Data Science Roadmap 2024: Step-by-Step Guide

Written by: Anshuman Singh - Co-Founder @ Scaler | Creating 1M+ world-class engineers Tushar Bisht - CTO at Scaler Academy & InterviewBit
32 Min Read

Data science has become one of the most sought-after fields in recent years, and for good reason. With the exponential growth of data and the need to make sense of it all, data scientists are in high demand across industries. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 35% increase in data scientist employment between 2022 and 2032.

If you’re wondering how to navigate this complex and exciting field, you’ve come to the right place. This data science roadmap offers a structured, step-by-step guide to mastering data science from the ground up, addressing the challenging yet rewarding journey to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in this demanding and promising field. If you’re looking for expert guidance and a comprehensive learning experience, Scaler’s Data Science Course can help you navigate this roadmap effectively and accelerate your career in data science.

data science roadmap step by step guide

How This Data Scientist Roadmap Will Help You?

A recent study shows that the data science field has grown 650% since 2012, and the market is expected to grow from $37.9 billion in 2019 to $230.80 billion by 2026

This step-by-step guide is designed to provide you with a clear roadmap to becoming a data scientist in the year 2024. Here, you’ll learn the essential mathematical, statistical, programming, and data analysis skills needed to excel in the data science field Each phase of the roadmap is carefully structured to build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the previous phase.

Furthermore, this roadmap not only focuses on technical skills but also on soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, which are crucial for effective collaboration and driving data-driven decisions. As the data science field continues to evolve rapidly, this roadmap also provides resources and recommendations for staying updated with the latest trends, tools, and technologies in the industry. Overall, this roadmap equips you with the mindset and resources to thrive in a dynamic and competitive landscape.

Step-By-Step Data Science Roadmap

Moving ahead, now we will look into a step-by-step roadmap. While there’s no one-size-fits-all timeline, mastering data science can take 1-2 years depending on your prior experience and learning pace. Start with the foundational skills required, learn Python or R for data manipulation, and master statistics and math to understand what your data reveals. Let’s dive into the step-by-step data science roadmap for 2024.

Phase 1. Mastering Mathematics

mastering mathematics

Mathematics forms the foundation of data science. It provides the necessary tools and frameworks to analyze, model, and make predictions based on data. To begin your data science journey, you need to master the following mathematical concepts:

Step 1. Introduction to Mathematics

A solid understanding of basic mathematical concepts is crucial for data science. This includes familiarizing yourself with arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Additionally, you should learn about mathematical notation and symbols commonly used in data science.

Step 2. Linear Algebra

Linear algebra is essential for working with vectors and matrices, which are central to many data science techniques. Understanding concepts such as vector operations, matrix transformations, and eigenvalues will enable you to manipulate and analyze data effectively.

  • Vectors and Matrices: Understanding their basic operations and properties.
  • Linear Transformations: How matrices can be used to manipulate data.
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors: Special types of vectors and values with important applications in machine learning.

Step 3. Calculus

Calculus is the mathematics of change and motion. In data science, it is used to optimize models, understand rates of change, and solve optimization problems. Concepts such as differentiation, integration, and optimization are fundamental to data science.

  • Differentiation: Understanding how data changes over time.
  • Integration: Accumulating information from continuous data.
  • Optimization: Finding the best solution using calculus techniques.

Step 4. Probability Theory

Probability theory is the study of uncertainty. It provides the foundation for statistical inference and machine learning algorithms.  By understanding concepts like probability distributions, conditional probability, and Bayes’ theorem, you can make informed decisions based on data. Here are some important concepts: 

  • One-Dimensional Random Variable
  • Joint Probability Distribution
  • Discrete Distribution (Binomial (Python | R), Bernoulli, Geometric etc)
  • Continuous Distribution (Uniform, Exponential, Gamma)
  • Normal Distribution (Python | R)
  • Conditional Probability
  • Baye’s theorem

Step 5. Mathematics in Machine Learning (Basics)

In this step, focus on understanding the fundamental mathematical concepts underpinning machine learning. Key areas include linear algebra for data transformation, calculus for optimizing machine learning models, probability for assessing uncertainties in predictions, and statistics for data analysis. Grasping these basics is crucial for effectively implementing and interpreting machine learning algorithms, allowing you to build more accurate predictive models and derive meaningful insights from data.

