Data science is a new field with great opportunities to make your mark. It combines mathematics, statistics, and programming to give you a very specific toolset that is instrumental and imperative in today’s world. You can work for private and public organizations alike. You can work for tech companies, banks, law firms, medical institutions, and anywhere in-between. Work for yourself, work in research, or work privately.
Every institution uses data and can benefit from hiring someone with a data science background. If you are looking for a new opportunity for your career, data science is the perfect place. You can transfer credits, learn programming, and then become a data scientist with an online master’s and start your very lucrative career in just a few short years.
What is Data Science?
Data science is a field that combines multiple fields to understand and extract meaningful insight from data sets. It uses programming, mathematics, and statistics in order to organize and extract this data and is also the key process behind many big ideas today like Big Data, AI, and machine learning.
What Does a Data Scientist Do?
There are multiple roles that a data scientist can apply for. The most relevant role is to create programs that will organize, sort, and then analyze the data to provide the business, organization, or government with actionable insights. The data they work with can range from the data produced by a single person or company all the way to the Big Data.
Data scientists commonly analyze the data to predict trends and identify patterns within the data, allowing businesses and organizations around the world to better understand where they have come from, and how they can improve.
What Job Roles Can a Data Scientist Apply For?
There are multiple roles that you can apply for as a data scientist.
Statisticians work to help businesses and organizations to collect their available data, organize it, and interpret it to unearth patterns to provide insights and solutions to the business’ problems. They earn around $72,100 USD per year.
2. Business Intelligence Analyst
Business Intelligence Analysts commonly work to improve operational effectiveness in a company. They improve data collaboration between departments, and also work to teach and lead different departments in data, company, and future trends. They earn an average $67,600 USD per year.
3. Data Analyst
Data analysts collect and analyze data to help solve specific problems. They often work for telecommunication companies, finance companies, utilities, and other large corporations that need a dedicated analyst to understand their data. They earn around $59,700 USD per year.
4. Data Engineer
Data engineers work with Big Data. They create, test, and manage tools to help understand and extract meaningful insights and actionable solutions from Big Data. They also work to define data retention policies and monitor current efforts to capture and analyze data. They work for big companies, and earn around $114,800 USD per year.
5. Database Administrator
Many big and medium, and even small companies have databases. Database administrators install, configure settings, monitor, and troubleshoot these databases to ensure that they are efficient and secure. They earn around $72,800 USD per year and often work in companies with very sensitive data, like medical institutions or law firms.
6. Data Architect
Data architects don’t just install and manage a system to monitor data, they design them. They are responsible for creating complete data strategies within the companies that they work for, and may even have other data scientists working underneath them to get high quality results. They earn around $115,800 USD per year, and often work for large organizations and businesses.
7. Machine Learning Engineer
A true AI is still a ways away, but machine learning is very possible and very useful for all types of businesses. Data scientists can and often do get involved with the design, creation, and management of machine learning software. These engineers often work for the largest tech companies, and earn around $111,600 USD per year.
How to Become a Data Scientist?
Data science is a very established field, but it is also very specific. The best way to become a data scientist is to pursue WPI’s online Masters in Data Science. Online degrees are the ideal way to further your career on your own schedule. 100% online, with built-in bridge courses available, online degrees are the perfect way to direct your career into data science. You need a bachelor’s degree in science, mathematics, or similar background. You will also need experience with a programming language, but these can be easily learned and practiced online in short courses, allowing you to build up the experience you need to become a data scientist at your own pace.
How to Further Your Career
Being qualified in data science is only the beginning. Like any career, you need to invest in your career, as well as your experience. Only when you adopt a proactive approach will you earn more than the median wage and become a leader in your field.
■ Continue to Learn
The general advice is to learn one new programming language per year. At the very least, you should know the top three or five programming languages. This will diversify the tools you can create, troubleshoot, and use. It will also better solidify your understanding and keep your knowledge up-to-date. The programming languages regularly update and become more complex. Not learning and keeping up with these changes can make your experience obsolete.
Networking is so important. It is how you will learn about the best opportunities and how you will be able to establish yourself in your field. Becoming a thought leader and having a name within data science that is recognized by others in your field will give you huge negotiating power when it comes to your wage and benefits.
Your career as a data scientist is just beginning. Adopt a lifelong learning approach, find a great online Master’s, and get started with a thriving career in data science!