Data Scientist: the “sexiest job” of the 21st century
Original article in Greek by Marios Anastasiou
Translated by Dafni Manti
It’s not what it sounds like! The term “sexy” has to do with the potential of the data scientist profession. “The what?” one might ask. The answer is provided in this article, whose title is inspired by a quote.
This was a quote from Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, in the Harvard Business Review. Here Varian expresses his appreciation for the profession of data science, highlighting the multitude of job opportunities ,thus drawing attention to this new career path. Recently, executives from other large companies (such as LinkedIn, Netflix, Facebook and General Electric) have also praised the key contribution of data scientists within the business world.
What does it mean to be a data analyst?
The task of data scientists is, firstly, to control, organize and process data (e.g. a company’s sales statistics ). They then proceed to form conclusions and solutions based on the data, their own insights and expertise. Let’s focus on one more statement, that of Scott Belivau, an executive of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Belivau describes data scientists as scientists who use data (numerical or other) to understand and solve economic, social, and political problems. This statement alone shows how crucial data analysts can be for the growth of any company or organization.
Skills and qualifications
What hard skills does one need to become a data scientist? It is useful to have a basic understanding of programming languages, but they also need some mathematical background and basic knowledge of economics. That’s why data scientists are often computer science graduates, and also come also from other schools, such as economics, science or even political science.
Nevertheless, technical knowledge is not sufficient to become a data scientist. Anyone aiming to stand out in this field is expected to have specific soft skills: creativity, analytical and strategic thinking, communication skills and a willingness to delve deeper into the root causes of patterns and trends. A data scientist is required to fully understand the needs of their employers and customers. In order to meet these needs, they must leverage existing data in a creative way.
A profession with potential
So if you think you have what it takes to be a data scientist, it’s worth a try! This is an emerging profession, with great opportunities for growth and is often handsomely paid. This type of work is both interesting and creative.
It is not only the profession of the future but of the present as well.