Data scientist proves to be the top job in America, again. The Harvard Business Review named it, “the sexist job of the 21st century” back in 2012. Then earlier this week, recruiting website Glassdoor released its annual ranking of the 50 best jobs in America; of particular interest, the 17 best jobs that pay over $100,000. On both Glassdoor lists, data scientist was ranked No. 1.
Data scientist was reported to have a median base salary of $110,000 and a job satisfaction rating of 4.4 (out of 5). Glassdoor estimates that there are roughly 4,184 current job openings for the position, a good sign for job seekers. In addition to the handsome paycheck and high levels of job satisfaction, data scientists can often work and play in top metropolitan cities, such as New York, Chicago, Seattle, the Bay Area, Honolulu and right here in Irvine.
Data science is often a misunderstood, disregarded as a position that works with Excel spredsheets or a last-ditch effort by companies to gain insights from social data; however, data science is neither of these. In fact, data science is an interdisciplinary area of study with a dual emphasis on statistics (and mathematical aspects of data analysis) and computer science (including algorithms, data structures, data management and machine learning). Data scientists use statistical and computing principles to analyze raw data, both big and small, and then process, organize and structure it into meaningful information for industry.
Until recently, curating the right skills to fit into this position was a labor unto itself. Then three years ago UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences launched the only undergraduate data science degree in the UC system. Today the major prepares students for a career in data analysis, combining foundational statistical concepts with computational principles from computer science. More information about the B.S. in data science can be found here.