Featured Image Caption: Career in Data Science
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Media today is intermittently raising issues regarding large scale job loss in sectors which were the mainstream of the Indian economy for the past 15-20 years. Particularly impacted are the IT, Telecom, Financial Services and Manufacturing sectors.
Thousands upon thousands of people are rapidly becoming redundant either due to inefficiencies of the businesses that they were working for (like Snapdeal) or due to massive adoption of automation in various business functions and sectors.
This situation bodes well to reflect on the past as well as the future of the job scenario and skills that are going to be in demand in the times to come and will also in some way be shock proof.
Let’s take a look at some numbers:
- The internet is more than 45 years old as a Technology.
- There are more than 8.7 billion devices connected to the internet.
- In 2016, for the first time in the history of mankind, the population of Smart phones exceeded that of human beings on planet earth.
- Enterprise generated data will exceed 240 exabytes per day by 2020! (1 exabyte = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes)
- Add social data to the above number and the scale becomes truly mind boggling!
It is no wonder then that thought leaders like David Buckingham are calling Data as the new Oil. All this tonnes upon mega tonnes of Data that is getting generated needs to be looked at as a precious resource. That’s where Data Scientists swing into action.
Data alone amounts to nothing. Like oil, we need to find it, extract it, refine it, distribute it and monetize it. Since this is no mean task, the Harvard Business Review has named Data Scientist as the sexiest job of the 21st Century!
What exactly is Data Science?
Data Sciences as a field of specialization is also not very new. It has been evolving since the past 20 odd years. But the 21st century has created the perfect conditions for it to come of its own.
Enterprise generated data has always been important for businesses. But the tools, techniques and technologies to leverage it for maximum potential have now reached a stage and scale for the world to sit up and take notice.
In short, Data Science is the application of Computer Technology, Statistics and Domain Knowledge to solve business problems and to aid efficient and effective decision making.
The below chart shows the evolution of how data has been viewed and dealt with over time,
And thus, the skillsets required to be a competent Data Scientist also started to assume importance with time.
So, who exactly is a Data Scientist? A Data Scientist is no less than a Superhero.
Over a period of time, practicing Data Scientists have come up with Venn Diagrams of mandatory skills required to be a good Data Scientist. But in the current scenario no other diagram depicts a Data Scientist’s superpowers better than the one given by Stephen Kolassa.
I have taken the liberty to add real world skills to the same for easy comprehension of anybody wanting to take up Data Sciences as a career or for mid-career professionals wanting to reboot their career towards a more fulfilling and rewarding domain.
Looks freakishly awesome doesn’t it?
That’s the reason there are more than 1.1 million jobs in Data Sciences in 2017 alone! Starting salaries are atleast 40-50% higher than any other stream of professionals. And the good news is, the future looks brighter and bolder!
With the internet of things becoming a reality and more and more push given by Governments, Corporations and Businesses to adopt Digital solutions and mediums, the Data Gold Rush has just about started.
The World Economic Forum in collaboration with Business Insider has placed Data Scientists at the top of the set of skilled professionals that will dominate the work and business space in the leading 14 economies of the world.
So, don’t just fret about a dead end job or a non-starter career. Start your self education today, it is much easier than it looks and a large amount of information and training programs are easily available on the internet.
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