Phase 2. Understanding Statistics

understanding statistics

Statistics is the science of collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data. It is a crucial component of data science, as it allows us to draw meaningful insights from data and make informed decisions. The following steps will guide you through the world of statistics:

Step 6. Foundations of Statistics

Building a solid foundation in statistics is essential for data science. Concepts such as descriptive statistics, probability distributions, and hypothesis testing will be covered in this step. 

  • Descriptive statistics involve summarizing and organizing data to gain a better understanding of its characteristics. 
  • Probability distributions, on the other hand, provide a mathematical representation of the likelihood of different outcomes. 
  • Hypothesis testing allows us to make inferences about a population based on sample data, helping us draw meaningful conclusions from our analyses. 

Additionally, you will also learn about data visualization techniques to effectively communicate your findings, as visual representations can often convey information more intuitively than raw data.

Step 7. Hypotheses Testing

Hypothesis testing is a statistical technique used to make inferences about a population based on sample data. Understanding the different types of hypothesis tests and how to interpret the results will enable you to draw meaningful conclusions from your analyses. 

Step 8. Sampling Distribution

Sampling distribution is the probability distribution of a sample statistic. Learn about the central limit theorem and how it allows us to make inferences about the population based on sample data. Understanding the properties of sampling distributions is crucial for accurate statistical analysis, as it helps us estimate the population parameters and assess the reliability of our findings.

Step 9. AB Testing

AB testing is a method used to compare two versions of a variable to determine which performs better. Learn how to design and execute AB tests, analyze the results, and make data-driven decisions based on the outcomes. AB testing is commonly used in various fields, such as marketing and product development, to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies or designs. 

Step 10. Introduction to Econometrics

Econometrics is the application of statistical methods to economic data. Gain an understanding of econometric models, estimation techniques, and interpreting results. By interpreting the results, you can gain insights into the economic phenomena under investigation and make informed predictions about future trends.

Step 11. Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is a statistical technique used to model the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. Learn about different types of regression models, model selection criteria, and how to interpret regression outputs. By selecting the appropriate regression model and interpreting the coefficients, you can make predictions and draw conclusions about the relationships between variables.

Step 12. Multivariate Analysis

Multivariate analysis involves analyzing data with multiple variables. Learn techniques such as factor analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis. These methods will allow you to uncover patterns and relationships in complex datasets. 

  • Factor analysis helps identify underlying factors that explain the correlation between multiple variables. 
  • Principal component analysis reduces the dimensionality of the data while retaining most of the information. 
  • Cluster analysis groups similar observations together based on their characteristics. 

By applying these techniques, you can gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between variables and discover hidden insights within your data.

Step 13. Learning Time Series Analysis

Time series analysis is the process of analyzing and predicting data points collected over time. Learn about different time series forecasting techniques, such as ARIMA and exponential smoothing. Time series data often exhibits patterns and trends that can be leveraged to make predictions. 

  • ARIMA models capture the autocorrelation and seasonality in the data, allowing for accurate forecasting. 
  • Exponential smoothing models, on the other hand, provide a simple yet effective approach to predicting future values based on past observations. 

By mastering time series analysis, you can make informed decisions and forecasts based on the temporal patterns in your data.

Phase 3. Developing Programming Skills

developing programming skills

Programming skills are essential for data scientists to manipulate, analyze, and visualize data. In this phase, you will focus on developing programming skills with a focus on data science:

Step 14. Learning Python/R

Python and R are two popular programming languages for data science. Learn the basics of programming in Python and R, including variables, data types, control structures, and functions. You will also learn how to work with libraries such as NumPy and pandas for data manipulation and analysis.

  • Python is a versatile and powerful programming language widely used in the data science community. It offers a wide range of libraries and tools specifically designed for data analysis, making it a popular choice among data scientists. 
  • R, on the other hand, is a language specifically designed for statistical computing and graphics. It provides a comprehensive set of packages and functions for data manipulation, visualization, and statistical analysis.

