Is an engineering background essential to becoming a data scientist?

data science career

Data science is one of the most popular career options at present. It is one of the rare fields that offer a combination of both exciting and challenging job profiles. What is best about data science is that it does not restrict. Whether you're from a science, commerce, or arts background, if you're good at programming and statistics, you can become a data scientist.

Now coming to the big question, is an engineering background essential for becoming a data scientist? The answer is no, it is not at all necessary to have an engineering background if you want to be a data scientist. 

Although being from a technical background gives a lot of edges, this job profile doesn't necessarily ask for a degree from a particular stream, be it engineering or some other. Instead, data science recruiters always look for candidates which have strong problem-solving and analytical skills along with a good knowledge of programming languages such as R, Python, Java, AWS, etc. 

How to Become a Data Scientist Without Engineering? 

If you're not from an engineering background and want to pursue a career in data science, then it is definitely possible to do so. The job of a data scientist doesn't discriminate on the basis of educational background and degrees that one has. In fact, an engineering degree is of no relevance in the field of data science unless it is computer science. 

Below are some tips that will help you set your foot in the data science industry and build a successful data scientist career:

Have a Basic Understanding 

The very thing you should do is have a basic knowledge of what exactly is data science, what skills it requires, and what job profiles it offers. Here are some common streams in data science:

  • Business Analyst 
  • Data Analyst 
  • Data Engineering 
  • MIS Reporting Executive 

A good idea is to learn about all the job roles and profiles in this sector and then try to figure out what roles you're interested in. It is recommended to have a clear mindset of the industry or business sector that you want to work with, especially when you don't belong to a technical background. 

Learn Programming Languages and Mathematics 

When you finally decide to switch your career path, then the first skills you need to acquire to become a data scientist include programming languages and mathematics. 

If you haven't done engineering, then learning mathematics and programming languages can sound a bit tough at first, but always remember that nothing is too difficult to learn. You can easily gain these skills with practice and the right guidance. 

Programming languages such as Python, SQL, R, etc. are the prerequisites in data science. And believe it or not, these languages are much more comfortable and easier to learn than other languages like Java, C, and C++.

However, remember that learning only the programming languages is not enough. You also have to brush up on your mathematics and learn statistics very thoroughly. 

Take Data Scientist Course 

If you don't know where to get started, then the best option is to take the right data scientist course. The best course from a reputed institute can help you learn data science online in the most effective and convenient way. 

Practice with Real-world Projects 

Once you've enough knowledge of mathematics and programming, you need to start practicing with real-world projects to enhance your practical knowledge. Always remember, data science doesn't require any bookish knowledge, it requires the candidates to be exceptional at problem-solving, instead. 

Working on real projects not only helps you gain more expertise but also helps you build a strong portfolio to get a good job. 

Be a Part of the Data Science Community

Always keep looking for conferences, events, and summits related to data science. By attending these events, you get a great chance to network along with an opportunity to learn more about the field. Not just offline, you can join such events online as well. Furthermore, for networking, a good idea is to stay active on platforms like LinkedIn. 

Finally, Prepare to Face the Interviews

Once you've understood data science, acquired the right skills, and taken the right course, you can start applying for data science jobs and prepare for the interviews. Build your resume, write cover letters, and start contacting the network you've built by highlighting the projects you've worked upon. 


Is an engineering degree necessary for becoming a data scientist? The short answer is, NO! 

Anyone from any field, be it science, commerce, or arts can become a data scientist. More than the educational background and degree, data science recruiters look for the right skills such as programming and mathematics. By gaining great proficiency in these skills, you can definitely build a successful data scientist career. We hope the information provided in this article helps you in taking the right direction! 

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