How To Get a Data Science Job With No Experience

Updated June 24, 2022

Data scientists collect and analyze data in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare and business. Those who are interested in analytical work and programming and have a passion for solving complex problems for a variety of fields using computers, mathematics and algorithms may consider a career in data science. Even if you have no experience in the data science field, you still can find a job by following several steps.

In this article, we define data science, review what professional data scientists do, explore how to get a job in the field with no experience, discover entry-level job titles for the role and look at qualifications that may help you stand out from other candidates.

Related: What Is a Data Scientist?

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What is data science?

Data science is the collection and study of datasets, using scientific methods or processes to help draw conclusions and find trends. Data science usually requires analytical and coding skills, logical experience, experience in several programming languages and creativity. It involves discovering, storing and using qualitative or quantitative data to for a variety or purposes. This discipline can be ideal for people who are talented at programming, statistics, analytics and programming.

Related: Data Science vs. Computer Science: What's the Difference?

What do data scientists do?

Professional data scientists collect data, analyze it and attempt to identify trends or patterns in it. They often work for businesses and try to help create actionable plans or solutions to complex problems. Data scientists try to determine the most important information in data they collected, organize it and create algorithms to manage it. Data scientist responsibilities typically include:

  • Collecting data

  • Collaborating with colleagues to execute projects

  • Analyzing data

  • Creating models and algorithms

  • Presenting data to colleagues and members of company leadership

  • Identifying patterns and trends in information

Related: Data Scientist: Definition and Qualifications

How to get a data science job with no experience

To get a job as a data scientist with no experience, consider following these steps:

1. Earn education

You may consider first earning a degree, such as an associate or bachelor's, in data science or a related field. People pursuing education for data science typically take courses in programming, statistics, computer science, machine learning and more. You also can pursue a master's degree in data science or a related field to help increase your chances of finding a job. Common college majors for potential data science professionals can include:

  • Data science

  • Computer programming

  • Statistics

  • Physics

  • Applied mathematics

  • Engineering

  • Computational linguistics

2. Get certifications

You may benefit from obtaining certifications in data science and related disciplines. These can expand your knowledge of the field, allow you to you develop new skills and help make you a more appealing job candidate. You may consider earning common certifications for data scientists, such as in data engineering, data analysis, data science, artificial intelligence or data storage.

Related: Data Scientist Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Participate in an internship

You may consider working in data science internships to expand your professional skill set and learn about the data science field. Many data science internships allow interns opportunities to perform duties that professionals do in their daily work, which shows future employers that you have knowledge of the role and have spent time in a data science workplace environment before. Participating in an internship can expand your job opportunities because it shows you have some general experience working in the data science field.

4. Network

Connecting with professionals in the field can help you in your data science job search. Networking with professionals can help expand you learn more about the industry, form relationships with professional data scientists may help you learn about employment opportunities. Consider joining professional data science organizations or clubs and attend workshops or conferences.

5. Create an original project

To showcase your data science skills and visually display your practical knowledge of the field, consider conducting an original project based on data science and other related disciplines. Projects like these may include creating data models or algorithms. When applying for jobs in the field, you can include these projects in your work samples or portfolio.

Related: How To Become a Data Scientist

Entry-level data science job titles

Entry-level job titles for data scientist roles can vary depending on the company you're applying to work for. Specific role responsibilities may vary by job title, but general data scientist tasks typically remain consistent. These data scientist titles can include:

  • Data analyst

  • Entry-level data scientist

  • Junior data scientist

  • Entry-level data engineer

  • Junior data engineer

  • Entry-level data analyst

Related: Data Scientist vs. Research Scientist vs. Applied Scientist

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Qualifications to help you stand out from other job candidates

There are certain qualifications that may help hiring managers to find you more appealing than other job candidates when applying for a data scientist role without having experience. Consider having these qualifications to increase your employment chances:

  • Skills: Data science professionals use a range of skills in their day-to-day work, and having some of these can help you qualify for a job in the field. Some technical skills relevant to data science jobs can include data visualizations, machine learning or cloud computing. Some soft skills that can be useful in this field include communication, teamwork and organization.

  • Strong references: Having references can help you stand out from other job candidates by showing others appreciate the work you do and trust you to continue to produce strong results. You can try to secure a reference from a professor, professional colleague or internship adviser.

  • Knowledge of the company: Before applying for a position as a data scientist, you can conduct research on the company you're applying to, its mission, goals and history and the position you're seeking. Knowing this information can show the hiring manager you're informed about the company and the job requirements and show that you're truly excited about and committed to the prospect of working in this role.

  • Original research: Data scientists conduct a lot of original research to learn how to create new methods of data collection and analysis. If you have conducted any original research, whether from work in related fields or personal projects, and can present it, this may help you stand out from other job candidates.

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