Data science is a hot field right now, and it’s no surprise why. Data scientists have been called “the sexiest job of the 21st century,” and there are plenty of jobs in the field to go around. In fact, data scientist was just ranked as the #1 best job in America by Glass door, beating out roles like iOS developer and commercial airline pilot!
Most people love working with data, but not everyone can be a data scientist. Not only do you need to be well-versed in statistics and programming, but you need to have excellent communication skills too. The very nature of this profession means that you will frequently collaborate with teams throughout your company so being able to communicate effectively is crucial. For this reason, many employers prefer to hire Ph.D.s with at least five years of experience over fresh graduates, although there are still many open positions for new data scientists too.
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What do most data scientists do?
The role of the data scientist is widely misunderstood. They don’t just build models and write code all day long (although they do plenty of that). Instead, they serve as the catalyst that brings together business analysts, software developers, statisticians, and others into one harmonious team. For this reason, it requires a diverse set of skills to be effective in this position.
Data science has its basis in statistics and computer science but also draws on many other disciplines including psychology, mathematics, economics, biology, physics etc… As a result, data scientists need to be open-minded and curious about the world around them. They also need to think creatively in order to solve complex analytical problems that cannot always be solved using standard techniques.
Having said this, many people that enter the field do specialize in one area or another (e.g., developing machine learning models). Some of the most common areas are:
2) Healthcare (especially public health)
3) Social Sciences (law, sociology etc.)
4) Computer vision for robotics
5) Financial Services
8) Operations Research
9) Web Analytics
11) Natural Resources
12) Information Security
14) Fraud detection
15) Energy exploration
16) Advertising intelligence
17) Biomedical informatics
19) Telecommunications (especially network security and wireless access problems).
Data science is a rapidly expanding field with new opportunities arising every day. The list of fields above is far from exhaustive but should give you a good sense of the types of jobs available. If you want to learn more about data science, check out the online courses offered by Data Camp, including Data Science Career Path: A Guide through the Jungle. At Data Camp, we have helped over 100,000 students become better data scientists and we would love to do the same for you!
Is Data Science a real career?
Yes! Data scientists are in high demand and their salaries reflect that. According to the Harvard Business Review, the median salary for data scientists is $95,000 per year. In addition to high pay, data science offers an incredibly promising career path.
Can anyone do Data Science?
While you don’t need a degree in computer science or statistics to get started (although this certainly helps), most employers prefer candidates with advanced degrees and several years of experience. That said, there are plenty of companies looking for new graduates and some even offer apprenticeships or internship opportunities.
Is this Data Science just programming?
No! Although coding is an important part of the job it is only a small part. This is why many people who major in statistics or computer science choose to pursue this path instead of going into programming.
Can I do data science from home?
Yes! In fact, most people work remotely these days and some companies even offer benefits like 401(k) plans, health care, and gym memberships.
What languages should I learn?
The two most popular languages for data scientists today are Python and R but if you want to get a head start we suggest starting with SQL and Excel (yes, the spreadsheet program). If you already know an object-oriented language such as Java or C++ it will also be helpful when picking up another one down the road.
What software do I need?
This depends on the field you are interested in but you will most likely be using SQL, Excel, and programming languages like Python or R to get started.
Data Camp is an online interactive learning platform for data science that helps professionals learns at their own pace through short videos and practice problems. Data Camp’s learning experience is entirely project-based and focuses on helping you code more effectively in just a few hours per course!
Data science is a rapidly expanding field with new opportunities arising every day. The list of fields above is far from exhaustive but should give you a good sense of the types of jobs available. If you want to learn more about data science, check out the online courses offered by Data Camp. At Data Camp, we have helped over 100,000 students become better data scientists and we would love to do the same for you!