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Why A Professional Association For Data Scientists Is A Much Needed Idea

Why A Professional Association For Data Scientists Is A Much Needed Idea

Sameer Balaganur
Associations for data scientists
W3Schools

It’s not a myth anymore that the barrier for getting into the data science field is getting thinner. With the advent of MOOCs and online courses, anyone can learn data science, irrespective of the degree they have. But, it is also a common knowledge that whatever fundamentals you need to perfect data science are hard to learn. Data science is best learned with practice and working on real-world problems. 

This is where professional data science associations guarantee credibility and character of candidates for companies to know that it is safe to hire data scientists and that the candidate is the real deal.

What Do Professional Data Science Associations Offer?

A professional association’s approach is to lead the development, sharing and implementation of knowledge of data science. They also help in the implementation of basic, applied research and technologies in the fields of decision making, management and analytics.



These data science associations offer a lot, but with the ease of getting a certification in today’s era and with platforms like Kaggle, Github etc., it has become easy for a data scientist to showcase their knowledge in the field and prove their technical acumen. So, it is natural that a data scientist might choose to ignore these associations, but should they?

Granted, the field of data science is still young and involves a lot of innovation as we go forward with it. Professional data science associations like ADaSci, apart from being a body that helps in developing and sharing knowledge, also help with keeping their members informed about the latest developments and innovations. They publish peer-reviewed scholarly journals that entail the latest data science methods and applications, giving a chance for the members to be up to date with the field.

And more importantly, it is an established fact that data science is best learned by doing and not just by having an online certification. The more you practice data science with practical resources, in a real-world data science environment, the better you will get at it. Now, sometimes with the rapid innovations in the field, the syllabus taught could limit the ability of certain areas and applications of the field. But, if data scientists have the core values of data science and a platform like ADaSci, where they can collaborate, interchange and integrate their knowledge, a homogeneous syllabus would not pose as big a threat to the technical acumen that it is posed to be.

ADaSci, Association of Data Scientists, also recognise and reward individuals, academic institutions and organisations who have been making significant contributions to the field of data science and machine learning. These awards and prizes are given over a wide range of categories such as teaching, writing, contribution to the welfare of the community as a whole etc. In addition to recognising one’s contributions, there are special scholarships provided too. These awards and recognition let members of the association contribute their expertise and gain significant recognition in their professional community.

Although there are some doubts raised by people about the data science associations, where the main subject of the matter has been finding qualified data science experts in these associations, still, it would be wrong to say that there are no qualified data scientists present in these associations. Organisations, like the ADaSci, publish journals, researches, and hold conferences that have valued members of the data science community. Their contributions give valuable information to the data science industry.

Along with the above-mentioned factors, a professional data science association like ADaSci provides these additional ‘benefits’ to say the least:

Networking

There is a saying, ‘good data scientists are as hard to find as unicorns,’ is something that stands true when it comes to searching the right mentors or creating a network that is full of experts. 

Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) provides means of connecting you to these ‘unicorns’. It gives you the opportunity to ask questions as well as engage with them in real-time (in person or video).

Apart from hosting their own meetings and conferences that focus on specialised technical areas or methodologies, they present an opportunity to network, present research, and discover the latest methods & applications at national, international, regional, and topical conferences. These conferences hold specialised workshops and other related events throughout the year.

Through associations like ADaSci, one can be part of professional communities that share similar interests with you. Communities can help you stay updated, share experiences, and broaden your work-related and personal limitations.

Growth

The world of data science is fast-changing, and one needs to adapt quickly. Although everything that you do in professional data science associations is towards growth, associations like  ADaSci, apart from offering resources also provide several professional development programs. It provides certifications that are accepted across industries and cement you as a professional with strong skills in the field of data science.

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In addition to learning programs and networking opportunities, the association for data scientists has career fairs in conjunction with annual conferences which enable employers to meet, interview, and recruit an exciting prospect. This gives candidates the ability to research and find better opportunities for themselves too.

Teaching Ethical Standards

Employers, clients, researchers, journalists, policymakers, and everyone expect the best analytical practices from data scientists. These data scientists, therefore, need to follow ethical conduct and guidelines specific to them.

Some ethical standards which the data scientists should abide are:

  • Duties to Own Profession
  • Duties to Employer
  • Duties to Clients
  • Duties to Industry
  • Duties as a CDS charter

When one becomes a member of the data science association; they are expected to strictly follow these codes and standards.

Outlook

Now, much of the data science which we learn today is through courses, and all of them concentrate on the technical and communication aspects, although, this is better for learning, data science is best understood when it is applied. Data science associations are a great way to do that with many more things to offer.

With the expanding skills gap and everyone showcasing their skills online with certifications and using data science platforms, professionals can leverage the data science associations to obtain unique advantages that it offers. 

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