The expertise of skilled data scientists is becoming a hot commodity. Emerging from the need to analyze and utilize enormous amounts of data more effectively, companies are turning to data scientists to unlock the power of big data. Data scientists should have a broad-based understanding of business and data analytics capabilities and a working knowledge of related IT applications. In addition, they need strong communication skills to deliver their findings to all levels within an organization. Current IT professionals, students and career-changers thinking about entering this growing field should consider the following:
Traditionally, a data analyst looks at data from one source or through one or two different business applications. Today’s in-demand data scientists look at data across multiple divisions and platforms to gain a more holistic view of where a company can make competitive improvements. Data scientists are not only highly skilled IT partners, but are also innovative thinkers that are able to glean fresh perspectives from data trends that might not be immediately obvious.
Data scientists may also understand trends in business and be able to compare company data with industry indicators that can help direct growth efforts. Data scientists can structure data into reports and other formats that employees across divisions may find accessible and meaningful.
Organizations are often looking for data scientists to assist them in reaching aggressive performance goals. For savvy IT professionals, this could be a great opportunity to develop valuable niche-market skills. Some of the different avenues of entrance into this developing field can include:
The combination of skills needed and software experience expected may vary from organization to organization. For professionals interested in developing expertise and securing jobs as data scientists, one of the most important skills is to possess is an understanding of the software tools that are available to interpret data trends that can help companies increase effectiveness and profits.
There are many modes of entry into this field and the ability to get the job done quickly and effectively can help promote a reputation among industry leaders. At the same time, there are key elements to keep in mind when building a résumé for a job as a data scientist. Some of these important factors include:
A well-rounded résumé that demonstrates a variety of skills and training may help secure a job in this competitive job field.
The global management firm McKinsey & Company recently reported a projected shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists by 2018. This represents a 50-to-60% talent gap to meet projected demands. For IT managers and other business leaders looking to break into this career path, a strong foundation of skill-based training and a working knowledge of key software tools may be beneficial to professionals looking to secure a quality position in this competitive field.