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Data Science Career Path: The Future Looks Bright

Forbes named data scientist as the "best job to pursue in 2016”1, while the Harvard Business Review called it "the sexiest job of the 21st century"2. According to Forbes, data scientists have some of the best job choices in the U.S., based on the number of available career opportunities and the average salary in the field. 

Learn more about some of the available data science career paths, along with salary information and an overview of some of the emerging trends in the field. 

Trending in Big Business

Big data is big for business. Many experts forecast that data volumes will continue growing, methods for analyzing that data will improve and more analysis tools will emerge.3 As more businesses become aware of the importance of data-driven decisions, expect to see more hiring and more team creation across the board. As tech companies like Facebook and Apple age, they may experience a turnover in talent looking for new opportunities, which could increase demand in the job market.4 

Career Paths and Skills in Data Science

Data scientists typically have skills in software development, predictive analytics, database systems, and statistics. This makes the position a hybrid of sorts between a computer scientist and a statistician, which opens many career possibilities.5 According to Data Science Central, many data scientist careers are determined based on individual strengths and interests in areas including:

  • Mathematics: Business optimization, astronomy or the federal government 
  • Data engineering: Data plumbing, database or systems optimization, Hadoop or Analytics as a Service
  • Business: Business analysts related to Return-On-Investment optimization, dashboard design and high-level database design
  • Statistics: Developing new statistics-related theories for big data, including experimental design, data reduction and statistical modeling6

Data Science Salary

Given the wide range of roles a data scientist can take, the salary can vary widely depending on the sector in which you work. 

  • Entry-level data scientists earn an average of $88,344 annually7
  • Mid-level data scientists earn an average of $92,000 annually8
  • Senior-level data scientists earn an average of $127,085 annually9

Data Scientist Careers: Generalists vs. Specialists

Generalists often add optimal value to startups and young companies that need someone with a broad range of skills. Generalists need to have competent data skills, a strong STEM background and a good breadth of data skills. 

Specialists are next-level game changers for established businesses who need candidates with specific skill sets and the ability to improve upon established products and practices.10 Specialties include: 

  • Clinical data analyst
  • Healthcare compliance analyst11
  • Bioinformatist
  • Marketing analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Data security specialist
  • Statistician12

Learn More About a Career in Data Science

Do you want to learn more about how to analyze big data and use that information to improve processes and products? Become an expert in the field and advance your career with an online Master of Science in Data Science from Lewis University. Learn at your own pace and choose from two specialized concentrations: Computer Science or Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. 

To learn more about Lewis University’s online programs can help you take your career to the next level call (866) 967-7046 to speak with a Graduate Admissions Counselors or request for more information.

References

1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/04/14/the-best-jobs-in-2016/#7c0fad274f67  
2 https://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the-21st-century 
3http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/03/15/17-predictions-about-the-future-of-big-data-everyone-should-read/#4b0fbb0a157c4 http://www.burtchworks.com/2016/02/08/predictions-for-the-2016-analytics-data-science-hiring-market/
5https://www.springboard.com/blog/data-science-career-paths-different-roles-industry/
6http://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/six-categories-of-data-scientists
7http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Data_Scientist,_IT/Salary/aa9fc1a6/Entry-Level
8http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Data_Scientist,_IT/Salary
9http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Senior_Data_Scientist,_IT/Salary
10https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/data-scientists-generalists-or-specialists
11http://online.lewisu.edu/msds/bioinformatics-concentration/career-outlook
12http://online.lewisu.edu/msds/computer-science-concentration/career-outlook