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The Ultimate Plan to Become a Data Scientist in 2016


Data Scientist is one of the hottest jobs of this decade. The demand for data scientists is much higher than available candidates (Source). So, there is a lot of incentive for people to look up to data science as a career option, and that is not going to change in near future.

However, if you do one search on Google, you will see your dream vanishing. There are too many resources, advice and paths suggested by various people, which makes it impossible for a beginner to take right decisions.

If you are facing a similar problem, let’s accomplish this in 2016. If you aspire to become a data scientist, this annual plan would make things much easier and faster for you. I’ve mentioned only the best resources you should follow. This plan is designed to make you a data scientist by December 2016 (conservative pace). If you can devote more time, great. You’d could achieve this feat much faster or with more depth by looking at additional resources (orange bullet).

ultimate path to become a data scientist in 2016


Click Here –> Link to Resources


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  • Arun says:

    This sets a clear path for people who would like to become data scientists. But do data scientists also need an adavnced degree in Computer science / statistics?

    • RAKESH KUMAR says:

      Thanks Kunal for charting out a plan to become a Data Scientist by end of 2016.

      The Skill sets you have mentioned to become a Data Science are as below:
      R, Python,Machine Learning, Qlikview Tableau, D3.J, Adobe Insight (Omniture) and Matlab, etc

      Are SAS and SPSS skills have any scope to be a part of Data Scientist? Please advise.


      • Kunal Jain says:


        There can be equivalent routes on any of the platforms – we chose R / Python, because they are open source and that enables people to learn a lot of concepts with out worrying about access to the tool.

        If you have access to SAS (E-Miner or equivalent) or SPSS, you can chart out your own parallel path by all means. Remember, becoming a good data scientist is not about the tool. It is about problem solving with data.

        Hope this helps.


        • Rakesh Kumar says:

          Dear Kunal, Thanks for clarification…
          I really admire your knowledge and thought process to help out others in a Noble cause.

          Keep it up!..


    • Kunal Jain says:

      Hi Arun,

      You don’t need an advanced degree in Computer Science / statistics necessary. Infact any degree in a quant background is good – I did aerospace engineering. I have seen people from Economics background do well in industry.

      Hope this helps.

    • David Smith says:

      Not necessarily. And you can also download materials to learn SAS skills for free – http://www.sas.com/en_us/learn/analytics-u.html

  • Sudhindra says:

    Awesome and training plan for the year 2016 especially who are looking for getting into Data Sciences role. What about a training plan for people in the functional role?

  • Niranjan Patil says:

    Excellent article. Thanks Kunal.

    Could you please suggest some books for Statistics,Puzzles and Probability.

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Hi Niranjan,

      Thanks for your appreciation.

      We plan to publish an article on stats and probability. For now, you can check out this thread:


      Also, you can check out articles on puzzles through our search.


      • Niranjan Patil says:

        Hi Kunal,

        Thanks for your reply and the link. I look forward for your upcoming article on Stats and Probability.

        I just came through one book on basic Statistics. It seems good for me as all basic concepts explained clearly with colorful figures,examples and in nice organized manner. I just started reading it.

        Name of Book : Statistics Explained (Third edition)
        Author Name : Perry R. Hinton


  • Rathinavel says:

    Awesome work! very detail, keep up your good work Ji

  • Shankar says:

    Hi Kunal,
    This is what I am looking for …. thanks so much. I am in … will let you know how it went on Dec 2016!


  • Shilpa Garg says:

    This is really informative. Can you share a plan for Data Engineer (Big Data) also?

  • Parag Mehta says:

    Thanks Kunal, awesome information.
    Also can you publish similar details for learning Hadoop and all connecting technologies?

    Thanks again for the help.

  • Supriya Panda says:

    What are the courses needs to be taken a fresher B.Tech Students

  • Murthy says:

    Very good plan. I have a few months jumpstart given that I already call myself a data scientist. and I’m more than familiar with R and Tableau (atleast). The next steps would be to get good fundamentals on machine learning, really understand the algorithms with application focus and get more active with data science competitions and puzzles and everything.

  • Dhirendra says:

    Thanks Kunal! It is indeed very helpful.

  • Karthik says:

    Hi Kunal,

    This is really wonderful, the way you have highlighted the course one should take to become a Data Scientist. Re. the Analyst meet-ups and forums, can you suggest a few of them (of course, apart from AV 🙂 ) ?

