Yamila Saiegh, July 10, 2020 | 3 min read

Data Science: The humans behind machine learning

Data Science was recently ranked #3 in Linkedin’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report – 37% annual growth to be exact.          But what is Data Science, anyway, and why are so many companies looking for this skill set? 

As companies and organizations seek to be better, faster, and smarter, they look to data as a quantifiable way to make strategic decisions. To accomplish these goals, they turn to data scientists to help establish what type of data to collect, how to collect it, and what to do with it once they have it. This process enables an organization to make data-driven decisions and positively impact the trajectory of the company. The need for data scientists spans industries, creating a competitive advantage and job security for talent.

Data science can be broken down into five stages of the lifecycle process:

Image courtesy of Berkeley School of Information

Whether specializing in one step of the process or building an all-encompassing skill set, there is an exponential amount of growth potential within the world of data science. Each individual stage requires a unique set of skills, techniques, and processes, and further benefits from additional knowledge in areas like statistics, computing, and data engineering. As the volume and complexity of data continues to grow, data scientists are also beginning to rely more on artificial intelligence to help manage the process. 


What does a data scientist’s job consist of?

The quick version is that data scientists work with data (a lot of it) to organize, interpret, analyze, strategize, and help implement changes based on the results that they find. Think machine learning models, reporting, dashboard creation, filters, analysis, robotics, and more. Some great (real-world) case study examples are Spotify’s “This Is” Playlists and Gramener and Microsoft AI for Earth help augment fish identification by 73% accuracy.


But is it for you?

Let’s start with – there aren’t enough data scientists to meet the growing demand in the market. LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue was quoted as saying “There are very few data scientists out there passing out their resumes. Data scientists are almost all already employed, because they’re so much in demand.”

Have you ever built a data model for fun? Do you nerd out over a well-built spreadsheet? If you’re someone who likes to solve puzzles, do math problems, and ask a ton of questions – data science might be a great path for you. In addition to experience with algebra, computer science, and data analytics, data scientists benefit most by being curious, result-oriented problem solvers. They work with both technical and non-technical teams and must be able to communicate and work cross-functionally. 

Data Scientist was ranked the number one job in America by Glassdoor for four years straight, from 2016 to 2019. Recent statistics show a median base salary of over $100,000 with more than 6,500 open roles available on Glassdoor currently. The demand and value of a data science skill set is projected to continue growing as more tools get introduced and companies grow in their data needs. 



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The tech workforce and Data Science alike continue to adapt and change in response to the needs of companies in pursuit of growth. At Tech Talent South, we work hard to connect companies and candidates with the resources they need to grow and thrive. Our inboxes are always open and we hope to connect with you soon!