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How can I apply for Data Scientist job without holding a PhD?

Interesting question posted on Quora, with 8 answers so far. Here's mine:

You can have my PhD, and I will take your engineering experience. Being an independent data scientist, I don't need any diploma, and rarely if ever mention my PhD. If you really need one, you can probably buy one for $100 from a fake university. Or you can get a real certification - we offer one based on your bio: there is no cost and no exam.
I also invite you to browse the job ads on our network at Analytic Talent. Few require a PhD.

This is what the OP (original poster) wrote:

Who am I?
I am an engineering grad. I am an application/big data (Hadoop/Storm) developer. Recently, I started brushing dust off of my Linear Algebra and Probability and Stats skills. Started learning R. Planning to do a couple of toy projects with Twitter data and other large data-set from public repository.

Why this question?
I did fairly small look-up for data scientists job, it appeared to me that they require a PhD in Stats or Maths. Also, I happen to discuss this with one of my acquaintances in a investment bank who told me that a self-taught person will have fairly low chances of being considered for the job.

My Situation
I cannot go for a PhD due to personal reasons. I have fairly good grasp of engineering mathematics and I am learning the stuffs that are new. Now, it disappoints me if after all these hard work, no one even calls for an interview.

The Question
What should I do? What should I add to my resume that actually make my CV stand among PhDs who are applying for a data scientist job?

Read full discussion at

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Replies to This Discussion

Sir, I'm in the same situation.  I'm an undergrad (third year), and want to pursue an internship the summer 2014.

But every internship position requires a PHD.

Hope somebody helps.

If you are looking at internships that require PhDs than I think you are over-reaching in terms of what you are looking at.  Find an internship where you can get some experience in parts of the job of a data scientist (programming, Hadoop, data analysis).  Data scientist is a fairly senior job description that requires a LOT of different skills and knowledge.  3 years of college aren't going to get you there.  

Thank you madam fr the reply, but the concern is that there are very few internship offerings which takes in undergrads.

If you know any, kindly reply, as they would be very useful for undergrad students pursuing Data Science.

I have three PHD and four masters half in statistics and half in marketing plus a long empirical experience and I'm accredited by most data mining software providers, it's a minimum....
I think you need a Phd to add the word "scientist" because if you have not a "research degree" with some accademic publications where is the "scientifical" aspect. You are a data analyst or a data miner.


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