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I am currently working as a registered nurse, but I have decided that I can no longer do this as a career. I was essentially forced by my parents to go into the health field. After doing research on many career fields, I believe that a career as a data scientist is a career that I would enjoy and be satisfied in. The only problem is that I don’t know how to get started. I have a bachelor’s degree in biology apart from my nursing degree. I’m tnis degree program, I had to take college level calculus, prob&stats, algebra, etc. To get to my point, should I go back to school to obtain a degree in statistics or CS, or should I train on my own to learn the skill necessary for the job? I am very disciplined when it comes to education, so self- teaching would not be an issue on my end. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry it is not really possible to give career advice or create a learning plan for you on this site. In terms of learning, you could take a look at some MOOCs - Andrew Ng's introductory course on Coursera might be a good way to check out more of the subject area and decide it you are still interested - coursera.org/learn/machine-learning - although that depends on how comfortable you would be learning to program in Matlab (or Octave) to tackle it (some introductory programming material is part of the course). $\endgroup$ – Neil Slater Dec 4 '17 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ If you did not take a class in data structures and algorithms at school, take a MOOC in that before doing Andrew Ng's ML MOOC so you have a stronger foundation on the software side. I recommend this one: Algorithms I, Algorithms II. $\endgroup$ – Emre Dec 4 '17 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you all for the advice and insight you have given. I have recently enrolled into a data analytics masters degree program. Do you think this along with self teaching the programming (R and Python) would put me in a good spot to start my career? $\endgroup$ – Corey Kennedy Dec 14 '17 at 16:06
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Congrats on your career move, but please know that data science is one of the more difficult fields to enter, being a combination of statistics, programming, computer science, mathematics, etc. But, for someone motivated enough, with sharp acumen and intuitive data skills, it's a great field. A commenter recommended Andrew Ng's (pronounced 'ing' ) online course through coursera, and I also agree this is a great foundation. It is dense, but you'll need to master it if you hope to be a quality data scientist. He uses Octave, but I advise that you come up to speed quickly in R or Python. If you can translate Andy's code to either of those platforms, you'll be in good shape to start your practice.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you all for the advice and insight you have given. I have recently enrolled into a data analytics masters degree program. Do you think this along with self teaching the programming (R and Python) would put me in a good spot to start my career? $\endgroup$ – Corey Kennedy Dec 14 '17 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ I would try to do an internship. Degrees are good but showing practical knowledge is really important. There's a lot of people calling themselves data scientists these days but few actually are. $\endgroup$ – HEITZ Dec 14 '17 at 23:42

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