  • Ulhas Shetty says:

    Hi Kunal,
    Thanks for the wonderful article. It is really helpful for beginners like me jumpstart the data science journey.
    I had this one question or sort of a concern about the first initial step of this devised programme.
    So when you mentioned about attending Data Science meetups, you mean to the conferences that happen in a particular city or are there online forums that have these meetups?
    Any suggestions on where can we get information of these meetings or such forums.

    Thanks! And really appreciate your help.


  • raamesh says:

    Is it mandatory that one should be maths/ stats or engineering graduate to become a data scientists. i have done my graduation in biology and MBA in finance and marketing. Can i go for this course. After completion of the course will i face any difficulty in getting a job as my graduation is not from maths/ stats/ computer.
    till class 12th i have studied maths.

  • Abdul says:

    I think by the time one gets to December he would have forgotten all that he learnt till June. Shoudn’t the learning be in small chunks which one can practice thoroughly before moving onto the next tool/concept? Here its almost like learning a new thing every month. Data scientists don’t get created by jumping from one tool/concept to another so quickly. Just my 2 cents

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Thanks Adbul. Very valid thought.

      The idea of this structure is not to jump from one area to another, but to build on it.

      The concepts you learn early in the path, would be useful later on and you will continue to build on them.


  • Sherri says:

    Thanks, Kunal … I always enjoy your articles, and this one is exceptional. I am in my last semester of a Master’s Data Mining program and have completed a number of Udacity/Udemy/Coursera courses using Python, Tableau & Qlikview. Sometimes I feel like I am jumping all over the place, but your article has given me faith that I am on the right track. I’ll start focusing on some additional Machine Learning and practice on the data sets/competitions on Kaggle. Thanks again … you made my day!

  • Ramdas says:

    Excellent article, very well laid out plan.

  • Blaine Bateman says:

    Hi Kunal–thank you for putting a good structure around this, and identifying intermediate goals and jumping-off points.

  • Bilwa Prasad says:

    Hi Kunal,

    Thank you for providing the path… i just wanted to know when you say attend meetups. Can you share some of them.

  • Shivendra says:

    Hey Kunal,

    This is definitely a very good ‘journey path’ for very the first of the beginners. I would also like to add the Coursera certificate that has just been move to their new platform. They teach from start to end whatever R has to offer. Its a very good course for professionals or even for those very new to data science and statistics.

  • Akshay Kher says:

    Hi Kunal,

    A really good article 🙂

    Akshay Kher

  • Pranati says:

    It is an awesome article Kunal!!! And I’ve started working towards it.. But i have a little scare here on my part, as being a complete fresher in this part (having around 8 years of experience in programming). Can connecting to people can get one jobs because everyone expects atleast some experience in this field and will not take risk with an absolute fresher. Kindly advice 🙂

  • Hari D R says:

    Hey Kunal,

    I am very interesting in data science… I always enjoy your articles…. I want to do Major project in analytic’s please give me some Ideas…

  • Praveen says:

    Hey Kunal,
    Brilliant Article. One quick question though. I just got an admission offer from ISB for the Certificate Program in Business Analytics. Where does this fit in to this journey of becoming a Data Scientist?

  • Fahad says:

    Hi, many thanks for arranging these resources on one page.
    I have some simple questions. I have seen some job posts for junior data scientist, they all demand a Msc in Stats, so what do you suggest about a person with Msc in Computer Science, can e still go in this field with confidence or it will be difficult for him to get a job.

    Second question is, if a person (like me, a computer science graduate) completes the above learning path, then how much else he will have to learn to get an entry level job. The stats courses mentioned above are enough to do this job or he will struggle with that.

  • Harneet says:

    Hi Kunal,

    I am trying to learn Python, but there are multiple variants of software and I am unable to find some good reading material.

    Can you please suggest some good reading material – On the lines of SAS by example by Ron Cody.


  • Joe says:

    Thank You very much for creating a road map like this. You have taken the time to also include the basic statistics and probability courses which is very helpful.

  • aman says:

    sir i just passed out mphil statistics and i want to be a data scientist now please suggest me that what should i do?

  • sukurocking says:

    Hi Kunal,
    Kudos to you for creating such a wonderful article, demonstrating “The Ultimate Plan”. There is one small doubt creeping in my mind. Is there a need of a data scientist certification from various institutes like Jigsaw or Simplilearn? I mean, if one follows this “ultimate plan” diligently, won’t he get placed as a data scientist?