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Published on April 12th, 2013 | by geeky

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Data Science: Emerging Career Field

Data Scientists in Demand

Data Scientists in Demand. Source: McKinsey Global Institute

Companies and government agencies are collecting more data than ever before, and they need people to turn all of those numbers into useful information. That’s what data scientists do, and if you’re good with finding meaning in a sea of numbers, you should take a look at this emerging field.

Since the data science field is relatively new, few schools offer degree programs at this time. Generally, data scientists use databases and statistics to analyze tons of pieces of information. If you’d like to sample a free online course, try Introduction to Data Science, taught by University of Washington professor, Bill Howe.

Data Science diagram via http://en.wikipedia.org/

Data Science diagram via http://en.wikipedia.org/

Here’s a good definition of data scientists, articulated by Rachel Schutt, who taught Columbia’s first data science course last semester. This quote is from a recent NYTimes article:

She [Rachel Schutt] described the data scientist this way: “a hybrid computer scientist software engineer statistician.” And added: “The best tend to be really curious people, thinkers who ask good questions and are O.K. dealing with unstructured situations and trying to find structure in them.”

An October 2012 article published in the Harvard Business Review declared, “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.” Who knew a job involving statistics, programming, and number-crunching would be considered “sexy?” Sounds good to me!

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About the Author

Heather is a lifelong nerd who is passionate about geek culture. Current obsessions include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Follow her on Twitter @geeky247 or Facebook Geeky 247.



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