People are often surprised to learn that my background is chemistry. Data science job adverts almost always specify physics, mathematics, or computer science. So how does a chemist become a data scientist? Here’s what worked for me.
I started my undergraduate degree in chemistry at Imperial College London in 2007. I mostly took physical chemistry courses that covered a decent amount of mathematics. I didn’t recognise it at the time, but the all the linear algebra turned out to be particularly important — it’s fundamental to most applied mathematics.
In summer 2010 I did a research placement and taught myself MATLAB. Up until then I only used Excel, so learning MATLAB had immediately levelled-up my data analysis skills.
For my final year project I made quantum dots with microfluidic reactors. My group automated the reactors using optimisation algorithms in MATLAB so that we could produce nanoparticles with the specific properties. This was my first taste of computers making “intelligent” decisions...There's much more detail in the full post - worth a read for those considering it.