Everywhere you look – a new program or University is teaching data science, while I think it is great for the field…… heads up people, data science is not new and creating a bunch of book smart data people without any business experience is NOT the answer. I started college in ‘93 with a group of math friends, 6 years later I graduated with a BS in Mathematics and Economics but out of 20 who started the mathematics courses at the same time I did, only 2 including me had graduated! Not trying to show off, trying to explain that logic and science are not for everyone. It’s not something that you wake up and decide, I’m going to be a Data Scientist today. Curiosity won’t help unless you have the background or talent for gleaning insight out of terabytes of data. It isn’t as easy as you hear on Twitter of Facebook; you can’t take a course and be ready to handle dirty, unstructured, messy, server breaking data.
So, what can you do? Not everyone is as lucky as I to start right out of college working for RJKA an Econometrical Consulting Firm with DFS as a client BUT there are ways to learn. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/september/online-courses-fall-090712.html and http://classweb.gmu.edu/kborne/ are just a couple of example, take courses, learn about MDM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_data_management and Data Mining http://www.dataminingarticles.com/data-mining-101.html as well as Data Mining Tools http://www.theiia.org/intAuditor/itaudit/archives/2006/august/data-mining-101-tools-and-techniques/ and please, learn statistics http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Statistics-for-Business-and-Economics-James-T-McClave/e/9780132409353 and learn to write your own code (SQL will always be around) http://beginner-sql-tutorial.com/sql-joins.htm then learn about load balancing quick before you crash a multi-million dollar server and get your butt canned, giggle https://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2012/10/01/load-balancing-101-active-active-in-the-cloud.aspx – As you see, for those who want to invest their time and talent there are resources out there AND the BIGGEST ONE IS (ta da) Kaggle – a great place to play data scientist but please keep in mind you HAVE TO KNOW how to talk to and present findings to the C suite and or board of directors, Sheldon is a genus but self admits that he CHOKES at the thought of presenting to humans. Last but not least, find a job that works with data and learn as much as you can, I started as a junior analyst and now I own Analytical Solution! Good luck in your adventure but don’t fool yourself, it isn’t easy and if it was EVERYONE would be doing it 🙂