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How to get into data science after mechanical engineering?

Data Science
Blog Date
December 5,

Data science has emerged as the most in-demand field in recent years, revolutionizing the way businesses operate and make decisions. In an era where data is generated at an unprecedented rate, organizations are seeking skilled professionals who can extract valuable insights from vast datasets to drive informed decision-making. This surge in demand is attributed to the increasing recognition of the power of data-driven strategies across various industries. Fortunately, the field of data science is accessible to individuals from diverse educational backgrounds, providing an opportunity for career transition and growth. 

Data science: A lucrative career path 

Data science roles are not only in high demand but also offer lucrative career prospects. The skill set required for data science is diverse, encompassing programming, statistical analysis, machine learning, and domain-specific expertise. As organizations increasingly rely on data to drive their strategies, data scientists play a crucial role in shaping business outcomes. This high demand for skilled professionals often translates into competitive salaries and attractive job opportunities. 

Check out: Is data science hard? 

Pursuing a career in data science from any educational Background 

One of the remarkable aspects of data science is its inclusivity. Students from any educational background, whether it’s mathematics, computer science, engineering, social sciences, or even humanities, can transition into a career in data science. The key lies in acquiring the relevant skills and knowledge. Online courses, bootcamps, and degree programs in data science are widely available, catering to individuals with different learning preferences and schedules. Many successful data scientists have backgrounds in fields unrelated to computer science, showcasing the versatility of the profession. 

Can mechanical engineers get into data science careers? 

Mechanical engineers, with their strong analytical and problem-solving skills, are well-positioned to transition into data science roles. While the technical background is beneficial, acquiring programming skills (such as Python or R) and learning data analysis and machine learning techniques are essential steps. Through online data science degrees and certifications, one can learn essential data science subjects and gain a deeper understanding of the world of data science. 

You can also check the best MBA specialization for mechanical engineers.

How data science courses help mechanical engineers in making a career switch 

Data science is an emerging field in the tech industry, and it is one that mechanical engineers can use to make a smooth and seamless career switch to data science. 

  • Gain knowledge  

Data science is a growing field, and it is not just mechanical engineering to data science. As more companies use data to make business decisions, they are looking for people with various backgrounds who can help them analyze that data. Mechanical engineers can take advantage of this trend by learning to apply their skills in a new context. 

  • Knowledge in programming languages 

If you want to make a career switch to data science, you will need to learn how to program and do fundamental data analysis. Although there are many programming languages, Python is one of the most common ones in the industry. If you are already familiar with Python or another language like Java or C++, then learning about machine learning algorithms will be easier! 

  • Enhance decision-making skills 

Data scientists need to understand how their work impacts others and how it can be used to improve lives. They must also know how to present their findings in a way that makes sense for different audiences. This means that data science will help you be better equipped to make decisions about their work and how it affects other teams or departments within an organization. 

Also read: Is data science a good career option for you? 

The transition from mechanical engineering to data science 

Can mechanical engineers do data science? Mechanical engineers interested in changing to a career in data science should be prepared for a steep learning curve. 

The career switch to data science requires an understanding of programming, math and statistics, as well as a new set of skills. 

Here’s why – 

  • Programming 

Mechanical engineers are familiar with programming, but not the same way data scientists use it. Data scientists use programming to build programs and algorithms that can be used to analyze data. They also use it to build models, which are representations of real-world processes. Mechanical engineers must learn new tools, such as Python and R. 

  • Math and statistics 

Students who have studied math but haven’t studied statistics make up the question, “can a mechanical engineer do data science”. Data scientists use statistics to understand the relationships between variables in their data sets, which is essential for making sense of large amounts of information.  

These skills will help mechanical engineers understand how their data sets work together—for example, when one variable increases or decreases while another stays constant—and what these relationships mean for their company’s products or services. 

  • Domain knowledge 

The field of data science is relatively new, and as such, many skills need to be learned. Data engineers have to learn how to manipulate data and write scripts, while data scientists have to learn how to use machine learning algorithms and create models. 

