The Top Career Pathways for a Data Science Degree
Are you the type that can’t seem to get enough of statistics, numbers, and data? Has the idea of collecting and analyzing information always appealed to you and been something you excel in? If so, it may have been a natural move to obtain your Data Science degree, as it speaks to your interests and your natural skills. But getting that degree is just part of the process as you work towards finding the perfect job.
Although it puts you in a great position and helps you get noticed by potential employers, something precisely does yourself plan on making with that data science degree?
Here we will look at any of the numerous popular career pathways to embark on once you have your data science degree. Each job will use your education and skills and provide a unique work environment, challenges, and rewards.
1. Data Scientist
That is possibly one of the common ways to take with your data science degree, and it could very well be precisely what you have in mind. According to the Indeed Career Guide, data scientists average $122,338/year, which will vary based on the employer, skill level, industry, and job location.
Doing a data scientist will be your job to compile, make sense of, and analyze all kinds of data – often in vast quantities at a time. This takes a strategic and trained mind, and you need to have a robust eye for detail.
2. Machine Learning Engineer
A machine learning engineer’s career may sound quite high-tech and even a bit futuristic, but this isn’t a new role. In this job, it will be up to you to put together data funnels and then give your client or employer software solutions that address their needs.
This means that you need to understand big data and have that analytical mind; you also need to have software engineering and programming skills. In other words, this is a very advanced job.
Unfortunately, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t give machine learning engineers their category. Still, due to the skills, job requirements, and the educational backing, you can expect a mean salary of just over $111,000 (as per PayScale).
The fact that this combines information research and computer research makes it all the more in-demand and is a field that can expect some real growth in the next few years.
3. Applications Architect
Here’s an exciting career that will have you working with a variety of applications. It will be up to you to design the actual application’s architecture, right down to the infrastructure and interface, and then track how it is used.
It’s not enough to build it; you also need to analyze how it works, how people are using it, and how it interacts with other critical applications. This is a highly technical position, and because of the reliance on various applications by companies of all sizes, you can expect this career to grow in demand.
4. Data Architect
A data architect may not be the job you are used to hearing about, but this can prove to be a fascinating path to follow in reality.
Once again, it makes use of your degree as it will be up to you to design analytics applications that are meant to be used in a variety of ways, and across a variety of platforms. In other words, you are designing and creating a database system for your company or client.
This also means you can work for a private company, in a large corporation, or even open up your consultancy.
5. Data Analyst
Just as the job title implies, as a data analyst, it will be your job to practice data analysis tools to create knowledge of raw data. This data is then used to help shape the company’s direction and the decisions it needs to make.
Some of the things you may be working on in this job include removing corrupted data, using various computerized tools and models to extra data, putting together reports, and doing a complete analysis of data.
Data analysts are employed by manufacturers, banks, colleges and universities, consultancies, software development companies, and so much more.
6. Data Engineer
A data engineer is probably one of the most well-known jobs that use your data science degree. Most people have probably heard of this career path, but that doesn’t mean they fully understand what it involves.
A data engineer is responsible for real-time processing, or what’s called batch processing, to be conducted on data that has been stored. Among other things, it will be up to you to make sure that the data is readily available for those that need it when they need it.
Here’s a growing field at the moment; in fact, the US Bureau of Labor predicts statisticians’ domain to grow by 33.8% by the year 2026. It’s always good news to hear that the field you have your eye on is growing, thereby offering employment opportunities. As for the median pay, it was listed at $92,030 as of 2019.
In this position, it would be your responsibility to analyze data and then use mathematical practices and techniques to make sense of the data and solve questions.
If you’re wondering where you could work, the research and development fields are the biggest employers of statisticians. This R&D spans across the life sciences, engineering, and physical industries.
8. Business Intelligence Developer
Should you always wonder what goes into the business-making decision in various companies? Where do they get their information from, who decides, what is that decision based on? A business intelligence developer can undoubtedly help to answer these questions.
As a business intelligence officer, it will be up to you to put together the ideal strategy for your client to find any data or information they want quickly and easily. This means designing and creating the system.
9. Information Officer
Here’s a fancy title that sums up that of a data officer. You will be maintaining, managing, and organizing a database with digital tools and resources in this particular role. Depending on the corporation you work for, and the business, this could be substantial data quantities.
At the same time, it will be up to you as the information officer to ensure that the data is always easily accessible to those who need it and have clearance and that it is highly protected. In today’s world, where cyber threats are in abundance, security, and protection are becoming critical and frankly tough to achieve.
10. The Field Spans Across Many Industries
As you can see by these top career paths, a data science degree is one that can set you up to work in a variety of industries. As you start to think about it, pretty much every company needs to collect and study data at some point, as it is required to make those big decisions and set goals.
With that being the case, it shows just how important this field is, and that demand won’t be fading any time soon.
With average salaries that range from about $60,000 to $135,000/year, there is plenty of opportunities to make a good living. And, of course, the longer you are in the field, the more experience you gain, and the higher the salary you can start to demand.
There is also an opportunity to work your way up the career ladder, which means you don’t have to worry about your career becoming stagnant or boring.
11. Do You Have What It Takes?
As you look through this list of career pathways that open up with a data science degree, you may also ask yourself if you have what it takes to succeed in the long run. You can click here for an in-depth infographic that discusses this exact question among others.
It can help you to determine if data science makes sense for you if you have the right skills, how to succeed, and some of the entry-level jobs that you can get into right out of university.
The careers listed above tend to be the next step up and won’t necessarily be the job you land straight out of university. Just like with so many industries, it can take time.
12. A Robust, Exciting, and Growing Industry to Break Into
A data science qualification can unlock the door to a very robust, exciting, and growing industry that offers real promise not just for right now but heading into the future. You’ve got lots of different paths to look into that appeal to various skills and talents, giving you all the control.
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