Is A Career In Data Science For You?

Data Analyst. Data Engineer. Data Scientist. If you are considering a career in data because it is a growing and lucrative industry, you may have come across these job titles but never fully understood what they entail.  Perhaps, you may have even thought that they are just different terms for the same scope!

7 Oct 2019

5 mins read


By Diyanah Syafiqah

Data Analyst. Data Engineer. Data Scientist. If you are considering a career in data because it is a growing and lucrative industry, you may have come across these job titles but never fully understood what they entail.  Perhaps, you may have even thought that they are just different terms for the same scope!

With five years of experience in dealing with data, Max Ang, Data Scientist with OneConnect Financial Technology who graduated from SIM-University of London, sheds light on the profession and the telltale signs that this may be a career worth pursuing for you.

#You Love Problem-Solving
Do you navigate problems like a pro?

Whether it is the role of a Data Analyst, Scientist or an Engineer, almost all of these involve an innate desire to look for a solution and finding it immensely rewarding. The key difference lies in the kind of solutions they have to deliver.

More often than not, you will begin your career in data as a Data Analyst, like I did. You will be analysing available data in the organisation using Structured Query Language (SQL) to extract data and produce reports useful for the respective stakeholders.

Being a Data Scientist is a natural progression from the role of an analyst. You will spend time developing algorithms for machine learning in order to achieve a specific outcome such as optimised workflows.

Similarly at OneConnect Financial Technology, I have been working on an Application Programming Interface (API) that recognises and converts text within an online or offline document into machine-readable text data. The benefits of this are the automation of manual work processes and the analysation of extracted data for actionable insights.

One of the things that I enjoy about being a Data Scientist is the chance to create solutions knowing that it will impact others.

#You Enjoy Staying Curious
If you are curious by nature, it is a positive sign that you are a good fit for the role. The industry is ever-changing; new technologies and algorithms will surface and it's important to remain curious and to stay relevant.

Cultivate a love for reading from academic papers to articles and books. As a student, I would encourage you to attend free conferences or events that are organised by Singapore Computer Society, DataScienceSG or Tensorflow and Deep Learning Singapore, where you will gain insights on the latest industry trends.


A list of book recommendations for aspiring Data Scientists put together by Max.

#You Have A Strong Technical Background
Despite the emergence of new tools, the syntax of programming will always remain. Spend some time honing your foundation in it along with other subjects like Statistics, Mathematics and IT and you will be able to tread through your career with much ease.

#You Are Not Fazed By Failure
As you are developing or trying algorithms, you will encounter some roadblocks and failures along the way. Much of the job involves experimental work and it may take some time to find a solution. Never give up, perseverance is key.

#You Possess Great Communication Skills
Another crucial part of the role is sharing and pitching your solutions to stakeholders through presentations or reports. Some larger projects will require various expertise and inputs, so you will find yourself working in teams too.

It is essential to have both written and verbal communication skills so that your work can be understood with ease. The good news is that this is a skill set that can be honed in school.

If you are excited at the prospect of becoming a Data Scientist, get a head start with an internship in OneConnect Financial Technology or other Ping An Group subsidiaries! Learn more by contacting SIM Career Development Office at careerconnect@sim.edu.sg.