Data is rapidly transforming our world even as the world of data itself changes continuously. To make a career in this field, learning and relearning is the only constant.
Freshers looking to acquire industry-ready skills and professionals keen on upskilling themselves had a lot to learn at a virtual chat on Data Science, Data Engineering and Cybersecurity: Reskilling for a Digital World, where data science and cybersecurity experts provided insider’s tips on making it big. The webinar was part of CampusToCareer 2020, a series from ABP Education.
On the panel were Mr. Charanpreet Singh of Praxis Business School Foundation, Dr. Angshuman Ghosh of Grab and Sharath Ghosh of Abbott EPD Strategy.
The virtual session was moderated by Mr. Nirupam Sen of BSI Group India Private Limited (British Standards).
Missed the session? Catch it on this link
Here’s what the speakers had to say:
Mr. Charanpreet Singh, Founder & Director, Praxis Business School Foundation When both the extent and speed of change are high, we call it a revolution. It does not give us time to adjust and we need to run but it also throws up a lot of opportunities. The digital revolution is a perfect example of this.
The digital revolution has given rise to new business models, created new customer domains, new consumption patterns and disrupted the normal process of doing business. It is because of this revolution that we have Airbnb, Netflix, Byju’s and Khan Academy. Yellow cabs on Kolkata roads have made way for Ola and Uber. These companies do not own a single car and run completely on data analytics.
Digital revolution is nothing but technology and data revolution. This revolution is finding new ways of creating value and improving the quality of life and thereby creating a positive impact on society, economy and culture.
Artificial Intelligence is at the core of this technological revolution and it is driven by data. IoT is nothing without data. Technology is connected at the core through data and it makes our life convenient, gives access to information and knowledge, keeps us connected and makes things affordable. This is what technology and data does.
In tomorrow’s world, data will give answers to climate change, health, hunger and inequality — unless we take care of the fundamentals, we will continue to live in a fragile world. This is the real revolution.
The reason we are obsessed with data today is the unprecedented amount of data we are producing through e-commerce, physical purchase, media streaming, healthcare, IoT, apps, social media and many more channels every day. We generate 45 million Google searches every minute.
COVID has shown that data is the most valuable resource in the world today. So if you have a career in data, you cannot go wrong with your future.
Reskilling is important in this domain because technology proficiency needs to be moved to an advanced level. We live in an uncertain world. You need to be adaptive to change, you need to be a continual learner. Whatever you learn now will become obsolete soon. You need to have the courage to relearn. Also, being a good listener and absorbing what is going on around you will be an important skill to survive. Be a critical thinker and be prepared to embrace diversity.
The job situation has not been good — people are losing jobs and at the same time companies are saying there are vacancies for data science positions but no eligible candidates. Learn new skills, reskill yourself, align yourself with data, and invest time, effort and money to reskill. Reskilling is not just about a 10-hour course, you need to understand the fundamentally complex areas.
There are many part-time and online courses in cybersecurity but if you want to make it your career, full-time effort is needed. A background in technology is not essential for a career in data. If you have the passion for it, you can be from any field and learn.
Data engineering is now a completely new thing in itself. It is becoming sharper and more demanding. With the gap between demand and supply, data engineers will draw the highest salary in the sector till the next disruptive trend appears.
Today, data is no longer an experimental field. We all know that data engineers provide clean and well-curated data, data scientists work on them and provide valuable insights through analysis and cybersecurity experts protect the data from any threats. It is like an immersive deep dive into the subjects, knowing very well that technology will change but you will be ready to upgrade.
Dr. Angshuman Ghosh, Data Science project leader at Grab, Ex- Disney/Target/Wipro
To build a career in data, one must be good at mathematics and statistics, have certain programming skills and the ability to make things scalable. Knowledge of the domain is also essential to be able to make data predictions.
Data scientists, with the help of big data, generate hypotheses, which are used in every aspect of business.
