Data Science is an area which requires good academic background and analytical capabilities. Generally a minimum of engineering degree in IT or graduation in Computer Science or Physics or Mathematics is required to go ahead in this particular stream. Having a Masters degree or PhD may additionally help in this pursuit.
Becoming a Data Scientist requires knowledge and in depth practice of certain subjects like statistics, basic business economics, mathematics, knowledge of algorithms, machine learning and certain programming languages and utilities like Python or R. Data scientists are the linkage between the programming and implementation of knowledge derived from data science.
Data Scientists have a big task of mining, arranging, structuring and presenting data to the needs of a particular business or an industrial segment. It requires an insight into the data and its reliability as data is never clean in its entirety. So, there is specialisation also in this stream. The Data Scientist for healthcare industry will have different set of data to deal with then the Data Scientist in another area say shipping industry.
An eligible person can go for certain certification and diploma courses in Data Science which will help him in entering this specific area from job point of view. Companies hire the Data Scientists for their business estimations and projections based upon a large set of structured or unstructured data which is analysed and assembled by the Data Scientist in a reckonable form suitable to company needs.
There are many online sites which offer courses on Data Science and some of them are Udacity, Coursera, IBM, EdX, CIT, Dataquest, KDNuggets etc. Many of these offer the basic courses as free also. It is suggested to go through one of these courses to acquire the skills for becoming successful in the area of Data Science.
Companies hire the Data Scientists in various capacities under the same umbrella of data mining, assimilation and presentation but the positions are named slightly different due to the subtle differences in their ultimate deliveries. These positions are like - Data Engineer, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Developer, Data Architect, Enterprise Architect etc.
If one has interest in data analysis using programming tools and other statistical methods then it is a good area to venture in for a career.
Knowledge is power.