Step 15. Data Handling and Visualization Libraries

Data handling and visualization are essential skills for data scientists. Learn how to use libraries such as pandas, matplotlib, and seaborn to handle and visualize data effectively. You will also gain insights into best practices for data cleaning and preprocessing.

  • Pandas is a powerful library in Python that provides data structures and functions for efficient data manipulation and analysis. It allows you to easily handle large datasets, perform data cleaning operations, and aggregate data for further analysis. 
  • Matplotlib and seaborn, on the other hand, are libraries that enable you to create various types of visualizations, such as bar plots, line plots, scatter plots, and heatmaps, to gain insights from your data.
  • Ready to master Python, R, and the essential libraries for data science? Enroll in Scaler’s Data Science Course today and build a strong foundation in programming for data analysis and visualization.

Step 16. Data Structures and Algorithms

Understanding data structures and algorithms is crucial for efficient data analysis and modeling. Learn about different data structures such as lists, arrays, and dictionaries. You will also gain an understanding of algorithmic concepts such as sorting, searching, and graph traversal.

  • Data structures provide a way to organize and store data in a computer’s memory, allowing for efficient access and manipulation. Lists, arrays, and dictionaries are commonly used data structures in data science. 
  • Algorithms, on the other hand, are step-by-step procedures or formulas used to solve specific problems. By understanding different data structures and algorithms, you will be able to optimize your code and improve the efficiency of your data analysis and modeling processes.

Step 17. Learn Structured Query Language (SQL)

SQL is a programming language used for managing and analyzing relational databases. In this step, you will learn how to write SQL queries to extract, manipulate, and analyze data stored in databases. This knowledge will enable you to work with large datasets efficiently.

Relational databases are widely used in various industries to store and manage structured data. SQL provides a standardized way to interact with these databases, allowing you to retrieve specific data, perform calculations, and apply filters to extract meaningful insights. By learning SQL, you will be able to leverage the power of relational databases and efficiently work with large datasets.

Phase 4. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA)

exploratory data analysis

Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) is the process of analyzing and summarizing data to understand its main characteristics. This phase allows data scientists to understand the distribution of data, detect anomalies, and determine the best approach for further analysis. By thoroughly examining the data, data scientists can ensure the quality and reliability of the insights derived from it.

Step 18. Data Exploration Techniques

Data exploration techniques involve visualizing and summarizing data to gain insights. In this step, you will learn various techniques such as histograms, scatter plots, and box plots. Exploring data visually will help you identify outliers, trends, and patterns. These techniques are essential for understanding the underlying structure of the data and revealing any hidden relationships that may exist.

Moreover, data exploration techniques also include statistical measures such as mean, median, and standard deviation. These measures provide valuable information about the central tendency and dispersion of the data. By combining visualizations with statistical analysis, data scientists can obtain a comprehensive view of the dataset and make informed decisions based on evidence.

Step 19. EDA With Python and Pandas

Learn how to perform exploratory data analysis using Python and the pandas library. Python is a popular programming language in the field of data science due to its versatility and extensive libraries for data manipulation and analysis. The Pandas library, in particular, provides powerful tools for cleaning, transforming, and analyzing data efficiently.

Throughout this step, you will delve into data cleaning and preprocessing techniques to ensure the data is in a suitable format for analysis. Handling missing values and outliers is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the analysis results. By leveraging Python and pandas for EDA, you will be equipped with the necessary skills to extract valuable insights from complex datasets.

Step 20. Data visualization tools

At this stage, it is important to master some data visualization tools, essential for translating complex data findings into comprehensible visual representations. Learn to use tools like Tableau, Power BI, and Matplotlib in Python, which allow you to create interactive dashboards and charts. Understanding these tools will enable you to communicate data insights effectively to stakeholders, making it a crucial skill in your data science toolkit.

