Science 8 min read

Data Scientist is America's Best Career for the Third Year Running

ESB Professional | Shutterstock

ESB Professional | Shutterstock

Once again, data scientists have reason to celebrate after receiving the title of America’s best career for the third year running.

The study, performed by, reviewed jobs according to three main factors: annual salary, job demand, and job satisfaction.

With Big Data proving itself to be one of the most important industries in the world today, data scientists are becoming one of the most sought after professionals on the American job market today.

Helped by the convergence of two other disruptive technologies, AI and Blockchain, Big Data has become one of the most central industries in finance, healthcare, and technology development.

Read More: As Big Data Management Becomes a Priority, IoT Becomes a Must

If you have the skills necessary for extracting, manipulating, and analyzing data sets, then you could be poised for the best career in America as a data scientist.

Not only it has been elected as the sexiest job in the 21st century, Data Scientist has also been deemed as the best career in America for the third year running.

Thanks to the explosion of Big Data and the Internet of Things, Data Scientists are emerging as a new breed of rare birds sought after across most industries, no matter how large or small.

Data Scientist is America’s best career for three consecutive years.Click To Tweet

Big Data: the Sinews of Digital war

Big Data is becoming, well, pretty big.

Big Data is creating a huge shift in the world, gradually transforming it into a densely connected global ecosystem made of people and connected objects, which feeds primarily on data.

Gartner claims that the 11 billion connected devices expected to be in use in 2018 could reach over 20 billion by 2020,

At 2.5 quintillion bytes a day, about 90% of all the data ever produced has been generated in the last two years alone.

According to a report from the research group IDC, by 2025, the world will be producing 163 zettabytes of data annually.

That’s ten times the amount of data created worldwide in 2016. In case you’re wondering, a zettabyte amounts to one trillion gigabytes.

The report estimates that 20% of this deluge of data will be critical to daily life, or as the report puts, will have “life and death implications”.

IDC also predicts that in 2025, enterprises will be responsible for the creation and management of 60% of global data, compared to 30% in 2015.

By enabling people and things to be connected more efficiently and delivering valuable data at the right time to inform decision-making, Big Data is a new source of economic value and innovation.

This global data-driven network promises a number of economic and societal opportunities as businesses start to see Big Data as an important source of economic growth.

According to a survey conducted by PwC, 39% of companies say their decision making is highly data-driven. Overall, 61% of companies acknowledge there’s room for improvement with their decision-making process being only somewhat or rarely data-driven.

Read More: 5 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Using Big Data

Companies are beginning to understand that to improve the quality of their products and services and remain competitive in the digital age, they must capitalize on Big Data by developing networks and renewing their processes.

To get to all this, companies have to recruit data experts to manage data collection and analysis.

Data Scientist is America’s Best Career for Three Consecutive Years

Big Data is the Best Career in America
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With the rise of IoT and true mobile, a career in Big Data is therefore not only a future vocation but an opportunity to seize right now.

Data scientists are becoming more and more courted, especially as data analytics now integrates with all departments. From production to marketing campaigns to sales optimization, data analysis and interpretation is becoming vital to every field of expertise.

Even though universities and schools are taking the initiative to educate students in data science and make up for the scarcity of data experts, they’re still in high demand on the market.

Glassdoor, the site which released this research, is a job search website and career platform that regularly releases reports about the best careers in the U.S., company reviews and ratings, and annual jobs ranking reports.

Glassdoor’s 2015 report put “physician assistant” as the best job in America.

The next year, and the year after, it was Data Science which took the prize. Now, for the third consecutive year, Data Scientist claimed the top spot as America’s best career in Glassdoor’s 2018 report.

Glassdoor’s Job Score takes into account three factors: number of open job positions, the median base annual salary, and job satisfaction.

Data Scientists earned the top score (4.8) based on the metrics below:

  • Number of Job Openings: 4,184
  • Median Base Salary: $110,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 4.4

The winners were followed in second place by three joint runner-ups: DevOps Engineer, Data Engineer, and Tax Manager with a joint score of 4.7. Rounding out the top five, Analytics Manager gets a 4.6 job score.

For the complete list of the 50 best jobs in America, look here.

Among Glassdoor’s list, there are five data science and analytics careers placed in these rankings: Data Scientist, Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, and Analytics Manager.

Overall, there are 15,820 open positions across these five data-related jobs.

There’s More Demand for Data Scientists Than Supply

Companies have come to recognize the power that could be leveraged from Big Data.

Among the sectors where data scientists are most sought after, aside from the obvious tech and gaming industry, there are also the retail, finance, and healthcare industries.

This focus of wealthy companies and corporations explains the shortage of data scientists and the fat paychecks dangled before them by companies.

Last year, LinkedIn conducted a study on the “emerging jobs” in the U.S. job market over a five year period (2012-2017).

According to LinkedIn’s report, there are currently around 35,000 data scientists in the U.S., but data scientist roles have grown 650% over the past five years.

There’s just more demand for data scientists than candidates.

LinkedIn reports that after Machine Learning, Data Science is the top emerging job that saw the most growth over that period.

As it stands, there are now 6.5 times more working data scientist than five years ago. Even with this enormous growth, there’s still no stopping the demand for their expertise.

The study also mentioned that the position of Big Data developer ranked as the fifth fastest-growing job, with 5.5 times more Big Data developers working today than five years ago.

How to Get the Best Career in America

According to IBM’s report, The Quant Crunch: How The Demand For Data Science Skills Is Disrupting The Job Market, there will be 2.7 million data-related job openings in the U.S. market by 2020.

If you want a career as a Data Scientist, it’s necessary to have solid knowledge in some key areas.

Data Scientists are responsible for developing solutions needed to pull relevant information from large datasets, thus they need specific skills in various fields.

Because Data Scientists have to deal with large amounts of data, they need excellent analytical skills and a solid foundation in mathematics, statistics, and other qualities like communication and creativity.

To qualify for the title of Data Scientist, you need some more prerequisites, such as computer programming skills.

In-depth knowledge of at least one programming language is also important. Python is the most used language, but there others like Java, C++, R, and SQL.

The position also requires Data Scientists to master analytical tools, such as SAS.

In addition to these basic requirements, there are other more advanced skills that ever hopeful candidate will need.

The perfect mastery of programming languages and software engineering alone just won’t do it. Data Scientists must also have a knowledge of Machine Learning techniques and models.

Data Scientists can also benefit from the ability to use some specialized platforms, such as Google Visualization API and Hadoop.

With all the above intellectual baggage Data Scientists need to have, their mission can be boiled down to five steps they have to accomplish using their skills and special algorithms.

These steps revolve around data classification, recognizing patterns and detecting anomalies, making predictions, categorizing datasets, and, finally, deciding on which actions to take next.

In all, there’s a reason why data scientists currently have the best career in America — they deserve it. As the realm of Big Data grows ever-larger, I’d put my money on next year’s results for America’s best career being no different.

Do you have any tips for up-and-coming Data Scientists?

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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