Decoding Data Science In 2024: An Introductory Exploration for Beginners

In our previous article titled “Career Boost: Why Learning Python Is A Smart Move In 2024,” we delved into the industry impact of Python and its relevance in the field of data science. Now, let’s take a deeper look into data science itself, aiming to unravel the factors that contribute to its prominence in the ever-evolving tech industry.

What is data science?

Data science encompasses the exploration of data to extract valuable insights for business applications. This multidisciplinary domain combines principles from mathematics, statistics, artificial intelligence, and computer engineering to analyze vast datasets. Through this methodology, data scientists can tackle a variety of inquiries, including comprehending historical events, discerning their root causes, forecasting future developments, and suggesting potential actions based on the outcomes of the analysis.

Understanding the job of data scientists is like having detectives for numbers. They’re like super-sleuths who take messy data and turn it into useful clues for businesses. Using their special skills in math and computer programming, they not only gather and clean up data but also create smart computer programs to predict what might happen in the future. The information they find helps businesses make smart choices, improve how they work, and stay ahead of the competition in a world where data is super important. So, you can think of data scientists as the heroes who connect the dots between messy information and smart decisions in lots of different industries!

What does a data scientist do?

According to Coursera, a data scientist’s daily tasks involve discovering patterns in data, developing algorithms for predictions, implementing machine learning techniques to enhance data quality, and communicating recommendations to various teams. They use tools like Python, R, SAS, or SQL for data analysis and stay updated on the latest advancements in the field of data science.

How to become a data scientist?

To qualify as a data scientist, individuals need to acquire a set of essential skills. Proficiency in statistics, probability, and mathematical analysis is crucial, along with mastering at least one programming language, such as R or Python. Additionally, a solid understanding of machine learning concepts, the ability to visualize results effectively, and gaining knowledge in databases are key aspects of the role. For those interested in pursuing these skills, online learning through accredited providers is a convenient option. Platforms like Coursera offer comprehensive courses in data science skills, allowing learners to study at their own pace. Visit Coursera’s website at to explore available data science courses and kickstart your journey towards becoming a qualified data scientist.

Salary of a data scientist

As per information from Indeed, the average base salary for Data Scientists in South Africa stands at R48,082 per month. The report highlights that leading companies such as Standard Bank are offering competitive salaries, with the potential to reach up to R60,000 per month and beyond as you progress in your career. SalaryExpert predicts the following in data scientist salaries : 

Salary Potential

Estimated Salary in 2029:

R806,826 (ZAR)

5 Year Change:

 16 %

Average Salary by Years Experience, showing 25th and 75th percentiles by OfferZen

Years of Experience25th PercentileAverage75th Percentile

These projects, such as Predictive Maintenance Systems, Anomaly Detection in Financial Transactions, Recommendation System Enhancement, and others like Natural Language Processing for Customer Support or Time Series Forecasting for Stock Prices, showcase the exciting and impactful work data scientists engage in. If you find these projects intriguing and possess the necessary skills, data science could be an ideal field for you. These initiatives not only demonstrate the diverse applications of data science but also highlight its potential to address real-world challenges and contribute to various industries.


Indeed. (February 14, 2024). “How much does a Data Scientist make in South Africa?” Retrieved from: Indeed – Data Scientist Salaries in South Africa.

Amazon. “What is data science?” Retrieved from: Amazon Web Services – What is Data Science?.

Biswal, Avijeet. (November 30, 2023). “How to Become a Data Scientist in 2024: Complete Guide.” Retrieved from: Simplilearn – How to Become a Data Scientist.

Nel, Josh. (October 16, 2023). “Data Analytics Developer Salary Trends in South Africa.” Retrieved from: OfferZen Blog – Data Analytics Developer Salary Trends.
Coursera Staff. (November 29, 2023). “What Is a Data Scientist? Salary, Skills, and How to Become One.” Retrieved from: Coursera – What Is a Data Scientist?.