Step 21. Advanced EDA Techniques

Enhance your data science skillset by mastering advanced Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) techniques. This step involves learning complex data manipulation and analysis methods, including handling missing values, outlier detection, and feature engineering. You’ll delve into multivariate analysis, dimensionality reduction techniques like PCA, and advanced visualization methods to uncover deeper insights from data. These skills are pivotal for thorough data investigation, enabling you to make informed decisions and build robust predictive models.

Phase 5. Specialization and Advanced Topics

Specialization and Advanced Topics

In Phase 5 of your data science journey, you’ll dive into specialized areas and advanced topics. This phase is about deepening your knowledge in areas like deep learning, NLP, or sector-specific data analysis, setting you apart as an expert and paving the way for innovation and leadership in the field.

Step 22. Machine Learning

In this step, focus on deepening your understanding and skills in machine learning. Explore various algorithms, from supervised learning techniques like regression and classification to unsupervised learning methods such as clustering and dimensionality reduction. Learn about:

  • Model evaluation
  • Hyperparameter tuning
  • Ethical implications of machine learning

This knowledge is crucial for building predictive models, automating data analysis processes, and driving data-driven decision-making in various industries.

Step 23. Deep Learning

Next up, you should learn deep learning, a subset of machine learning that mimics the way human brains operate. This step involves understanding neural networks, backpropagation, and layers that constitute deep learning architectures like CNNs and RNNs. You’ll explore applications from image and speech recognition to natural language processing, gaining skills to tackle complex problems that require nuanced and sophisticated computational models. This knowledge is vital for roles in AI research, autonomous systems, and advanced analytics.

Step 24. Feature Engineering

Feature engineering is a critical step in enhancing your machine learning models’ performance. It involves creating new features or modifying existing ones to increase the predictive power of your algorithms. Learn techniques for feature selection, extraction, and transformation to improve model accuracy. Understanding how to effectively engineer features will allow you to extract more meaningful information from your data, leading to more robust and insightful machine learning outcomes.

Step 25. Natural Language Processing

Dive into Natural Language Processing (NLP), a crucial aspect of data science focusing on how machines understand human language. Learn techniques to process and analyze text data, including tokenization, stemming, and lemmatization. Study sentiment analysis, language modeling, and machine translation. NLP skills are essential for creating applications like chatbots, and text analysis tools, and for extracting insights from vast amounts of text data, significantly broadening your data science expertise.

Ready to unlock the power of machine learning, deep learning, and feature engineering? Enroll in Scaler’s Data Science Course today and become a sought-after data science professional.

Phase 6. MLOps (Machine Learning Operations)

machine learning operations

In Phase 6, you can learn MLOps, focusing on the integration of machine learning models into production environments. You’ll explore best practices for deploying, monitoring, and maintaining ML models to ensure they remain effective and reliable over time. This phase is crucial for understanding how data science projects transition from experimental to operational stages, aligning your machine learning expertise with real-world applications and industry needs.

Step 26. Model Deployment and Serving

Learn the essentials of deploying machine learning models, enabling them to make predictions from new data in a real-world environment. This step covers methods to transition models from a development stage to production, ensuring they operate efficiently and reliably. You’ll explore techniques for model serving, monitoring, and updating to maintain performance and accuracy over time, crucial skills for implementing practical machine learning solutions in various industry settings.

Cloud Deployment

Learn to deploy machine learning models using cloud platforms, which offer scalability, flexibility, and robust infrastructure. Understand the services and tools provided by major cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure for model deployment and management.

Step 27. Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Familiarize yourself with CI/CD practices in the context of MLOps, focusing on automating the integration and deployment of machine learning models. CI/CD ensures that your ML models are consistently tested, integrated, and deployed efficiently, enabling a seamless and robust workflow. Understanding CI/CD is vital for maintaining high-quality models in production, ensuring they are always up-to-date, and performing optimally as new data and code changes are introduced.

Apart from this, also learn these – 

  • CI/CD Pipelines
  • Versioning and Rollback

Final Phase: Continuous Practice and Projects

continuous practice to become data scientist

This is the final and exciting phase where you will solidify your fundamentals, showcase your technical skills, and actively engage with professionals in the field. By consistently honing your skills, working on data science projects, and building your strong online presence, you’ll be ready to land a data scientist position. 

