Data Scientist

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Job Description

A data scientist is someone who performs high level problem solving in order to make value out of data. Their duties typically include creating Machine Learning-based tools or processes within the company, such as recommendation engines or automated lead scoring systems. People within this role should also be able to perform statistical analysis.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Always learning something new
  • Get to be a pioneer in a field that is only a decade old
  • Mix of technology and science
  • Can use skills to help others, i.e. healthcare data
  • Every major company, corporation needs data scientists, and medium and smaller companies are working on fitting them into their budget

"My tasks vary every day, which makes this career a lot more exciting than other jobs where you come in and do the same thing all the time. It's all around problem solving that helps decision makers within the company get insight from data."

$120,931
The Inside Scoop
Day in the Life

Click here for a data scientist’s day in the life

Skills Needed on the Job
  • Software: SQL (Structured Query Language), Python, Tableau, R
  • Communication skills: need to be able to take the statistics derived from data gleaning and explain it in layman's terms to other branches of the corporation, such as IT and finance
  • Teamwork: you will be a go between for various departments who are in need of the information gleaned from the data in order to make decisions
  • Data/statistic analysis: Need to analyze and apply user feedback and research
Organization Types
  • Large corporations / businesses: all major companies in every industry- from hospitals to clothing retailers use data scientist feedback to make executive decisions

Current Industry Trends
  • An understanding of machine learning: a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights using algorithms that learn from data without explicit programming
  • The merging or data science and IoT: the growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.
  • Ability to work with RIL (radio interface layer), which goes hand-in-hand with IoT
  • Use of data science in healthcare: data gleaned by these scientists can be used to predict disease trends i.e. the resurgence of Ebola
What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...

"I was a science nerd. I participated in the science olympiad at my elementary school."

Education Needed
  • Bachelor's degree highly recommended in one of the following studies:
    • Statistics
    • Computer science* at the very least, should minor in this or make a point to take courses in it- will help with learning the major coding software
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Probability
  • Masters in Data Science, Machine Learning or Analytics also recommended
Best universities for a Masters in Data Science/Machine Learning/Analytics
  • Stanford University
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of California Berkeley
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Northwestern University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
Things to do in High School and College
  • Join a computer science and/or coding club
  • Take courses in statistics, computer science, analytics, mathematics, probability
  • Learn Python, SQL, R
  • Take on a data science internship
How to land your 1st job
  • Contract work: get to know the company on a freelance basis- marketing / analytics side
  • Networking: this will help you make connections and illustrate your professionalism and drive
  • Constantly aim to increase your skill set: learn as many coding, data gleaning programs as possible
  • In the interview: be able to demonstrate your understanding of data gleaning and coding, as well as your ability to explain these processes to branches of the company that are not familiar with the terminology
Programming Languages to Learn
Plan B
  • Software Engineer
  • Business Analyst
  • IT analysts
  • Data Architects
  • IT/Software Consultants
  • Big Data Engineer

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Source: Interviews, Bureau of Labor Statistics, ONET, Glassdoor, Quora

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