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What Are the Top Skills Needed to Be a Data Scientist?

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SAS Academy for Data Science 7-Day FREE Trial Dr. Goutam Chakraborty of Oklahoma State University outlines the top skills you need to be successful as a data scientist. SAS ACADEMY FOR DATA SCIENCE Analytical talent is in high demand. Differentiate yourself by earning your certification in big data and data science from SAS, the world leader in advanced big data analytics. The SAS Academy for Data Science can help you sharpen your skills and validate your expertise – for employers, customers and yourself. Learn more! SUBSCRIBE TO THE SAS SOFTWARE YOUTUBE CHANNEL ABOUT SAS SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 75,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. VISIT SAS CONNECT WITH SAS SAS ► SAS Customer Support ► SAS Communities ► Facebook ► Twitter ► LinkedIn ► Google+ ► Blogs ► RSS ►
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Text Comments (84)
Kristen Lal Kohli (2 months ago)
What actually is digital?
SAS Software (2 months ago)
Kristen, can you provide more context on what you mean by "digital"?
Goutam Bag (3 months ago)
something you deeply care about........point noted sir
Kavinth Amirthanathar (3 months ago)
why do people ask such obvious questions that could easily be found thru google
Nur (3 months ago)
Hello, I am a graduate from electrical electronic engineering and I took some courses on machine learning and deep learning. Do I still need to take a masters degree to become a sufficient data scientist?
SAS Software (3 months ago)
Hi there! Actually, we do offer a program called the SAS Academy for Data Science that you may be interested in! Details here: A couple additional resources that may be helpful:, &
Ahmad Maidinsar (6 months ago)
One should understand there are thousand of disciplines needing help in data management. You can't perform any analytics or mining or modeling if you don't have anything in your database. Thus data repository is always overlooked. Now to have those skills mentioned you can't even go to the 'loo'. In the good old days we only have the System Analysts & the Programmers. The ONLY thing we are missing now is the PASSION for data and know which data go to where and which data do what????
PAPA CHOUDHARY (8 months ago)
michaelrose93 (8 months ago)
OK, ignorant question, but what's the matter with Excel?
就已 (9 months ago)
major in bioinformatic is a good choice for big data?
SAS Software (9 months ago)
Thanks for reaching out to SAS! To clarify, are you looking for career guidance or for information on how to get started with SAS?
rwfrench66 (9 months ago)
The first thing you need is cynicism.  I know that sounds negative but if you don't doubt your data set you'll waste a lot of time making models and analysis.
pabloshow (11 months ago)
Can i become Data Scientist in a information systems degree i have all of these things he stated in the degree
SAS Software (11 months ago)
To learn more about your interest, are you looking to get information on SAS training?
Junaid Aslam (11 months ago)
hi i have recently finished bachelors of petroleum engineering. should i go for masters in data science?
SAS Software (11 months ago)
We can certainly provide recommendations on SAS training but we do not provide career counseling/advising. Can you please elaborate more on what specific information you are looking for?
Junaid Aslam (11 months ago)
SAS Software this is not the answer of my question
SAS Software (11 months ago)
Are you looking to have SAS under your belt? If so, we can certainly make some recommendations as far as training option. It really depends on what you'd like to do as a career. This Learning Paths resource is great if you're looking based on job role Free resources on getting started with SAS: Information on SAS Academy for Data Science, Data Science Certification This blog may also be of interest:
tifking73 (1 year ago)
I am starting an M.S. in Data Analytics at SNHU this month. I am very excited about all the analytical skills needed to be in data Analytics/Science (such as programming/stats), and the creative thinking skills needed to tackle problems/generate reports, etc. Then I found out that a lot of this work involves public speaking...So, what’s another career option similar to Data Analytics/Science that involves analytical/artistic skills but little to no public speaking!?!