As a mechanical engineer, you’ve spent your whole life learning about how machines work, and that knowledge can easily be applied to data science. This means that you will be able to jump right into manipulating numbers and writing code without much trouble. 

  • Visualization 

Data visualization is a crucial part of data science; this is where the skills you learned as a mechanical engineer come in handy. You will need to visualize data to understand it better, so knowing how to make compelling visualizations with code will help you immensely. 

Check out: Career switch to data science 

Career opportunities in Data Science: Top data science jobs to look out for 

Data Scientist: 

Role: Analyzing and interpreting complex datasets to inform business decision-making. 

Skills Needed: Statistical modeling, machine learning, programming (Python/R), data visualization. 

Industry Demand: High demand across various industries such as finance, healthcare, e-commerce, and technology. 

Machine Learning Engineer: 

Role: Designing, building, and implementing machine learning models and algorithms. 

Skills Needed: Advanced programming, deep understanding of machine learning algorithms, data engineering. 

Industry Demand: Growing demand in fields like artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and predictive analytics. 

Data Engineer: 

 Role: Developing, constructing, testing, and maintaining architectures (e.g., databases, large-scale processing systems) for data generation. 

Skills Needed: Database design, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes, big data technologies. 

Industry Demand: High demand for professionals who can ensure efficient data processing and storage. 

Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst: 

Role: Translating complex data sets into insights that drive business decisions. 

Skills Needed: Data visualization, SQL, business acumen. 

Industry Demand: In demand across sectors for providing actionable insights to improve business performance. 

Data Analyst: 

Role: Collecting, processing, and analyzing data to help companies make more informed decisions. 

Skills Needed: Statistical analysis, data cleaning, SQL, Excel. 

Industry Demand: Wide-ranging demand in various industries for individuals who can turn raw data into actionable insights. 


Role: Applying statistical methods to analyze and interpret data. 

Skills Needed: Advanced statistical modeling, data interpretation, domain-specific knowledge. 

Industry Demand: Commonly found in research, finance, healthcare, and government sectors. 

Quantitative Analyst: 

Role: Applying mathematical and statistical techniques to financial and risk management problems. 

Skills Needed: Strong mathematical background, programming skills, financial modeling. 

Industry Demand: High demand in finance, investment banking, and hedge funds. 

Research Scientist: 

 Role: Conducting research to develop new algorithms and models. 

Skills Needed: Advanced knowledge of machine learning, deep learning, research capabilities. 

Industry Demand: Found in academia, research institutions, and industries focusing on cutting-edge technology. 

Make a seamless transition into data science with online courses from the reputed Manipal universities 

Seamlessly transition into the dynamic field of data science with acclaimed online courses from Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ) and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). These reputable institutions offer cutting-edge programs designed to equip aspiring data scientists and working professionals with a comprehensive understanding of data science concepts and programming skills. The flexibility of these courses caters to the needs of working individuals, allowing them to upskill without leaving their current jobs. Explore transformative programs such as the MBA in Analytics and Data Science (MUJ), MBA in Data Science from MAHE, MSc in Data Science from MAHE, and the PGCP in DSML from MIT. Take the first step towards a rewarding data science career with Online Manipal. 

Key takeaways

  • A mechanical engineer must have the right skills and experience. They should have strong analytical skills to process large amounts of information and find patterns. They should also be well-versed in programming languages and tools like Python, R, or Scala.  
  • They should also be familiar with machine learning models such as regression analysis, clustering algorithms, and decision trees. Also, they should know statistical methods such as linear regression, ANOVA, etc. 
  • They must understand big data analytics tools such as Hadoop/Spark/Flink/MapReduce/Cassandra/HBase/MongoDB etc. 
  • They should be able to work with different types of data, such as structured (e.g., relational databases), semi-structured, and unstructured. 
  • Finally, they must understand how their organization uses data science techniques to make decisions that affect their business processes and operations. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • data science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Online MBA
  • Online MSC Data Science

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