What Exactly Is a Data Scientist?
Data scientists are data specialists. Corporations and governments every second of every day collect massive amounts of data generated by people all over the world. Intelligent devices, apps, websites, and even clicks are all tracked and stored in massive server vaults, where data scientists can sort through and analyze them. Data scientists are in high demand because data can be used for various purposes. Data can be used by government researchers to make policy recommendations to politicians, clothing companies to better manage product production and distribution, and financial institutions to analyze potential investments.
Data scientists, however, are more than just analysts. They understand how to manage, store, and protect data in addition to reading and interpreting it. They create data management software, as well as hardware and network systems, using programming languages. They understand how to analyze data security gaps and vulnerabilities to mitigate threats. Data scientists also test systems and collaborate with software engineers to resolve issues and improve network functionality, allowing analysts and customers to leverage information better.
Investigate the Demand for Data Scientists
As of May 2018, 31,700 professionals were working in the category of computer and information research scientists in the United States, according to the BLS. More than a quarter (28%) of these professionals were employed by the federal government. Another 20% worked in computer systems design and related firms, 16% in physical, engineering, and life sciences research and development, 8% in colleges and universities, and 5% as software developers. Data scientists are frequently employed in the manufacturing, engineering, finance, insurance, and healthcare industries.
Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS predicts that the domestic job market will add 5,200 new computer and information research scientist positions. This represents a 16% increase in demand, compared to a 5% increase in the national average for all jobs. The BLS predicts that computer systems and related design firms will grow 42.9% over the next ten years, creating 2,800 new jobs.
As of May 2018, computer and information research scientists earned a median annual salary of $118,370, though pay varies by industry, experience, and geographic location. Software publishing was the highest-paying industry, with a median yearly salary of $140,220. Physical, engineering, and life sciences research was ranked second ($128,570), followed by computer systems design and related services ($124,220), the federal government ($109,810), and colleges and universities ($82,660).
To become a data scientist, you must first obtain a master’s degree in data science, which is built on a foundation in information technology and computer systems. As the demand for data scientists grows, many lucrative jobs will become available to those with the necessary skills. Data scientists assist industries in reaching their full potential in healthcare, software design, or higher education.
Learn more about how Q Academy’s courses in machine learning, big data analytics, experimental design, data mining, and other topics can prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in this field.