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I'd like to ask a question that has been such a critical issue to me.

There's plenty of information telling you what knowledge and skill-set you need to become a data scientist but it almost always applies to people with relevant experience, saying what extra things

they need to build up on top of what they already have.

For people like me, who need fresh start, how should they go about for the job? 

I am a procurement associate in engineering industry. I’m working on career change to become a
data scientist or an analytics guy working with big data. My work experience is 2 years, but obviously it has no relation to data work (so starting over a new career). I decided to pursue Master’s degree in 2016 for this goal because there are just too many things I lack, so I need well-programmed guidance. While I have a year to work on prerequisites, so far I don’t have relevant experience, technical skills and knowledge (holding BA in Economics and my computer programming
level is at bottom, currently learning C language).

As I get more ideas about DS through books and articles, it seems you can hardly start your
career as a data scientist because it requires years of experience and domain expertise which
you can’t expect to get from college and internship. When graduated, it looks like I’m gonna
have to start as ‘something’ close to DS, but not quite DS, and then become a data scientist
when I qualify later on. So I’d like to ask what should I start as? Analyst? Analytics associate?
DS junior? While there’s plenty of different job titles indicating the same thing, can someone clarify
what the starting point of data scientist is?
And finally, which Master’s program will be the best for that start off? Looks like universities have developed many DS related programs since the publication of Developing Analytic Talent. There are now way more schools and programs available than those listed in the book. I looked into tens of
schools and found it is common that same schools offer 2 to 4 data science and/or closely
related programs through different departments such as dept. of engineering, mathematics, statistics, business, operations research, etc (examples: “MS in Statistics with DS track,” “MS
in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research with Data Analytics concentration,”
“Business Analytics from B-school” or “MS in Computer Science with DS concentration”).
This is very confusing… Looking at curriculum, while they share some similarity, it’s difficult to find out which dept's program would be the best fit for a person in my case (I should probably go for less technically-oriented program like Business Analytics considering my background?). I ask for your advice.

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This path might look frightening so focus on what you already know first.




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