In 2012, Harvard Business Review famously named data scientist as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” due to the growing demand for the role. Since then, data scientists and related positions have consistently topped the best jobs lists in the US. A decade later, data scientists are still in high demand, ranking third on the Best Technology Jobs list.
So, what exactly makes it so appealing?
Is a Data Science Career Worth Pursuing?
To understand what makes data science worth pursuing, we sat down with Vicki Aubin, senior manager of data science career coaching at Flatiron School. Having helped hundreds of students launch their data science careers, Aubin highlights three reasons why everyone should consider the field.
Strong Demand Across Industries
With companies becoming more data-driven, hiring for data scientists and other data-related roles is only expected to continue. As Aubin shares, “The demand for data science-skilled professionals continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The World Economic Forum estimates that 2022 will see data scientists and analysts ranked number one worldwide.”
This growth will not be limited to the IT industry. Multiple sectors are in need of data experts who can help business leaders make smarter decisions. Sectors such as finance, healthcare, retail, media, and transportation, for instance, are among those that are hiring the most data scientists right now.
“In other words, data professionals have a wide—almost unlimited—choice of direction to take their career,” says Aubin.
“For example, did they previously work for a certain industry or company and want to contribute their data science skills in that same area moving forward? Or is there a certain impact they want to make or a problem they want to solve in the world through their data science skill set? Data science skills can be applied in so many ways that the possibilities are almost endless.”
Great Potential for Career Growth
Companies are continuing to recognize new ways to integrate data into their organizations. “This means that we will continue to see more different types of roles emerge that utilize a data science skill set,” says Aubin.
Traditionally, data science graduates could only expect to hold jobs as data scientists, data analysts, or data engineers. “However, the continuing demand for data professionals and the rise of data are reshaping a new class of cross-functional and hybrid data roles and job titles within companies,” Aubin shares.
Now, other roles are available to data science professionals, including marketing analyst, data product development, and machine learning engineers, to name a few. These roles increasingly serve essential and unique functions within organizations, companies, and the digital economy.
As of August 31, 2022, PayScale reports that data scientists in the US earn an average salary of $97,680, significantly higher than the national average at $54,132 (as of the second quarter of 2022). As you gain more experience, you can pocket as high as $136,000.
Flatiron School offers a comprehensive Data Science program that builds the crucial skills you need to launch your Data Science career in 15 weeks.Learn more about the program here.
Top Five Data Science Careers Today
There’s no single career path that leads to data science. Many people in data science come from diverse industries, ranging from education, management and the medical field to name just a few. As the data science industry continues to grow, many opportunities are opening up for data science professionals.
Read on as we list the top five data science careers you can choose from, as well as their average salaries as of September 21, 2022.
1. Data Analyst
A data analyst collects, studies, and analyzes structured data to identify patterns or correlations. They collate their findings and present them to stakeholders using reports and visualizations, which are then used to formulate strategic decisions. Common tools used by data analysts include SQL, R, Google BigQuery and statistical analysis.
Average US salary: $63,509
Data scientists clean large data sets, build predictive models, and create machine learning algorithms to answer complex problems, such as understanding consumer and market trends and predicting new opportunities for revenue.
Average US salary: $97,665
3. Data Engineer
A data engineer designs, builds, and optimizes systems for collecting, validating, and storing data. They also create data pipelines used by other members of the data team, such as data scientists. Data engineers are also often tasked with finding trends in data sets and developing data products and services that make data meaningful and helpful to an organization.
Average US salary: $93,623
4. Machine Learning (ML) Engineer
An ML engineer builds and develops AI software responsible for machine learning. ML engineers implement machine learning algorithms and run AI systems that leverage data sets to generate and develop algorithms capable of learning and making predictions. They work with Python, Java, and R, among others. An ML Engineer position is considered a senior role in data science.
Average US salary: $112,476
5. Data Architect
A data architect analyzes the data needs of an organization and is in charge of building and maintaining a company’s secure databases. They also work with database administrators and analysts, create database solutions, and prepare design reports. A data architect is also considered a senior role in data science.
Average US salary: $123,754
Now that you know the benefits of becoming a data scientist and the career paths you can pursue, we answer the next question: where exactly can you gain the skills you need to break into the world of data science?
The short answer: Flatiron School.
Start Your Data Science Career with Flatiron School
Data science is a booming field that offers plenty of opportunities for those looking for career growth, good job prospects, and financial stability. Fortunately, you do not need a degree to break into the field.
Flatiron School offers a short-term but intensive Data Science program that can equip you with the foundational skills to jumpstart your career in the field. What’s more, the program gives you full control on how, when, and where you should learn.
Depending on your availability, you can take the program full-time over 15 weeks or opt for a more flexible schedule, allowing you to complete the program in 40 weeks. Adding to its flexibility, the program is also delivered in two learning modes: online and on campus in New York City. That means you have the choice to learn with peers in a classroom setting or learn in a silo from the comforts of your home.
Expect to learn the following from the Data Science program:
- How to use Python and SQL to distill datasets into actionable insights
- NumPy and pandas to create reproducible data reports
- Machine learning fundamentals and advanced machine learning
Aside from the vital technical and soft skills training, Flatiron School’s Career Services Team also plays a significant role in the success of its students. Students gain access to career workshops, resources, and other activities that teach job readiness skills before they graduate.
These workshops cover crucial topics such as building your identity and brand as a tech professional, resume writing, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and networking. Every Flatiron School graduate is also eligible for 1:1 career coaching from a dedicated coach to support them in their career endeavors.
With the combination of the new skills gained and the full support from Career Services, Flatiron School graduates are ready to find success in the field of data science.
If you want to start working towards your career in data, learn more about Flatiron School’s Data Science program here.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.