SAS Software (1 year ago)
You may want to check with a Career Counselor at your university for guidance as to what career path may be good for you if you don't prefer public speaking. Regarding SAS, if you are interested in gaining SAS skills definitely take advantage of our resources for students, here: Also, this SAS Training page may be handy: For training in SAS based on job role, you may find this helpful as well:
Arnold Otero (1 year ago)
I'm currently in Electrical Engineering major, thinking on focusing on power or signals, but this field seems to exciting. I mean you get to work on data that can lead to advances in medicine, biology, astrophysics(black holes, pulsar stars, etc), quantum mechanics, business(doesn't sound so sexy, but yeah), among other things, it really sounds like a GREAT CAREER.
confidential303 (10 months ago)
nonya damnbus#1 electrical engineering degree is a definite plus moving into data scientists. it doesn't matter what specialisation you do. the most important part is hoe are your analytical skills and abstract thinking, which should be fine with electrical engineers. though if you want to have a headstart then majoring in computer science would be more advantage. topics like artificial intelligence, neural networks will be certainly of help.
Rishabh Lavangad (1 year ago)
Hello sir , right I am in BE final year , and next year I'll be joining a big data course . For this year I wish to groom my skills in a programming language - either java or python... So which language (java or python) should I get groomed up in which would help me out in learning big data ?
SAS Software (1 year ago)
Hi Rishabh, while I can only speak on SAS, here are a few blog posts that can help point you in the right direction: Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
washfi (1 year ago)
He is selling
JMerlan (1 year ago)
If I take Mathematics BA in college the right path for this career?
Satya Raja (1 year ago)
More like major in Computer Science with minor in Mathematics
SAS Software (1 year ago)
That will be an excellent start! Please see these resources for more information: What is a Data Scientist? Top three reasons to become a data scientist 7 tips for becoming a data science unicorn SAS® Academy for Data Science We wish you much success on your journey!
Fast Solution (1 year ago)
how much calculus is required ?
SAS Software (1 year ago)
The data science certification program is for those who want to develop the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to work as a data scientist. It is best suited for those with a strong background in applied mathematics. A master’s degree or higher in a quantitative or technical field is recommended, but not required. For more insight into our Data Scientist program and the skills you need see
Vishwas A (1 year ago)
What is Business Analytics? What skills are needed for it
SAS Software (1 year ago)
Hello, Vishwas! At #SAS, Business Analytics is what we do! We hope these links will help answer your questions: What is Business Analytics? 1) Analytics: What it is and why it matters 2) Business Analytics: Anticipate opportunity. Take action. Make an impact. What skills are needed for it? 1) SAS Global Certification Program: Statistical Business Analyst Scroll down to the "Exam Preparation" heading, and click the "Training" tab to see the courses we suggest to prepare you for this exam. 2) SAS Academy for Data Science These programs will help prepare you for even more advanced business analytics! We wish you much success with analytics!
Łukasz Pintal (1 year ago)
"Something beyond SQL" - what would be your choice?
RonAliRX (1 year ago)
I agree with slayer.... there's not much beyond sql you'd need sql for sas but I guess if you know hardoop etc... I'd be ok
danger Noodle (1 year ago)
I'm not sure how biased he is because he seems to be pushing SAAS even though its incredibly rare/irrelevant in DS as far as I can see, they might have paid him out or something. Though, I'm learning Java so that I can scale up to learn Hadoop and Spark for big data, I think that's the kind of direction you'd want to go in.
Vaibhav Chhajed (1 year ago)
Very helpful!
Mr Entertainment (1 year ago)
I was looking for something which will connect dots for me. This is just PERFECT.
chandu mudunuru (1 year ago)
I'm learning SAS base programming just saw this video. Thanks for you advise Prof. I have determined to become Data Scientist and contribute in someway to climate studies and traffic problems in developing nations. Thank you SAS for bringing up this interview.
SAS Software (1 year ago)
We appreciate your positive feedback and glad to hear you enjoyed the content!
Sandeep Thakur (1 year ago)
what skills set required to be big data expert. what are different jobs in big data field? I am php developer but interested in big data. please adive me in detail about big data field and job profile etc. thanks.
