Q: I wish to become a data scientist. I am in Class X now. How should I prepare myself? Please advise.

A: I would recommend laying a very strong foundation in maths at this point of time. You can do your undergraduate studies in maths, statistics, and economics, with a focus on maths, biostats, engineering (preferably computer engineering), quantitative methods for social science/behavioural science, etc. Most data science jobs require a graduate degree (preferably a PhD). I think, in India, there are few IITs offering graduate degrees in Data Science, and there are many universities abroad that offer MS degrees in Data Science. In the US, only three universities – CMU, Georgia Tech, and NYU –  are currently offering a PhD in Data Science/Machine Learning. If you have plans to do your Master’s abroad, I would highly recommend garnering three-four years of work experience in India. If you want to do a PhD abroad, especially in the US, then you can directly go as the last three years of your PhD will be considered as work experience.

Answered by: Ashmita Bora, Lead Data Scientist.

Q: I want to become a sports coach, preferably a football coach. What course of study should I take after Class X?

A: To become a football coach, a student needs to be a player first, a football player to become a football coach or, for that matter, to become a coach in a particular sports discipline, one needs to play that sport.

Moreover, if the player has represented his/her District or State or is a National player, it adds to their advantage in understanding the game and to apply the same in the coaching arena. In regards to studies, the player can follow any stream, be it Arts, Science or Commerce. I personally feel all the three streams has its own advantages, for example, an Arts degree may help in sports psychology or counselling, a Science degree may help in preparing the various cycles, nutritional aspects, sports,  injury, etc., a Commerce degree may help in sports marketing, sports business model, promotions, etc., the list is endless. But one needs to be a player first to become a coach.

Answered by: Krishna Hazarika Rao, Former National Badminton Champion and India Team Player.