Building a career in Data Science entails a lot more than just interest. Because of its importance in our daily lives, a job in data and technology has long been viewed as one that will trend in the future. A job in data science is useful not only in Nigeria but throughout the world, as data has become the vitality of every institution.


Data Science is a blend of statistics, computer programming, and domain knowledge. Data Scientists gather insights from data from various disciplines to inform corporate or organisational strategic decisions. Its goal is to assist individuals and organisations in making better decisions based on data that has been stored, consumed, and managed. Building a career in data science will provide room for growth and development. However, to develop a successful data career, you must first take the steps that are required.


In this guide, I will walk you through all it takes to build a successful career in data science.


Steps to Building a Career in Data Science

  1. Obtain an O’level Certificate:

    Focus on making good grades and building a solid mathematical background. You should have a minimum of credits in subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, Further mathematics and other science subjects as data science relies heavily on mathematical concepts.

  2. Gain a Degree:

    You can apply to an accredited university to obtain a bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science, statistics or Mathematics. This will give you the foundational knowledge to start a career.

  3. Attend Boot Camps and Study Online Courses:

    It is also important to note that you can have a career in data science without having a bachelor’s degree in data science. You can enrol in online courses and boot camps to gain valuable insights and knowledge.

  4. Learn Computer Programming Languages:

    Getting familiar with programming will give you an advantage in your data science career. master programming languages such as Python, R, and SQL.

  5. Engage in Data-Related Projects:

    Look for data science projects you can participate in such as hackathons and opportunities to work with datasets. This will help you build practical skills and demonstrate your passion for the field.

  6. Learn Data Analysis Tools and Libraries:

    Familiarize yourself with data analysis tools such as Excel and data visualization libraries like Matplotlib and Seaborn. These tools are essential for exploring and presenting data, which is a core aspect of data science.

  7. Build a Portfolio:

    Create a portfolio showcasing your data science projects, competitions, and achievements. This portfolio will serve as evidence of your skills and dedication when applying for internships or job opportunities.

  8. Seek Internship Opportunities:

    Look for internship opportunities in data-related roles. Internships provide valuable real-world experience and allow you to work on projects under the guidance of industry professionals.

  9. Network and Attend Data Science Events:

    Engage with the data science community by attending conferences, workshops, and networking events. Networking can lead to valuable connections and insights into the industry’s current trends.

  10. Continuously Improve and Stay Updated:

    Data science is an evolving field with constant advancements. Stay curious, keep learning, and stay updated with the latest tools and techniques in data science.


Careers in Data Science


There are different specializations in data science. You can decide to carve a niche for yourself from any of the career paths that interest you.

  1. Data Analyst: A data analyst is a highly trained individual whose primary responsibility is to gather and evaluate data to aid organisations in understanding trends and opportunities.
  2. Machine Learning Engineer: Machine learning engineers create, develop, and use algorithms and models for machine learning. They develop analytical and predictive software that may grow and develop over time.
  3. Data Engineer: Data engineers design and operate the infrastructure and systems needed for data storage, processing, and retrieval. They ensure the efficiency, scalability, and dependability of data pipelines.
  4. Data Scientist: Data scientists are in charge of gathering, analysing, and interpreting massive datasets to get significant insights. To solve complicated problems and make data-driven judgements, they employ a variety of statistical and machine-learning techniques.
  5. Healthcare Data Analyst: Healthcare data analysts analyse medical and healthcare data to improve patient outcomes, optimise systems, and assist research projects.
  6. Social Media Data Analyst: Social media data analysts research user behaviour, interaction, and trends on social media platforms to assist businesses with marketing and branding strategies.
  7. Database Administrator (DBA): DBAs are in charge of managing and maintaining databases, assuring data security, integrity, and performance. They improve database structures and troubleshoot problems.
  8. AI Research Scientist: AI researchers work to create and advance artificial intelligence algorithms and technology. They conduct cutting-edge research in the field of artificial intelligence.



Universities in Nigeria that offer Data Science


  1. Covenant University
  2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  3. University of Portharcourt
  4. Nnamdi Azikwe University
  5. University of Uyo
  6. Babcock University
  7. National Open University of Nigeria(NOUN)
  8. Nile University of Nigeria
  9. Nasarawa State University
  10. American University of Nigeria
  11. University of Ibadan
  12. Igbinedion University
  13. Lead City University


Salary of Data Scientists


A data scientist can make between N200,000 to N1.5 million monthly. This may vary based on the years of experience and the company being worked under. Entry-level roles may offer less money, and sometimes to build experience and network, beginners in data science seek out internship roles first.


Building a career in data science may be a fascinating and rewarding path. It takes effort and time, as well as perseverance in your desire. The demand for data scientists in Nigeria is increasing, particularly because many firms now rely extensively on data and innovative technology.


Furthermore, a data scientist career is a 21st-century career that will be in demand for a long time due to the increasing amount of data generated by organisations and new technology. To be successful in data science, you must embrace consistency.


Good luck.

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