote, part-time, or freelance data science work. When you register, the recruiters can directly contact you if they find your portfolio interesting.
ZipRecruiter: This portal was founded in 2010 and has now grown into a thriving international site operating in both the U.S. and UK. Apart from searching for data science jobs, you can also subscribe to their job alert, which will notify you whenever there’s an opening which suits your profile.
Hired: With its headquarters in San Francisco, this is another platform that works by matching candidate profiles with active job openings. The platform provides career counseling and currently operates in the U.S., Canada, UK, and France. If you’re looking for a high-level data science job, it’s probably posted here.
iCrunchData: Apart from finding data science jobs, you can connect with potential candidates and employers here. Most of the job openings are for data analysts and data scientists. You can also get direct emails regarding relevant jobs by clicking on the “Email me jobs like this” option.
20 Example Data Science Interview Questions
Here are some questions that you’re likely to be asked in a data scientist interview:
- How is logistic regression done?
- Explain the steps in making a decision tree.
- What is the difference between supervised and unsupervised machine learning?
- How can you avoid overfitting your model?
- What are the feature selection methods used to select the right variables?
- You are given a data set consisting of variables with more than 30 percent missing values. How will you deal with them?
- Explain SVM machine learning algorithm in detail.
- What is Entropy and Information gain in the decision tree algorithm?
- How do you calculate the Euclidean distance in Python?
- What’s the difference between regression and classification techniques?
- Why do we generally use Softmax nonlinearity function as the last operation in a network?
- Write a basic SQL query that lists all orders with customer information.
- What is ‘Naive’ in Naive Bayes?
- Explain what regularization is and why it’s useful.
- How do you work towards a random forest?
- What are the types of biases that can occur during sampling?
- How regularly must an algorithm be updated?
- Do gradient descent methods always converge to similar points?
- Write the equation and calculate the precision and recall rate.
- In your choice of language, write a program that prints numbers ranging from 1-50.
Data science questions are usually technical and you need to have key concepts and principles nailed in order to answer them. You should go through fundamental concepts again and again until they’re clear in your mind.
Your prospective employer may also ask you some more general behavioral questions. While they won’t reveal a whole lot about your data science chops, these questions test your presence of mind, instincts, and aptitude for the job. They help recruiters analyze whether you’ll fit into the work culture of the company. Some commonly asked questions include:
- What’s your favorite algorithm?
- Do you prefer to work in small teams, large teams, or by yourself?
- What motivates you to be a data scientist?
- What qualities should a data scientist have and why?
- What has been your most challenging project?
- How would you handle a conflict situation with your boss?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you have any questions?
You should always try to be honest while answering behavioral questions. Don’t answer solely based on what you think the employer wants to hear. Behavioral questions reflect your attitude and personality.
Start Your Career in Data Science
The field of data science can be extremely rewarding and satisfying. You’ll also have job security, excellent career prospects, and an above-average compensation package.
To get your foot in the door and kickstart your dream career in data, machine learning or AI, enroll in our data science bootcamp. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started as a data scientist. You’ll benefit from one-on-one mentorships and receive community support. Go from beginner to hired in less than a year. Schedule a call with our team to take the next step.
If you have a thirst for reading more, check out our data science blog. We regularly add insightful articles covering all aspects of data science.
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