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Does data science require coding? A guide for non-programmers

Data Science

Whether an experienced professional or a fresher, people wishing to move into Data Science have one question often: “Does data science require coding?” Let’s establish a little more understanding first. Data Science is a field that is an amalgamation of mathematics, technology, and business. In a persistently evolving domain, the mathematical comprehension of Data Science remains accordant. Let’s understand more about this perception:

  • Business: Data Science is a business-agnostic field of profession. You can leverage your business knowledge to do better data science in whatever area you come from. For example, if you belong from a CA background, you can assist Fintech organizations. In addition, given that you have a firm understanding of financial data, you can understand things better than the rest. However, you can enter any sphere of data science based on your interests.

  • Technology: The field of technology undergoes some evolution daily. You should possess a mindset keen on always learning to be synonymous with the pace of growing technology. Once you grasp the establishing elements of technology, it is key to keep yourself upgraded based on what is latest. 

Now that we know we need to be up to date with technology, let’s understand: does data science require coding?

Is it ideal to become a data scientist without coding?

  • For freshers: Coding in data science takes a different and more complex form when it is time to apply it in the real world. It is way more than what you did in college or school. However, much of what you learn in data science can be found in simple, usable functions. Data science is pragmatic and non-theoretical. Google will already have all the answers to your questions, but you should be aware enough to ask the right questions. Meaning you need to build an understanding of how to code. By going over the data, you will need to figure out what will be the correct input and the viable output. A significant portion of the work here is to speculate the output. As discussed, coding is required, and a master’s in data science certificate from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education can help.

  • For working professionals unfamiliar with coding: The question has been asked often – does data science require coding? It is assumed that you have an underlying doubt about whether you can learn code. The answer is yes, but the real outcome will be based on your will to learn. However, let’s suppose you enter a managerial role in data science moving forward. To meticulously guide your teammates, you need hands-on coding experience to understand what is happening. Hence, coding is required. To work better, you’ll need to try out few data science projects to improve your coding and thinking level required for this domain.

  • For working professionals familiar with coding: Coding is essential to data science as it possesses a learning bend. Along with learning to code, from an application standpoint, you will be going through the process of relearning mathematics and business. Being a Data Scientist can be both challenging and fun, depending on your grasp of it. It would be beneficial if you were certain how you would add value to the company you work with.

Few FAQs people have regarding coding and becoming data scientist

Is coding a mandatory skill for a data scientist?

While coding is not a strict requirement for all data science roles, it is highly recommended for data scientists to have a good understanding of at least one programming language. Coding skills allow data scientists to manipulate and clean data, create models, and automate processes, all of which are critical to the data science process.

Which programming languages are considered essential for a data scientist?

Python and R are considered as the most essential programming languages for a data scientist. Both languages provide a wide variety of libraries and frameworks for data manipulation, visualization, and modeling. Python is a general-purpose programming language that is widely used in the industry while R is particularly used for statistical analysis and visualization.

Can a person with no coding background still become a data scientist?

It’s possible, but it will be challenging to learn coding from scratch. While there are tools and platforms that make it easier for non-coders to perform data analysis, it’s still important for data scientists to have a good understanding of coding principles. It’s not impossible to learn coding, but it will take a significant amount of time and effort to acquire the necessary skills to become an effective data scientist.

Languages used in data science

If you have decided to land on learning new programming languages primarily for Data Science, the best, most notable ones to learn are Python and SQL. You can start with online learning platforms or apps to code where you won’t be needing any special software to install.

Python: Data scientists use Python as their primary language of choice worldwide. It is a highly divergent language that fits properly into multiple technology stacks organizations use. Python also has brilliant backing from the developer community. All Data Science related technical interviews ask whether you are familiar with Python, without fail. The focus should be on acing concepts and general logic attached to them rather than trying to master the syntax of Python. Languages allow you to implement logic where it is needed effectively.

SQL: Organizations assess SQL as a foundational querying language skill. SQL allows you to interrogate databases in a simple language. SQL is a rationally instinctive language to learn and can be one of the first languages to get started with for the initial boost of confidence.

Does data science require coding: How can you start?

Does data science require coding? Yes, it is required to excel in your career in data science. In contemplation of this article, it is established that learning to code is the most practical and favorable way to get into Data Science. Coding can seem intimidating, but what lies ahead is a simple advantage. Therefore, it is ideal to believe that coding is a fruitful barrier that will prove to be only beneficial if you decide to overcome it. Pursuing a master’s in data science from Manipal Academy of Higher Education through Online Manipal will help you excel and provide the right path to becoming a data scientist


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.

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