Data scientists work with large amounts of data, applying data mining, statistical analysis, and other techniques to discover meaningful insights. Data scientists work with data to extract knowledge and insights that inform decision-making. Data scientists are employed in a variety of industries, including education, finance, marketing, manufacturing, and retail.
The data scientist’s job title may vary depending on the industry and the company. For example, data scientists in the financial industry are more likely to have a job title such as “quantitative analyst” or “financial engineer.”
Data Scientist Job Duties
Data scientists are involved in a wide range of duties:
- Using statistical modeling, data mining, and machine learning techniques to identify patterns in data
- Developing predictive models to evaluate potential risks and opportunities
- Cleaning and structuring data sets to make them more useful for analysis
- Developing dashboards and visualizations to communicate insights more effectively
- Using programming languages such as R, Python, SAS, or MATLAB to analyze data
- Ensuring that all results are appropriately documented and archived for future reference
- Working closely with product managers and designers to bring insights into products that can help people make decisions or take actions
Data scientists are key players in every organization. They’re involved in all aspects of decision-making, from forecasting trends to optimizing marketing campaigns.
Data Scientist Salary & Outlook
As of May 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that the median annual wage for data scientists is $98,230 with the top 10% of earners bringing home more than $180,000.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that this job category will grow 8% from 2019-2029. It is expected that the rapid pace of technological innovation will create a growing need for data scientists to develop and maintain new software and make sense of the massive amounts of data being collected by businesses.
Data Scientist Job Requirements
Data scientist positions typically have the following requirements:
Education: A data scientist should hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Some of the most popular majors for data scientists include mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Graduates with these majors tend to have the best job prospects and earn the highest salaries.
Certifications: While certifications and licenses are not required for this job, they can help candidates stand out from other candidates during the hiring process. One popular certification is the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP).
Training: Training for this job is generally completed on-the-job. Data scientists are taught the company’s workflow and methods for collecting, analyzing, and presenting data. They are also taught how to work with the company’s other data scientists to create new methods for collecting and analyzing data.
Data Scientist Skills
Data scientists are expected to have a variety of skills and abilities, including:
Strong communication skills: Data scientists must be able to clearly communicate with both technical and non-technical people.
Data visualization skills: Data scientists need to be able to visualize data using tools like Tableau or D3.
Data management: Data scientists must be able to store, manage and cleansedata in order to prepare it for analysis.
Strong math skills: The ability to perform complex mathematical operations is crucial for this job.
Computer programming skills: Many data scientists need programming experience with languages such as Python, R, SAS, SQL, Hadoop MapReduce, Pig Latin, HiveQL, C++ or Java. Some companies may require expertise in machine learning algorithms such as k-means clustering or logistic regression.
Data Scientist Work Environment
Data scientists work in a variety of fields, including government, healthcare, business, and manufacturing. They are typically located in an office, but may also travel to meet with clients or attend conferences.
Data scientists often work long hours and can be expected to work overtime, especially when a project deadline is approaching. The deadlines can be stressful as they can be held accountable for any failures.
Data Scientist Career Advancement
For data scientists who want to advance their careers, there are several options available. For instance, you can become a chief data scientist or director of analytics. As these professionals, you will be responsible for ensuring that the company’s data is being analyzed effectively and that the right people are utilizing it to make key business decisions.
To advance as a Data Scientist, it is important that you understand each step of the process and the way your work fits into it. Make sure your boss knows what your personal goals are and how they align with the company’s larger goals. He or she will be able to provide some guidance for you as you make your way up the career ladder.
Data Scientist Trends
Here are three trends influencing how Data Scientists work. Data Scientists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Data as a Service
The continued rise of data as a commodity is likely to lead to the creation of data as a service in the coming years.
For example, Big Data analytics is becoming more important in almost every industry, but companies may not have the necessary skills to analyze and interpret their own data. In this case, they can outsource the task to a company with the appropriate knowledge.
The skills gap is an ongoing problem in the data science field, where professionals often struggle to find individuals with both a strong theoretical and practical background.
As more companies begin to adopt data-driven decision-making as a standard business practice, it will become increasingly important for employers to hire data scientists who can perform complex statistical analyses and communicate their findings effectively.
Focus on Ethics
As the amount of data available continues to grow, the ability to manage and process it will become increasingly important. This has led to a growing focus on ethics in data science as researchers, scientists, and analysts will have to develop clear ethical guidelines for how they will handle large amounts of sensitive information from their colleagues, friends, and other members of society.
How to Become a Data Scientist
1. Planning Your Career Path
If you want to become a data scientist, you’ll need to begin by evaluating your professional goals and the types of skills you already possess. You’ll also want to consider the different fields that fall under the data science umbrella, such as business intelligence, predictive analytics, and machine learning. Though it’s a popular career path, there are only a limited number of data scientist jobs available, so it’s important to make sure that this career is a good fit for your long-term goals.
If you are considering a career in data science, it’s also important to take the time to understand what it takes to succeed in this field. For example, in a recent survey, 65% of respondents cited statistics as one of the most important skills for a data scientist, so make sure that you have a strong foundation in this area before applying for jobs. Additionally, the amount of education you have in this field is another factor that will affect your hiring prospects; a data scientist with a master’s degree or Ph.D. will be in a much better position to find a job than someone with a bachelor’s degree, so make sure that you’re on the right track.
2. Writing a Resume
The most effective resumes for data scientists should be designed to showcase their data-driven problem-solving skills. These are some of the most sought-after skills in the tech industry, so it’s important that you’re able to highlight them in your resume.
For this position, it’s best to highlight any work you’ve done that involves collecting and analyzing data. It’s also important to show that you’re able to communicate your findings in a clear and concise manner.
3. Applying for Jobs
The biggest barrier to entry in data science is a lack of experience, so you need to start building your portfolio. The best way to do this is to attend meetups, local conferences, and hackathons. When attending these events, make sure you’re taking on hard problems, but ones that you can actually solve. Attend as many as possible, and make sure you’re connecting with other data scientists; this will help you build your network and will help them refer you for jobs when they hear about positions at their companies.
4. Ace the Interview
As a data scientist candidate, it is important to demonstrate that you are passionate about the field. You will want to show the employer that you have experience with data and with working in a team. You should also come prepared with examples of projects you have worked on in the past, and explain how you were able to use data to make decisions.
At the interview, make sure you dress professionally, be on time, and be friendly and positive. Be prepared to ask questions about the company, your role, and what skills are most important for the job. Also make sure you can talk about why you are interested in this specific position, as well as any relevant skills or experience you have.