At The Data Incubator, we’re keen to help people develop data science skills. Many of our prospective students are excited to know what data science career prospects could open up with the skills they learn in our programs of study. The good news is that data science is a growing industry. An ever-increasing number of companies and organizations are realizing how data science can improve their productivity and help them to resolve problems. As a result, pursuing a career in data science can be the perfect path to a bright future.
If you want to start your learning journey right away, you can apply now to be considered for one of our fellowship programs. Otherwise, keep reading to find out more about the data science career prospects that could lie ahead for you.
Big Data Is the Next Big Thing
In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published an article that predicted a rapid growth in demand for mathematicians, statisticians and data scientists over the next decade. They predicted that the growth in demand for people who had the necessary skills to develop and analyze big data would far outpace the demand for other types of roles, leading to tens of thousands of new jobs being created for data scientists. They discuss a growing need for statisticians, data analysts and data scientists in a wide range of industries, including healthcare and finance, as well as in government roles
So are these predictions being borne out? As data scientists, we of course look to the data for our answer. Between May 2019 and May 2020, the employment of data scientists increased dramatically, even during an era when people were being laid off from other sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mean annual wages for data scientists also increased during this time, indicating the growing demand for professionals in this field.
Data Science Careers in the Post-COVID Era
The COVID-19 pandemic brought dramatic changes to daily life—and it was a pretty big deal in the world of data science too. Throughout the pandemic, governments and healthcare systems relied on big data analytics to drive their decisions—when is the right time to implement a lockdown? How can healthcare facilities manage the pressure on their services? What benefits and possible costs can vaccines bring? With so many unanswered questions, demand for people with data science skills soared higher than ever.
The bad news for the world is that COVID-19 is unlikely to be the last major pandemic that humanity faces. From bird flu to another novel coronavirus, a wide range of diseases threaten to mutate into variants that can rapidly spread between humans, potentially leading to outbreaks that disrupt daily life. While this prospect is a major headache for world leaders, for data science it is an opportunity. Drawing on the lessons learned during the recent pandemic, data scientists can spring into action to predict the spread of future diseases and inform policies that limit their impact.
Life as a Data Scientist
It is clear that data scientists will be in demand in the coming years and decades, but what is it like to work as one? Research shows that, on the whole, data scientists are pretty happy with their work, which offers excellent opportunities for advancement and salary increases, as well as flexibility for people who prefer or require alternative working schedules.
Data scientists are scientists first and foremost. If you have an inquiring, scientific mind that is always buzzing with questions, then data science is likely to be a great career for you. Instead of designing experiments in the lab, you’ll use data to find answers to the important questions of the day. It’s ideal if you are someone who is confident in their ability to get to grips with new technologies. If you already have some knowledge of coding, particularly in Python, then you’re off to a great start.
As data scientists are in demand in so many different industries, there is little risk of getting stuck in a boring job. Once you have gained the data science qualifications you need to break into this industry—which you can do right here at The Data Incubator—you can work in almost any sector you choose.
A Career in Data Science: How To Break-In
Perhaps you’ve already decided that a career in data science sounds perfect for your personality, but don’t know how to find your way in. Don’t worry—no matter what your background, it is possible for you to gain the skills you need to break into this exciting field of work.
First, you need to be ready to study. The Data Incubator offers both full-time and part-time study programs in data science and data engineering. If you already have a STEM degree and a passion for data, you can apply for our Data Science Fellowship. This is an intense program of study that will throw you straight into working with live code and real-world data sets to get you ready to take on any challenge that your future career might throw at you. Rest assured that you will have support from experienced instructors at all times.
Need a gentler introduction to the world of data science? If you are interested in data science but not yet used to coding in Python, then our Data Science Essentials course could be just what you need to break in. This is your first step on the ladder toward qualifying for further study and putting the data science career you want within reach.
Data Science Career Success Stories
In response to the rising demand for data scientists, many people are taking the opportunity to retrain and pursue careers in data science. Take Marcos Huerta, for example—an unemployed astrophysics PhD who had been getting by on contract work until 2017, when that work dried up. Having graduated in 2007, he wasn’t familiar with the latest data science tools, but he was able to draw on his skills and intelligence to get started with learning R, a language used for statistical analysis. In 2018, he applied to The Data Incubator, was accepted onto one of our fellowships and just eight weeks later got a job offer from online used car retailer CarMax—one of the most innovative and disruptive companies in the automotive industry.
There are countless other stories from people who have retained as data scientists and found success and satisfaction in their new careers.
The Bottom Line: How Much Does a Data Science Career Pay?
For some people, work is a deep and meaningful part of their identity. For others, although they might enjoy their jobs, work is primarily a way to provide for themselves and their families — and that’s okay! It’s understandable if you skipped straight to this section to find out about the financial rewards of data science — but please do go back and find out all about what being a data scientist entails.
In the meantime, here’s the cold, hard financial data you’ve been looking for. According to BLS data from 2020:
- The mean annual salary of a data scientist is $103,930.
- 90 percent of data scientists earn more than $52,950 per year.
- The top 10 percent of data scientists have annual salaries above $165,230.
If you’re keen to earn a six-figure salary, then data science is an excellent career to choose.
Already working in data science? The best way to improve your salary and your promotion prospects is to increase your skills. Stay up-to-date with the latest technological tools that data scientists use to handle and analyze data. Get to grips with the most relevant programming languages for data analysis, such as Python and R. Improve your data visualization skills so you can not only use data to answer questions, but also present your findings in a way that is easy to communicate to others.
Data Science Career Key Takeaways
The fact is that there are simply not enough data scientists in the US at the moment to fill all the vacant positions. If you have been looking for a career change, then this is the ideal opportunity to move into this growing and thriving field.
Here are the key reasons why you should pursue a career in data science:
- Data scientists are highly in demand in a range of industries.
- The average data scientist earns a salary of more than $100,000.
- Data science is a rapidly expanding field.
- You can develop the skills you need via a convenient program of study with The Data Incubator.