How to Excel in the Growing Field of Data Science


Paige Spell

Katherine Tharmarajah

Date Published:
May 30, 2024

The field of data science is growing rapidly. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected employment of data scientists to grow by 35 percent between 2022 and 2032. If you’re interested in learning more about data science careers, keep reading. This article features some helpful tips for those new to the field.

Data Science Careers Panel Discussion

This panel discussion, hosted by The National Consortium for Data Science, features one of our data scientists, Paige Spell, and other data leaders. Tune in to learn what led them to pursue data science careers, tips for success in the field, and important skills to develop beyond technical skills.

Paige Spell Shares Tips for New Data Scientists

When Paige Spell isn’t hiking mountains in Iceland, she loves solving interesting problems in her role as a data scientist. But when she first stepped into data science, she found herself climbing a different kind of mountain.

“Starting out as a data scientist, I was nervous to ask for help. I feared my questions would undermine my expertise,” says Paige.

"Coming out of my master’s program, I was eager to apply every technique I learned, often overlooking the power of simplicity. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work, but this field changes so fast and you have to be able to change with it.”

From Paige’s perspective there are a few common mistakes new data scientists can experience. Here are her tips to help you avoid each of them:

Staying Siloed

🔹 Instead, expand your network.

🔹 Reach out internally: Seek feedback and connect with colleagues across different business units.

🔹 Tap into the data science community: Seek technical advice and stay updated on new techniques.
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2. Focusing Solely on Technical Skills

🔹 Instead, build soft skills.

🔹 Prioritize communication: Translate complex findings into actionable insights for the business.

🔹 Embrace domain knowledge: Understand industry nuances to make meaningful impacts with your analyses.
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Neglecting Continuous Learning

🔹 Instead, stay curious.

🔹 Explore new techniques: Don’t get stuck in a rut; stay updated on emerging methods.

🔹 Cultivate curiosity: Be open to experimentation and always strive for growth.
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“Starting a career in data science is full of opportunity,” says Paige.

“By avoiding these pitfalls and embracing a mindset of continuous learning and collaboration, you’ll set yourself up for success in this dynamic field.”

Data Science Opportunities

From honing your skills to surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, there are plenty of opportunities to grow as a data professional.

Interested in sharpening your data science skills?

Elder Research offers a wide variety of online courses through
Explore the courses.

Interested in job opportunities at Elder Research?

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