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How to Become a Data Scientist

Is Data Science a Good Career?

Ready to start your career in Data? Find out more about BrainStation's Data Science Bootcamp

Yes, data science is a very good career with tremendous opportunities for advancement in the future. Already, demand is high, salaries are competitive, and the perks are numerous – which is why Data Scientist has been called "the most promising career" by LinkedIn and the "best job in America" by Glassdoor.

Back in 2009, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian told the McKinsey Quarterly that “the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.” As odd as it might seem to use the words “sexy” and “statisticians” in the same sentence, he was right. Ten years later, we’re inundated by data—2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day, and much of that data is just waiting to be put to good use. According to researchers from MIT, “companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision-making were, on average, five percent more productive and six percent more profitable than their competitors”—a significant margin when it hits the bottom line.

All that to say while things are relative (data science comes with its challenges, after all), Data Scientists can expect to be in a very comfortable position well into the future.

Is Data Science in Demand?

Yes, data science jobs are some of the fastest-growing, most in-demand in technology. Since 2012, Data Scientist roles have increased by 650 percent, and this rise shows no sign of stopping. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for data science skills will increase another 27.9 percent by 2026. And, according to a report from McKinsey, that spells a shortage of between 140,000 and 190,000 people with analytical skills in the U.S. alone—not to mention another 1.5 million managers and analysts who will be required to understand how data analysis drives decision-making.

Data Scientist salaries have also risen with demand; Data Scientists can typically expect to make six figures. Demand also translates into an ability to relocate far more easily—from city to city, and even internationally.

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