Step 28. Reinforcing Skills through Practice

The key to mastering any data science skill is consistent practice. Keep a dedicated time to work on personal projects that pique your interest. This allows you to experiment, explore new techniques, and build your portfolio. Participating in online challenges and competitions is a great way to test your skills and learn from diverse approaches.

Step 29. Advanced-Data Science Projects

Once you have deepened your understanding of fundamentals, now it’s time to work on data science projects. Working with larger and more complex datasets. Explore and implement more complex algorithms like deep learning models, natural language processing techniques, or advanced statistical models. You can also contribute to open-source projects on GitHub. Here are some specific data science project ideas you can work on- 

  • Fake News Detection Using Python
  • Detection of Road Lane Lines 
  • Sentimental Analysis
  • Speech Recognition through Emotions
  • Gender Detection and Age Prediction 
  • Developing Chatbots
  • Detection of Drowsiness in Drivers
  • Detection of Credit Card Fraud
  • Customer Segmentations
  • Recognition of traffic signals
  • Recommendation System for Films

Step 30. Portfolio Development

A strong portfolio showcases your skills and demonstrates your ability to apply data science knowledge to solve real-world problems. Include


Highlight any personal or real-world project involving dat, clearly explaining the problem you solved, tools or techniques used, and the achieved results. Choose projects that showcase your data science skills and problem-solving abilities. 

Open-source contributions

If you’ve contributed to any open-source projects, mention about them in your portfolio to showcase your collaborative and problem-solving skills.

Internships and freelance work

Consider including relevant internship or freelance work experience where you applied your data science skills. Highlight your role and the impact of your work. 

Step 31. Networking and Community Engagement

Building connections in the data science field are very essential for your career growth and professional development. 


Utilize platforms like LinkedIn and online communities to connect with data science professionals or experts in the field. Join relevant social media groups, engage in discussions, and share your valuable insights to build your network. You can also attend data science meetups, conferences, online forums, and networking events. These are some great ways to increase your job opportunities and career prospects, exposure to new trends, and expand your knowledge in the data science field.


You can consider seeking guidance from experienced data scientists through mentorship programs, data science courses, or online platforms. This can provide practical knowledge, great insights, and valuable career advice to help you overcome any difficulties of the data science landscape.  

Other Important Skills To Learn

In addition to technical prowess, your journey in data science should encompass a range of other vital skills. Business acumen, soft skills, and storytelling are indispensable tools in your arsenal, enhancing your ability to not only analyze data but also to drive decisions, foster collaboration, and communicate insights effectively. These skills bridge the gap between data science and practical business application, ensuring your work has a meaningful impact within any organization.

Business Acumen:

Understand the business context in which you’re applying data science, including industry-specific knowledge, to ensure your solutions align with organizational goals.

Soft Skills:

Develop communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, which are crucial for collaborating effectively and driving impactful data science projects.

Storytelling with Data:

Master the art of conveying complex data insights in a compelling and understandable way to non-technical stakeholders, enhancing the influence of your findings.

Data Science Career Opportunities With Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate of data scientists is expected to grow 35% from 2022 to 2032. As we know, data science is currently the hottest field that offers different career opportunities, each with its own requirements, skill sets, and earning potential. You can choose any based on your interests and career goals. Let’s explore some highest-paying data science job roles you can consider

