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What Is a Data Scientist?

A data scientist is a professional who leverages information, statistics, and computer science to extract insights from large datasets. They play a vital role across various industries and sectors as employers rely on analytics to make better decisions.
a data scientist at work providing analytics and insights

What Does a Financial Data Scientist Do?

Depending on the role and organizational structure, a data scientist in the finance industry may be responsible for several functions. Their work and day-to-day tasks may include:

A full-stack data scientist may be responsible for the entire process of transforming raw data into actionable insights.

How to Become a Data Scientist in the Investment Industry

Becoming a data scientist in the investment industry often requires technical skills, industry knowledge, and formal education. Job descriptions for financial technology (Fintech) roles generally require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, proficiency in programming languages, and an aptitude for research and analysis.

Many investment professionals in the field of data science consider so-called soft skills, such as communication and business acumen, to be essential for securing employment.

  • Key Skills

    In general, investment professionals in data science and other fintech careers need the following skills to be successful:

    • Problem-solving mindset
    • Business strategy
    • Communication skills
    • Quantitative analysis
  • Technical Skills

    • Python programming
    • R programming
    • Data visualization
    • Machine learning techniques
    • Artificial intelligence (AI)
    • SQL
    • Database architecture
  • Qualifications

    A typical data science role will require a Bachelor’s degree in data science or a related field, such as computer science, math, or statistics. Additionally, you should also learn technical skills, such as programming languages and database architecture, through coursework or supplementary certifications to improve your marketability.

Career Paths for Data Scientists in Finance

Data science within finance encompasses a wide range of opportunities for investment careers. Jobs opportunities, roles, and titles for data scientists include:

Related Roles and Opportunities in Fintech

Data scientists in the finance industry may assume various roles and collaborate with professionals such as data engineers, database architects, database administrators, financial statisticians, and software developers. Additionally, they may specialize in one of several fields where data science and finance converge such as cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain development, and quantitative investing.

Which Industries are Hiring Data Scientists?

Industries such as finance, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas, marketing, and public sector organizations have a high demand for data scientists. Financial institutions, for example, rely on data scientists to help assess and manage risk, create reports to communicate findings and build predictive models to forecast trends better. 

Data Science Resources

If you are interested in learning more about data science, we have a collection of research papers to help you get started.

How Can the CFA Program Help Me?

Data science in the investment industry is creating new opportunities for investment careers. In addition to roles that are directly involved with the investment process, there is also a growing demand for professionals who can apply their investment expertise to support the technology platforms and business models developed by technologists and others who lack investment training. The CFA Program provides the foundational knowledge of the investment industry to supplement and demonstrate how your background in data science is applicable within the world of finance.

Explore whether CFA Program is the right choice for your next career steps

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