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Senior Data Scientist

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What Is a Senior Data Scientist? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Senior data scientists use data to shape high-impact business recommendations and oversee junior data scientists. Here’s what to know about a senior data scientist’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Senior Data Scientist?

Senior data scientists discover insights through data analysis to support business development and enterprise strategies. They have similar responsibilities to junior data scientists, though are more involved in team management as well as hold greater authority in long-term data-driven decisions and projects.


What Do Senior Data Scientists Do?

Senior data scientists define potential long-term business problems and guide related data preparation and machine learning development to solve them.

Senior Data Scientist Responsibilities

  • Identify areas for business improvement and how to use data modeling to support strategies.
  • Lead machine learning model development projects to forecast business predictions like market trends, customer behavior and investment opportunities.
  • Conduct exploratory data analysis and clean data to prepare information for model input.
  • Communicate findings to enterprise stakeholders and management. 

Senior Data Scientists Within a Company

Senior data scientists tend to be part of a data science or data analytics team within a company. They may report to a lead data scientist or data science manager.

Importance of Senior Data Scientists

Senior data scientists spearhead data science projects that can identify key business improvement points and support strategy roadmaps. and key improvement points. They also hold expertise in navigating and extracting important information from unstructured data when needed.

What Professional Data Scientists ACTUALLY Do. | Video: Ken Jee


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Senior Data Scientist?

Qualifications to Be a Senior Data Scientist

  • Three or more years of experience in data analytics, data science, machine learning or similar roles.
  • Proven ability in using exploratory analysis and preparing unstructured data to draw conclusions.
  • Ability to lead machine learning projects and modeling initiatives. 
  • Fluency in Python and SQL for data science.  

Senior Data Scientist Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science, statistics or related field.

Senior Data Scientist Hard Skills

  • Advanced knowledge of data analysis, cleaning and preparation.
  • Understanding of machine learning, deep learning and modeling tools.
  • Expertise in programming and scripting languages (C++, Java, Python, R, Scala, SAS, SQL).
  • Experience with statistical analysis and modeling techniques.

Senior Data Scientist Soft Skills

  • Analytical thinking skills.
  • Project management.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Verbal and written communication skills.

Tools and Programs Senior Data Scientists Use

  • C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • PyTorch 
  • R
  • Scala
  • SAS
  • SQL
  • Tableau
  • TensorFlow
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How to Become a Senior Data Scientist

Senior Data Scientist Education and Experience

Senior data scientists often have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, data science, statistics or related field. Some senior or management positions may also require a master’s degree in data science, information science or similar.

Candidates must also show advanced experience in the areas of data science, programming languages (Python, SQL), machine learning and modeling technologies, statistical analysis, management and strategic techniques.

Senior Data Scientist Certificates and Courses

Senior Data Scientist Career Path

Senior data scientists usually gain experience as junior data scientists, data analysts or related positions before entering the role. After gaining senior experience, professionals can progress into lead data scientist, data science manager and director of data science roles later in their careers.


Senior Data Scientist Salary and Job Outlook

Data scientists job openings are expected to increase 36 percent by 2031.

The full compensation package for a senior data scientist depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average senior data scientist salary.


Expand Your Senior Data Scientist Career Opportunities

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Senior Data Scientist Certifications + Programs

With Udacity’s expansive selection of data science certifications, you can earn the bonafides you need to bring your career to new heights. 

General Assembly’s Data Science part-time course is a practical introduction to the interdisciplinary field of data science and machine learning, which lies at the intersection of computer science, statistics, and business. You will learn to use the Python programming language to acquire, parse, and model data for informing business strategy. 

This is a fast-paced course with some prerequisites. Students should be comfortable with programming fundamentals, core Python syntax, and basic statistics. There is an option to complete up to 25 hours of online preparatory lessons. Talk to the General Assembly Admissions team to discuss your background and confirm if this is the right fit for you..


What you'll accomplish

A significant portion of the course is a hands- on approach to fundamental modeling techniques and machine learning algorithms. You’ll also practice communicating your results and insights by compiling technical documentation and a stakeholder presentation. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Perform exploratory data analysis with Python.
  • Build and refine machine learning models to predict patterns
  • from data sets.
  • Communicate data-driven insights to technical and non-technical audiences alike.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to create a portfolio project: a predictive model that addresses a real-world data problem.


Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation. General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.


Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly


3 months
10 hours

Learn the programming fundamentals required for a career in data science. By the end of the program, you will be able to use R, SQL, Command Line, and Git.

3 months
10 hours

Learn the programming fundamentals required for a career in data science. By the end of the program, you will be able to use Python, SQL, Command Line, and Git.

3 months
10 hours

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