SAS Software (1 year ago)
Hello, Sandeep! Here are some links from SAS about Big Data that you might find helpful! Big Data Insights: Amplify your data career with analytics: Big Data Certification: Become a SAS® Certified Big Data Professional: Several interviews on Preparing for Big Data Careers:
Urge (2 years ago)
keep it up!
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Thank you for your feedback!
Hassan Akhtar (2 years ago)
Gus I need your suggestion. I am not a tech guy and so so in mathematics (not so good I mean) but I am looking to get into Data Science and Big Data field to further boost my career. Should I go ahead or not. I have 14 yrs experience in sales n marketing and training. Plz help me guys.
Anupam Kar (1 year ago)
I thought she was Katie Holmes at first. I still think she could be 'She' in secret.
venu gopal (4 months ago)
i thought katie is interviewing Les Grossman
wilton profeta (9 months ago)
eu tbém percebi mto misteriosa mas era ela
MJ Saint (2 years ago)
omg, looks exactly like her
Sean Connelly (2 years ago)
Ok so you have to be smart. That's all you had to say, be smart
Albert Monson (6 months ago)
not really. what he's saying is you have to go to a university. which, is bullshit.
The Buggy Bit (2 years ago)
no.. i am watching SAS Software
RunOs (2 years ago)
Your data scientist certification boot camp costs $16,000 for 12 weeks and you have to travel if you are not in the state that it's being held. Any scholarships available?
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Update! The blended offering is now available if you wanted to check it out:
SAS Software (2 years ago)
You're welcome and we have an additional update for you! Again, no scholarships but the standard academic and veteran's discounts do apply. See more on discounts here: We will have an online/blended learning version of the program before end of Jan that would not require travel, check back with us then. Additionally, there is an interest list form on the Data Science page: under orange button that says Ask Us. Hope this helps!
RunOs (2 years ago)
+SAS Software Thank you!
SAS Software (2 years ago)
We understand your concerns and appreciate your feedback. There are payment plans available. Additionally, if you check back later this week (we'll also message you an update), there should be a new offering available you may be interested in!
Dieudonne Arnaud KOFFI (2 years ago)
thank you so much for the explanation. I am a developer (JAVA, C, C++) and I have knowledge in DataBAse Management System. I would like to become a data scientists, I am passionate about this. But I would like to know how to start this career. Are there any books (I prefer books it could be check for me) I can study or course I can take. Please I need some advices....
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Dieudonne, thank you for your interest in SAS! Depending on the country you are located in, available resources may vary but here are some links to resources we often share that have helped others get started! Career tips see, free training resources and see some of our getting started with SAS publications here Let us know if we can offer additional assistance!
sushant patil (2 years ago)
Very Nice Video..currently i am working as ETL Tester. How can i develop my career towards data science.
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Have you had a chance to view our SAS Data Science Academy program? See here for more information:
Anmol Kotian (2 years ago)
Hello sir, i am currently doing my Msc (part 1) in bioinformatics through mumbai university and we have a selected portion of our syllabus dedicated to bio-statistics and some portion to SQL,R and other such tools. Would all these courses be enough to get me a job in the field of statistics ?
Anmol Kotian (2 years ago)
SAS Software Thank you soo much for the information. You people are amazing.
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Anmol, thank you for your recent inquiry! Skill requirements may vary depending on the companies you are applying for so you may want to check local job listings for more specific recommendations. We have attached a paper that should be able to offer you additional insights as you further develop your career. Good luck! Help wanted: Data Scientist by Thomas H. Davenport
Ranjeet Saini (2 years ago)
hey if i m choosing data analyst as my carrier then what the growth i loook and how it benefited too mee. need the suggestion on thiss??
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Hi Ranjeet, Thanks for reaching out! This page may be of interest:! Also, if you're interested in learning SAS, here are a couple resources to get started:, And one more that may be of interest: Hope this helps!
