America’s most in-demand job right now is data scientist, according to industry analysts. Job postings for the positions rose 75% from January 2015 to January of this year at online job board Indeed.com.
Average salaries are about $119,000 and rise as high as $168,000 according to Robert Half Technology, a staffing agency. Some Ph.D candidates can earn as much as $300,000 from consulting firms.
A growing niche within the field is something called “sentiment analysis,” or being able to quantify how many people are posting positive or negative opinions about your brand or company.
Another common specialty is creating “recommendation engines” – programs that try to predict what and from where an individual’s next purchase will be.
There is such a demand for practitioners in the field in fact, that companies are scrambling to help colleges and universities with course projects.
Equifax, the giant credit-rating agency, was one of eleven companies that worked in conjunction with Cornell University this year. The company provided Cornell with an inordinate amount of data, scrubbed of personally identifiable information. The goal of the project, ostensibly, was to help determine which bill – mortgage, car or phone – an individual pays first.
The unstated goal for Equifax was building relationships with prospective candidates before they graduate and enter the job market.
“It used to be that if you were a mathematician you became a teacher, and then you became a geologist because your knowledge helped find oil, and then you went over to Wall Street,” said Digital Analytics Association Chairman Jim Sterne. “And now, the quote is, the best minds of our generation are being put to work in advertising.”
Photo by geralt via Pixabay