1 What is data science?

This chapter covers

  • The three main areas of data science
  • The different types of data science jobs

“The sexiest job of the 21st century.” “The best job in America.” Data scientist, a title that didn’t even exist before 2008, is now the position employers can’t hire enough of and job seekers strive to become. There’s good reason for the hype: data science is a hugely growing field, with a median base salary of more than $100,000 in the United States in 2019 (http://mng.bz/XpMp). At a good company, data scientists enjoy a lot of autonomy and are constantly learning new things. They use their skills to solve significant problems, such as working with doctors to analyze drug trials, helping a sports team pick its new draftees, or redesigning the pricing model for a widget business. Finally, as we discuss in chapter 3, there’s no one way to become a data scientist. People come from all backgrounds, so you’re not limited based on what you chose to study as an undergraduate.

1.1. What is data science?

1.1.1. Mathematics/statistics

1.1.2. Databases/programming

1.1.3. Business understanding

1.2. Different types of data science jobs

1.2.1. Analytics

1.2.2. Machine learning

1.2.3. Decision science

1.2.4. Related jobs

1.3. Choosing your path

1.4. Interview with Robert Chang, data scientist at Airbnb

What was your first data science journey?

What should people look for in a data science job?

What skills do you need to be a data scientist?