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Careers In Data Science

It’s the “sexiest job of the 21st century,” according to the Harvard Business Review. And The New York Times says that data science “promises to revolutionize industries from business to government, health care to academia.” Companies today are drowning under a tidal wave of data they are struggling to manage. Lack of time and expertise limits the ability to effectively extract, evaluate, and utilize relevant data to optimize value. The evolving field of data science is emerging as a cross-section of expertise that include social science, statistics, information and computer science, and design. It offers a solution to the data mining dilemma and exciting career opportunities for those pioneers who want to be part of something completely new. Here are just a few of the career opportunities available in data science:

Predictive Forensics

The specialty of predictive forensics uses data to prevent crime by determining factors such as most likely locations for criminal activity, predicted time periods for occurrence, and exploration of preventative measures to stop it. Sometimes referred to as “predictive policing,” it’s making a difference in cities like Seattle, where property crimes have dropped by as much as 19 percent in the past year.

Health Care Researcher

From tracking pandemic outbreaks through social media to determining the genetic patterns of cancer, data scientists in health care are making a huge impact on the lives of millions. According to Dr. Frank Speidel, “Beyond clinical, physiologic metrics, we ought to also capture the data of all that affects the patient. Much of this expanded data will be unstructured such as is present in social network data sets or quantified but predicted such as weather reports and pollen counts.”

E-Commerce Analyst

Apple is notorious for its ability to predict what future consumers will buy. Wal-Mart uses social media analysis to develop new products, and CVS is using data to stock stores and determine product locations based on the needs of specific types of customers. E-commerce analysts help companies do all of this and more, like evaluating retail platforms to determine which products are selling the best, the worst, and how to change unacceptable trends.

Urban Planner

Ever wonder who determines which streets get stoplights and which get signs? Using data such as accident rates, speed limits, and frequency of fatalities at certain locations, analysts in urban planning help make these decisions. These data scientists improve the urban environment through analysis and application of a wide variety of data — from tourism statistics to street flooding patterns, and even which of the 2.5 million trees in New York City should be pruned and when. Opportunities in data science are becoming more and more prevalent. Those described here are just a few of the many careers within this emerging field in which “science” continues to be redefined. This article was written by Social Brand Manager, Jenna Dutcher on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U – an education-technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the UC Berkeley School of Information (I School) to offer a Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) degree. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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