The key industries that currently employ data scientists are technology, retail, finance, pharma and healthcare. Soon education, agriculture and climate change will see big data-driven impact as well. A lot is already happening in these sectors.
A lot of data jobs are also available in the government sector and India is slowly opening up to this. NITI Aayog has a big mandate on data science and it is not whether the government will use it or not but when and how much of it will be used.
This field is new and while getting into it one should be clear that the skills of today will be disrupted tomorrow, forcing everyone to be a lifelong learner. You need to have the passion to keep going and should always keep practising what you learn. Do not think a few courses will secure you for life. Remember, huge opportunities await continuous learners in this domain.
Data science is evolving and things are changing drastically. The most important thing is to keep learning. The source of learning is not important as long as you are serious about your learning goals. But for freshers, a full-time course would be the best bet.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the broader field that came much earlier and within that there is Machine Learning (ML) and deep learning is again a subset of ML. Data scientists use all or any of these tools to create positive business impact.
Recruiters at present seem to be looking for people who know everything, a super hero. But with time, it will become more mature and will be like the Silicon Valley market, where there is greater clarity.
While learning, go for T-shape skill. Hone your core skills and become a concrete expert in those, then have knowledge of a lot of other related skills. Have your basics clear and get ready to have a career in this domain that is destined to be one of the most lucrative fields in future.
Sharath Ghosh, Advanced Analytics Manager, Abbott EPD Strategy
Why data science? Right now, all decisions are influenced by data science-generated algorithm. Earlier, a company would send a sales officer to the market to figure out the demand. Now, algorithm drawn through Google data pool does that.
Data science is a serious career, it is not just another vocational skill that one can pick up and make a career out of. Businesses make actual pricing decisions based on information from data. While there are many opportunities, to make the most of them, you need to learn the core skills well.
Be it Amazon, Walmart, Flipkart or cab aggregators like Uber and Ola, all use data science. Even Facebook advertisements that you see or do not see are driven by data science. Now we are taking another leap with driverless automated cars by Tesla.
No matter how much data an organisation has, it all boils down to curating, analysing, protecting and finally using it to create business impact. So, each project will have a team of data experts. While data engineers would work as solution architects to curate the data, data scientists would develop algorithms to make forecasts and be the solution architect for the company, and cybersecurity experts would protect the data from getting hacked.
People from diverse backgrounds can make it to data science. For example, I came from biotechnology. There are others from commerce and arts, but it is important that you learn the skills seriously. You need to learn rigorously in a structured way. If you can do that, the world is yours.
Data science has now become mainstream and people have realised how Indians can contribute. It is global because data has no country. A data scientist can not only work in retail, banking, technology and pharma but also in international bodies such as the UN, WWF, Red Cross. Data science is also one of the few fields that will give you the opportunity to travel the globe.
Mr. Nirupam Sen, Business Head - East Region, BSI Group India Private Limited (British Standards), Moderator
It is interesting to see how zeros and ones have changed the world. We are rapidly moving towards a digitised world.
Our banking transactions, cars and ACs are run through mobiles. Business disruptions have become rampant and COVID has made reskilling critical. Now we need to have organisations that are agile, robust and adaptive.
Cybersecurity in layman’s language is the protection of confidentially, integrity and the availability of information assets. Cybersecurity covers some important domains: it covers physical security, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, digital forensics, operation security, access control and cryptography.
But to become a cybersecurity expert, you need not be a techie. There are big tech companies with chief information security officers who are from humanities or commerce. It all depends on your passion. If you are passionate, there are future-ready courses to help.
Just by learning ethical hacking, you cannot become a cybersecurity expert. A cybersecurity expert needs holistic knowledge in 10 security domains — access control, telecommunications and network security, information security governance and risk management, software development security, cryptography, security architecture and design, operations security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning, legal, regulations, investigations and compliance and physical (environmental) security — to become a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) credential1.
There is huge skill shortage in cybersecurity as the threat landscape is increasing every day and the gap is widening. I would like to stress on the need for full-time courses as you get hands-on experience.
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