Data Scientist : the hottest profession of 2015?

Aug 28, 2015
Vote on Hacker News

city conceptIn less than a month, we will open the doors of our fifth Paris Startup Job Fair. While waiting for the big day to come, we are working on our recruiters list to offer our job seekers as many options as possible. Going through the job offers, we couldn’t help but notice that the trend is not fading, the data scientist is still one of the most required positions.

What does it mean to be a data scientist?

Data scientists can be described as a combination of modern day archeologist and oracles. They need to dig deep, identify problems, discover mysteries that lie underneath piles of data, and at the same time understand what lays ahead.
As Jon Greensberg, data scientist at the gaming firm Playstudios, explained to Mashable : “ On an average day, I manage a series of dashboards that tell our company about our business — what the users are doing, it may be how one segment of the population is interacting with a new feature.”
In a broader context, citing Harvard Business Review, “In a competitive landscape where challenges keep changing and data never stop flowing, data scientists help decision makers shift from ad hoc analysis to an ongoing conversation with data.”

How to become a data scientist?

With the demand for data scientists raising every day and because the particular skills required to fulfill this role, it’s almost impossible to find a university degree dedicated to it.
In the meanwhile,  you can strengthen your competencies with useful online classes, learning machine learning class by Stanford University, R with tutorials by Datacamp or Try R, Phyton with Code Academy  or Google Class, Linear Alegra by MIT Open Courseware, Statistics with Udacity, Getting and Cleaning Data with John Hopkins University.
Unfortunately, the reality is that there is no straight path to becoming a data scientist. Sure, analytical and computational skills are one of the founding pillars of the profession, but it’s the combination of these skills with intense curiosity, logic, associative thinking, patience and ability to interpret results that will make the difference in the end, that will get you hired instead of someone else.

Recruiting a Data Scientist

Data scientists are a rare breed, hiring them and managing to keep them in your company can be a difficult task, given the demand for the role far exceeds the supply. Expect candidates to weight employment opportunities on the basis of how interesting the big data challenges are.
Surely, pay will be an important factor as well. But is this something new? Hiring top talent is a full-time job, as we already discussed here, and if your company wants to attract the best players in the game, it will need to deliver a great sales pitch. You will be competing with prestigious companies for data science talent, but at least you can try to compete with them on purpose.

Is this the career for you?

The best way to understand whether you are a real data scientist or not is to take the bull by the horns and enter the jungle of data analysis and science with your freshly acquired skill set. Bootcamps and internships will enable you create a clearer career path for yourself.
Without any doubt, being a data scientist has its allure and significant benefits, but not all that glitters is gold. Behind the great challenges every data scientist faces and solves, there are long hours spent in cleaning and organizing data, programming and analyzing dashboards for relevant information appeals to them. So if you don’t have a true passion for data, you will find it hard to survive in this environment.

So if you’re a job-seeker looking for an exciting new opportunity with some of the tech scene’s best and brightest companies, make sure to register below and join us on September 19th.