Top three reasons to become a data scientist

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Data science is hot. You've undoubtedly heard a lot about the field and the role of the data scientist, now it's time to learn more. So, here are the top three reasons to become a data scientist.

1 – For the enjoyment of creating and building new “things”

No, data scientists do not build buildings, bridges or cars, but we do build models that can be used to facilitate self-driving cars, uncover fraud or even classify morphologies of distant galaxies.  The models we build are solutions to problems and the problems themselves are no more than difficult puzzles.  If you enjoy solving puzzles or driving the frontier of discovery, then data science is the career for you.

2 - To develop highly technical skill sets including predictive modeling, forecasting, text mining, optimization modeling and design of experiments

Data scientists leverage these technical skills to do three things really well.  They validate known knowns, solve for known unknowns and discover the unknown unknowns.  Known knowns is knowledge considered to be industry consensus.  Validating industry assumptions in your data is the first part of an analysis and is an important approach to mitigating wasted effort.  The known unknowns are the problems for which a data scientist is charged to solve or predict.  For example, predicting whether or not an insurance claim is fraudulent.  Finally, the unknown unknowns are the pieces of information that are discovered during the analysis and are the diamonds in the rough, if you will.  These are unexpected pieces of information that are uncovered and can be used to inform the decision making process.   When a data scientist solves a puzzle, they’re typically looking for a solution to a known unknown.  Two common known unknowns are prediction and evaluation.

3 – To improve your human capital and increase your earning potential

Data scientists have a wide variety of skill sets that can leverage data and information to solve a multitude of problems.  We’ve seen an exponential growth in data since the early 2000s.  In 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt estimated that “every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.”  We’re also seeing increased demand for data scientists that tracks well with the increase in data.  An increase in the demand for a skill will place an upward pressure on the wages for that skill.

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Ready to learn more? View the short video below and make plans to attend our upcoming Lunch and Learn, Dec. 11, 2018 (or watch the on-demand version after this date). Register for or view webinar.

reasons to become a data scientist

Find out more about the SAS Academy for Data Science.

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About Author

Robert Blanchard

Senior Data Scientist

Robert Blanchard is a Senior Data Scientist at SAS where he builds end-to-end artificial intelligence applications. He also researches, consults, and teaches machine learning with an emphasis on deep learning and computer vision for SAS.

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