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For three consecutive years, data science has been ranked as the number one job in the U.S. In fact, it has been reported that over the period of next five years, there will be a significant increase in the global demand of data scientists which will create 11.5 million job openings by 2026.
Indian companies are also largely adopting data analytics and data-based decision making, and as a result, there has been a steady increase in the demand of data scientists over the last year with India contributing to 6% of data science job openings worldwide. The number of available data science jobs in India increased by 42% in 2015, 52% in 2016, and almost doubled in 2017. Currently, close to 97,000 positions related to analytics and data science are vacant, out of which 97% of openings are full-time while 3% are contractual/part-time roles.
The Dearth of ‘Qualified’ Data Science Professionals
From healthcare to banking, retail, fashion, and pharma, not just in the technology sector but data science experts are required in every sector. Data science has important applications across most industries. For example, your purchase data is used by Amazon to customize your Amazon home page and suggest you relevant products. Similarly, agriculture production data is used by farming companies to define ways for most efficient growth and delivery.
With so much happening in the field of data science, pursuing a career in it is clearly a smart move. In addition to the fact that it is one of the highest paying jobs in India, data is also the pivot point where the entire economy is expected to turn in the coming years.
However, as many as 97000 positions in data science related field are vacant in the dearth of qualified talent. In order to break into these high paying, in-demand job roles, you need to have an advanced degree in a related field. While the most common field of study for data scientists includes Mathematics and Statistics (32%) followed by Computer Science (19%) and Engineering (16%), people with Bachelor’s degree in Computer science, Social sciences, Physical sciences, and Statistics are also preferred for the role.
It is important to note that a majority of data scientists are highly educated with 88% having at least a Master’s degree and 46% have PhDs as per the reports in KDnuggets, a leading site on Big Data.
While a Ph.D. or masters degree may not be the norm, but truth is that most aspiring data scientists undertake at least one or more online courses in a related field. A degree in any data science courses will give you the skills you need to process and analyze big data. Therefore, it is a good idea to enroll yourself in an online course in the field of Hadoop, Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Science, Mathematics, Astrophysics or any other related field. The skills you have learned during your degree program will enable you to easily transition to data science.
People Leading the Charge
Worldwide, the data science wave has been massive. And like any other technical trend, experts were quick to adopt as well as to explore and innovate in this technology. There are many celebrated and skillful data science experts who have not only made a difference to the organization they work with but have also positively impacted the data science arena across the globe. We pulled together the list of 5 amazing and influential data scientists worth following:
1) Bernard Marr
Twitter Profile - @BernardMarr
Recognized by LinkedIn as one of the world's top 5 business influencers and the No 1 influencer in the UK for 2018/2019, Bernard Marr is one of the world’s best technology expert pertaining to the intelligent use of data in business. Having authored more than 15 books and hundreds of high profile reports and articles, including the international best-sellers ‘ ‘Big Data in Practice’, 'Big Data', 'Key Business Analytics’, 'The Intelligent Company’, ‘Data Strategy’, and ‘Strategic Performance Management’, he is one of the world’s top business and technology influencers.
With over 1.3m followers on LinkedIn, over 160K fans on Facebook, and over 100k Twitter followers, Bernard is a major Social Media Influencer and actively engage with his follower on a regular basis. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and high-profile publications such as The Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, the CFO Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Currently, Bernard is working as a visiting professor for the Irish Management Institute, Oxford University, BPP, and ICAEW. He also has a seat on the dean's council for Lancaster University Management School.
2) John Elder
Twitter Profile - @johnelder4
Author of several books, such as the Handbook of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications, Ensemble Methods in Data Mining, and Practical Text Mining, John Elder is an entrepreneur, an adjunct professor, a YouTuber, and a frequent keynote speaker.
He is the founder of Elder Research, Inc., America’s largest and the most experienced data mining consultancy firm. Ph.D. with degrees from Rice and UVA, he is an Adjunct Professor who takes classes on the optimization of data mining at the University of Virginia. He through his consultancy firm has solved hundreds of challenges for commercial and government clients and has been nominated by President Bush to serve a panel that guided technology for national security.
To know more about John’s work, get free data science tutorials and to follow his presentations, visit his YouTube page here.
3) Kira Radinsky
Twitter Profile @KiraRadinsky
Working as the director of data science at eBay, Kira Radinsky is also the founder and CTO at SalesPredict, where she leads the research and development of predictive data mining algorithms and external dynamics to revolutionalize the way companies do business. She is a regular writer about the application of Predictive Analytics at her blog as well as for Harvard Business Review. She is also a renowned speaker at the world's leading data mining conferences, WWW, SIGIR, AAAI and WSDM and many of her talks can be found on YouTube.
She has won many awards for predictive analysis as well as for her contribution to the field of data science. Kira is recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30 as a rising star of enterprise technology. To know more about her and her research work, follow her on LinkedIn.
4)John Myles White
Twitter Profile @Johnmyleswhite
John Myles White is a data engineer at Facebook. He is one of the youngest achievers in the field of data science with a high level of expertise in machine learning, statistics, data science, and the R programming language for statistics. He has authored several books on machine learning, such as Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization, Machine Learning for Hackers, and Machine Learning for Email. All his books are dedicated to making machine learning easier for developers and hackers alike. Currently, he is focusing on his research on decision theory where he is trying to understand both how people make decisions and how they should make decisions.
You can find his work and other related presentations on YouTube.
5) Hilary Mason
Twitter Profile @hmason
Hilary Mason is a renowned data scientist and the founder of Fast Forward Labs, which was acquired by Cloudera in 2017. Hilary is the new vice president of research at Cloudera. She has also served as chief scientist at Bitly, Inc. and was a consultant data scientist at Accel. In 2010, she co-founded HackNY and is a prominent member of NYCResistor.
Hilary has received numerous accolades during her career including the TechFellows Engineering Leadership award in 2012 worth $100,000 as well as a citation by Fortune in its 40 Under 40 list. She was interviewed by TechRepublic, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Programmable Web, and many others. She is also a popular social media influencer and has a large follower base on LinkedIn. She enjoys speaking on data science-related topics and you can find many of her presentations on YouTube.
What made these people extraordinary is their immense passion and dedication towards learning and exploring data science. Their continuous effort and quest to do work that can make a difference in other people’s lives. For someone who is passionate about data science and wants to make a mark in the field, opting for online courses in data science and the related field is the best way to begin.