Top Job ProfilesAverage Salary in IndiaAverage Salary in USCareer PathsTop Hiring Companies (Globally)
Data Scientist₹7L – ₹19L/yr$1L – $2L/yrMachine Learning Engineer, Data Science Lead, ManagementGoogle, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, Tesla, JPMC, Goldman Sachs
Data Analyst₹4L – ₹10L/yr$62T – $96T/yrData Scientist, Business Intelligence Analyst, Data EngineerAccenture, Amazon, Deloitte, EY, IBM, TCS, Infosys, Wipro
Data Architect₹17L – ₹30L/yr$1L – $2L/yrBig Data Architect, Enterprise Architect, Data Management LeadGoogle, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Teradata, Cloudera, Hortonworks
Data Engineer₹6L – ₹15L/yr$90T – $1L/yrBig Data Engineer, Cloud Data Engineer, Data Engineering LeadGoogle, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify
Machine Learning Engineer₹8L – ₹14L/yr$1L – $2L/yrRobotics Engineer, Computer Vision Specialist, NLP Engineer, ManagementGoogle, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Uber, Lyft
Business Analyst₹6L – ₹12L/yr$71T – $1L/yrData Scientist, Business Intelligence Manager, Data Visualization SpecialistMcKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Deloitte, EY, PwC

These numbers can greatly vary based on your knowledge, experience, skill set, and your company. Also, if you are applying for a product-based company, it will tend to provide you with higher salaries than a service-based company. In India, for example, a data scientist with 1-2 years of experience makes around 18 lakhs per year in a product-based company. But if they work in a service-based company, their salary can be around 10L/yr. Another factor can be whether the company is a startup or a big MNC. 

Congratulations on Completing Your Data Science Roadmap, What’s Next?

According to a study by Statista, the big data market is projected to grow by $103 billion by 2027, which is double the market size expected in 2018. As a result, a lot of companies will need experts in the data science field to help them analyze this data and make sense of it.

Earning relevant data science certifications can demonstrate your commitment to the field and enhance your resume. As the data science industry is so large, there are different certifications available that you can choose from based on your interests and career goals.

Ready to turn your data science knowledge into a successful career? Enroll in Scaler’s Data Science Course and gain the advanced skills, industry exposure, and career support you need to excel in this booming field.

Read These Important Roadmaps: More Paths to Career Success

DSA RoadmapMLOps Roadmap
SDE RoadmapDevOps Roadmap
Web Development RoadmapData Engineer Roadmap
Full Stack Developer RoadmapData Analyst Roadmap
Front-end Developer RoadmapMachine Learning Roadmap
Back-end Developer RoadmapSoftware Architect Roadmap


Can I Learn Data Science in 3 Months?

It’s challenging to master data science in 3 months, but you can grasp the basics. Your progress depends on your background, the time you invest daily, and your learning approach.

What are the essential skills needed for a career in data science?

Key skills include statistical analysis, programming (Python/R), machine learning, data wrangling, visualization, and domain-specific knowledge.

What are some tips for staying motivated during the data science learning journey?

Set clear goals, celebrate small wins, maintain a learning schedule, and engage with a community or study group.

How can I transition into a career in data science from a different field?

Leverage transferable skills, start with foundational data science concepts, and engage in projects or courses relevant to data science.

What is the future outlook for careers in data science?

The demand for data scientists continues to grow, with advancements in AI and big data driving the need for skilled professionals.

Can I learn data science on my own?

Yes, with a good amount of online resources, courses, and communities, self-learning in data science is feasible. Dedication and a structured approach are essential.

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By Anshuman Singh Co-Founder @ Scaler | Creating 1M+ world-class engineers
Anshuman Singh, Co-Founder of Scaler, is on a mission to forge over a million world-class engineers. With his roots in engineering, having contributed to building Facebook's chat and messages and the revamped Messenger, Anshuman is deeply committed to elevating engineering education. His vision focuses on delivering the right learning outcomes to nurture a new generation of tech leaders. Anshuman's journey is defined by his dedication to unlocking the potential of aspiring engineers, guiding them toward achieving excellence in the tech world.
By Tushar Bisht CTO at Scaler Academy & InterviewBit
Tushar Bisht is the tech wizard behind the curtain at Scaler, holding the fort as the Chief Technology Officer. In his realm, innovation isn't just a buzzword—it's the daily bread. Tushar doesn't just push the envelope; he redesigns it, ensuring Scaler remains at the cutting edge of the education tech world. His leadership not only powers the tech that drives Scaler but also inspires a team of bright minds to turn ambitious ideas into reality. Tushar's role as CTO is more than a title—it's a mission to redefine what's possible in tech education.
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