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How to Become A Data Professional

April 13, 2023

How to Become A Data Professional

Skilled data experts are some of the most in-demand tech professionals in the world. These range from data engineers to data analysts, scientists, AI engineers, and other related fields. Why are data professionals in such high demand, you may wonder?

The reason is simple: Data keeps increasing exponentially every day, and companies need experts who can make sense of their business’s data. In addition, there is a high demaddtruly n for data professionals that outweigh the supply of people who can do this job well.

Due to that, data professionals are among the top well-paid tech professionals. They command high salaries and exceptional extra benefits, even at the entry level. To be among the top-paid tech professionals, you should pursue a career in data-related fields.

This article is a product of my conversation with some of our professionals at Data2Bots, who are currently working daily with data. They shared some of their experiences and their journey. You can easily emulate some of these and become a highly in-demand data expert. As the saying goes, “Experience is the best teacher”.

In this article, I’ll be sharing the advice they offered to new and intending data professionals, how to choose the right career path, overcome challenges, and secure opportunities in the data space.

Let’s get started.

Why is Data Important?

Data is an integral part of how businesses function in this 21st century. It’s no longer news that the data we generate regularly is rapidly increasing. Companies need to draw insights from their data and channel this data to the right sources. As a result, of the rapid evolution of data, new roles continue to emerge in this field.

We live in an age of all-pervasive and ubiquitous data with constant needs to make critical decisions despite the unending streams of data from various sources. As a professional who operates in the data space, you have very important roles. One of your key roles is to assemble tools and resources to aggregate and make refined/processed data available to the decision-maker, irrespective of where that data comes from or what form it takes.

Data serves as the engine for all the daily processes, so it is getting increasingly easy to generate and store data on an alarming scale with advancements in technology. Hence, a rising need for data professionals to take this data and process it into useful information. Having outlined why we need data, let us now explain exactly who a data professional is.

Who is a Data Professional?

data professional  is someone who has a vast knowledge of data, from data collection, storage, and processing, to data visualization, data security, and compliance. They consult for organizations and help drive business decisions and growth. Data professionals work with data, aiming to generate, process, and deliver data as insights, features, models, and many more depending on the use case.

Data professionals work with data, aiming to generate, process, and deliver data as insights, features, models, and many more depending on the use case. They work on different stages in a data life cycle and cut across various disciplines and backgrounds. Various fields in data space include:

  • Data Analytics.
  • Data Engineering.
  • Data Science.
  • Analytics Engineering.
  • Data Stewards.
  • Data Architects.

Advice from our Data Experts at Data2Bots

The journey to becoming a data professional can be rough but rewarding. But don’t be scared. The most important thing is to make a decision and start. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” To explain better, our engineers at Data2Bots shared how they began their journey our engineers shared.

Israel’s Story

Engineer Israel began his journey in his first year at university in 2017. He always had an interest in tech, but majorly in hardware. He learned about software when he attended a tech meetup in school, and his curiosity was instantly piqued. He then got a laptop and started learning Python.

Then he moved into the world of data science for about two years and is currently learning data engineering. Israel began with an interest in the data world. So, interest can be very important in your journey to becoming a data professional. If you’re passionate about your work, you can put in the long hours necessary to learn what you need to excel in the data space.

Joshua’s Story

Here’s what Engineer Joshua has to say:

“My data journey started when it dawned on me that I was wasting my time in school and that none of the skills (if any) taught in school were immediately transferrable to value creation tools or had any real-world applications.”

Around late 2018, Joshua started learning to code Python while actively building his anime collection. He experimented with several data niches for about two years, such as data science, machine learning, deep learning, etc. After he graduated from the university in mid-2021, he got a job at Data2Bots as a data engineering intern, and it dawned on him that he wanted to enable all the other data professions and not do them.

So he is currently actively pursuing certifications to make him a GCP Data Engineer. It is actually easy to become a data professional and start earning big. Plus, you don’t need a four years degree and a year of NYSC. All you need is to put in an insatiable effort and keep working and learning. Data2Bots has a course for data professionals to earn certifications in the Data2Bots Academy. Learn more about the Academy here.

How to Choose the Right Career Path for You

This question can be really tricky, and only those who have passed the steps can help guide you. You may be wondering which career path would suit you the most because the various fields in the data world can lead to different career paths. However, it all begins with interest or what catches your imagination the most. Not money!

Every career in the data field comes with high pay, so you don’t need to care a lot about money. Yeah, we all need that money! What you should rather focus on is what you are interested in and good at, maybe when you were a kid or stuff you loved to do in College. Is it mathematics, statistics, or coding? There are different career paths you can choose from.

One of our Engineers shared this with me:

“It starts with interest; you must know what you love to do, then carve a niche from it. If you love numbers, maths, and code, you can do Data Science. If you love Cloud Infrastructure and code and architecting solutions, you can opt-in for the Data Engineering or Data Architect path. It solely depends on you.”

Data professionals cut across different data lifecycle stages and different fields of study. Someone who enjoyed statistical modeling and had a good background in, let’s say, mathematics. Could be an outstanding data analyst, scientist, or machine learning engineer.

Joshua, who is more interested in cloud computing, its related infrastructure, and the processes that enable data generation, migration, validity, governance, and the like, is much interested in becoming a data engineer/architect. Depending on your interests and field of specialization, you could be a:

Skills Required to Become a Data Professional

Becoming a highly in-demand data professional requires some diverse skills.

  • Programming Languages (Python, Java, Scala), Data Processes, and ETL (extract, transform, load).
  • Soft skills like effective communication, problem-solving, leadership, etc.
  • You should also be dedicated, disciplined, and committed.

Joshua believes that soft skills are very important in the field. As a data professional, half of the value you generate lies in effectively communicating technical requirements and information to others (usually non-technical people).

Then you need good technical proficiency, an ownership mindset, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Because your day-to-day as a professional in any field would always consist of these minor failures that, if you become scared of them and don’t treat them as learning notes, could hamper your personal and professional life.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Challenges are everywhere, and you probably encounter them every day; there is also no exception to the data field. Engineer Qamardeen described challenges as part of life and one of the ingredients that make us better, so as a data professional if you find yourself in a tight corner, seek help and share your challenge with colleagues.

Opportunities and How to Secure Them

We live in the era of Big Data, and professionals in the field are highly demanded because every company now realizes how valuable the data is in their ecosystem. Data experts are needed to extract, analyze and make those data available to the decision-makers. You should learn how to track your progress and sell yourself through writing on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Medium.

These are platforms that can help you with opportunities and help you find Data Openings. If you are an absolute newbie and want to learn about data and become an expert, enroll in Data2Bots Academy and become a data professional in just 9 months.


“Data is the new oil,” and data professionals are the miners. If you want to become this new oil miner, you need to learn the required skills. Data2Bots is building a data academy that can make you become a highly in-demand data professional in 9 months.

You can join the Academy and join your peers to become an absolute badass in the data space. You can get started here. You can also check the Landing page for more details.

How to Become A Data Professional

Ezeja Jennifer

How to Become A Data Professional

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