The field of data science has gotten a lot of press in the last few years, due to the fact that the field is growing quickly and there aren’t enough people who are trained to fill the open roles. That translates into high salaries, plus interesting work for those who are curious and enjoy working with technology.
Big data has made its way into every field imaginable. Marketers use data to refine their campaigns and maximize their budgets. Hospital administrators use it to make their facilities more efficient and less wasteful. Even delivery services use data to optimize routes.
These days, companies large and small need to leverage data in order to maintain a competitive edge. Now that the field has grown, there are several career paths you can take for a fulfilling career. Want to get into data science but not sure which job is right for you? Here are some of the top options.
Programming is becoming such an important skill in the Information Age that some people are arguing that it should be taught in school alongside math, reading, writing, and science. This is why becoming a computer programmer is such a smart idea: you’ll learn an in-demand skill set that almost all modern employers are looking for.
As a programmer, you’ll have more flexibility than others in the field of data science. You’ll be able to work not only in data science, but in app development, web development, or other related fields. The downside is that you won’t necessarily get the specific training in data analytics and will have to gain those skills outside of your degree.
There are so many different programming languages now that it can be difficult to choose one or two to focus on. Learning popular languages like Python or R is always a good bet, but you should also keep an eye on any up-and-coming languages so you can gain a competitive edge.
A data engineer is someone who builds the infrastructure to collect and process data. Instead of working to understand the data, a data engineer works to prepare the data for the analysts to understand. They funnel and shuttle data from various sources and create an infrastructure that collects usable data. They must be able to program in a variety of different languages and have strong problem-solving abilities.
Data engineers work closely with analysts to ensure that they are collecting and funneling data appropriately. Most data engineers have a degree in a field like software engineering or computer science and may benefit from a master’s degree. However, many data engineers work their way up from IT positions as well.
Data scientist is the most famous and celebrated career in the wider field of big data analysis, and for good reason. It’s an interesting and dynamic career that requires a curious mind, strong programming, math, and analytical skills, and the ability to communicate with strategic decision-makers. It’s also well-paid and can help organizations grow and evolve.
On a daily basis, data scientists ask questions and interpret large amounts of data to answer them. They create methods of analysis and algorithms, working with very large datasets to uncover patterns and trends that could predict an organization’s future or make them more efficient.
Becoming a data scientist starts with getting a degree in a related field, such as computer programming, statistics, information technology, or mathematics. Now that the career is more established, many organizations only want to hire people who have a master’s degree in data science. Data scientists need a range of hard and soft skills in order to build a successful career.
Business Intelligence Analyst
For those who are fascinated by how data affects business performance, a career as a business intelligence analyst might be a great choice. This career is essentially a hybrid of consultant, data analyst, and business strategist. Business intelligence analysts work with historical data and help businesses with strategic planning by analyzing and extracting insight from these datasets. They are also responsible for keeping tabs on competitors and analyzing marketplace data to help the company gain a competitive edge.
As with other data science jobs, a degree in a related field, like computer science, statistics, business administration, or economics is the first stepping stone. After that, analysts need to continually hone their skills and keep up with what employers are looking for. That’s a business intelligence analyst’s first assignment—find a job using all the available data?
You Can’t Go Wrong with Data Science
If you want to get into the data science field, you can’t really go wrong. Salaries and growth remain strong, and it’s all a matter of choosing a career that suits you best. Choosing a career in data science is an investment in your future!