Careers in Data Science

Data science has become relevant to every company. There’s a war for this type of talent.”


The global business world is chomping at the bit to uncover valuable nuggets in all the enormous clouds of data their customers are producing. With the help of data scientists, companies can extract insights from consumer behavior, transactions, and market trends that were never before possible. The early adopters – tech pioneers like Google, Amazon, and Facebook – have seen tremendous gains from their use of data science, and now the rest of the Fortune 1000 are following suit.

In High Demand

The demand for qualified data scientists currently far outweighs the supply of available talent. Large corporations are making campus visits to find the next batch of upcoming big data experts as they graduate from competitive programs at American universities.

In five years, there are expected to be nearly half a million jobs in data science, plus a need for 1.5 million executives and senior managers who have an understanding of data. To keep up with employer demand, U.S. universities will need to boost the number of big data graduates by 60 percent, according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report.

Michael Chui, a principal at McKinsey who has studied the field extensively, recently spoke to The New York Times about the demand for data scientists in the United States. “Data science has become relevant to every company,” he said. “There’s a war for this type of talent.”

A Corporate Call to Arms

As much as corporations are looking to find hidden competitive advantages, they are also waving a white flag. There’s so much data in their clouds and servers, they need expert help sifting, sorting, extracting, and extrapolating it. Many of these companies have data analysts, computer programmers, and statisticians on board, but what they’re missing is the magician with the 20,000-foot view, the understanding of all related areas, who can bring it all together.

In an institutional role, a data scientist is needed to crunch the data, use mathematical models to analyze it, create visualizations to explain it, and, finally, suggest how to use the information to make business decisions.

The Golden Nugget

It’s because of data science that Netflix is telling us what movies we’d like to see and Amazon is telling us what products we should buy. It’s because of data science that companies are uncovering previously hidden glitches and problems that have held back productivity and efficiency. And it’s because of data science that a new wave of computer geniuses have their pick of exciting job opportunities.