Career boost: Break into data science

The high demand for data scientists has many IT pros contemplating a lucrative career shift

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Data science is rapidly becoming one of the hottest careers in IT. The field’s rise to prominence has been driven in part by the fact that its raw material -- structured and unstructured data -- is being produced at record levels. But it’s the ready availability of robust, low-cost data science tools, ranging from Microsoft Excel to Python to Hadoop, that has organizations of all sizes pursuing the kind of data analysis once reserved for Web giants like Google and Amazon.

As a result, data science has become a rapidly expanding career opportunity for professionals to make an impact and earn an excellent income. Unlike long-established technology functions such as database administration, data science is a young field. That means a greater openness to new professionals and those willing to learn new skills.

Here’s a look at how you can get started on your path to becoming a data scientist.

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