Sekhar Chandu (2 years ago)
Sir, recently I have completed my bachelors degree in CSE. I am so much interested in Data Science, but i don't even have basic knowledge in that. Could you please guide me towards my interest. Its my mail id. Thanks in advance.
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Sekhar, Thank you for your interest and we will email you shortly! We can definitely share some resources with you to help you in this field!
ONKAR PANDEY (2 years ago)
sir ,i will complete my BSC(mathematics, electronic &CS) in 2017 & am also doing Certificate course in Data Science with R- programming ! what should I do to make career in Big Data Analytics? Thanks in advance
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Hi ER ONKAR PANDEY, Thanks for reaching out, that is wonderful! Here are a few resources that may be helpful: & Also, if you're interested in becoming SAS certified, you can find more information here: This article may also be of interest:!
Mustafa Bohra (2 years ago)
Very nicely explained
Mustafa Bohra (2 years ago)
Thanks you for sharing at the first place
SAS Software (2 years ago)
We appreciate your positive feedback, thanks for sharing!
Mohit Sharma (2 years ago)
I want to know, How to start career in data scientist and which certification will be good to get the job of Data Scientist?
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Mohit, thank you for your request! We recently posted some resources below that may help provide you more insight into this career: SAS also does offer training and certification in this area, see
Sai Siva (2 years ago)
sir i recently completed my bachlores in technology in electrical and electronics so as per my interest i willing to do data anayist and data scenice will it good and i am so confused to take this step forward please help me and i am from india
himanshu goswami (1 year ago)
hi sir i have completed sas programming and sql as well as vba now finding a job data scientist
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Hi Sai, Wonderful! Are you interested in learning SAS? If so, we offer two free e-Learning courses, which are a great place to start: You can also use SAS University Edition to practice and complete course lessons: Here you can also find recommended books for getting started as well as free tutorials: &  For additional training in India, visit: Lastly, you may also be interested in these two blog posts, on some of the benefits of learning SAS! &
Mr R Rao (2 years ago)
im bigdata developer, and im looking for data scientist but i know java programming, but SaS is necessary for data scientist or some other programming language needed
Azim sayed (1 year ago)
Sir how to become a data analysis I mean what skill and knowledge required any special software
SAS Software (2 years ago)
Mr R Rao, you can find some helpful resources to gain more insight into this career at SAS does offer training and certification in this area, see
SF001 (3 years ago)
I don't fully agree with the Data Scientist approach. You need some statistical skills and then you need to understand some basic programming but most of all you need to have vision and understand background, context of the data. Who ever says that you look at some data and make sens of it.. I would say think again. By the time you see patterns and statistically demonstrate them you are far behind others.. The trend is to have real time data, and with such huge databases you don;t stand a chance to be agile. A successful data scientist in my opinion has to be creative and come with good hypothesis and then leverage the tools available to do that is not about sitting with a pen and writing statistical correlations... And who is at the level of knowing advanced programing and statistical mathematics, is working fast and has impressive communication skills.. is just to much for 1 man to do that when others spend their entire life getting good at 1 of those areas... and on top on that you take a 2 year course and learn to be a Data Scientist... i seriously doubt it.
Toddy Lane (1 year ago)
SF001 you don't need to know advanced programming, just programming in general and then how to apply it to data science. I program in Python, and the data science programming is actually much easier to learn than programming games or software applications. you're wrong about being able to become a data scientist, it is definitely possible and it's worth while. do you really believe one person can't be competent at programming, understand statistics, and be able to communicate verbally? and about 2 years for the degree, it would be more like 4 to 6 minimum for the masters level, but as he said there are many routes to becoming a data scientist, you don't have to take years off work and physically go to a university anymore if that's not an option for you.
Abhishek Prasad (2 years ago)
I think u got wrong baby . Mathematical skill required at top most along with statistic vectors and calculus . I u r not sound in Maths do not come.
SAS Software (3 years ago)
+SF001 Thanks for your comment - we appreciate your feedback!