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5 years ago
There’s No Such Thing as a Data Scientist


Originally published in Medium, March 12, 2018

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What do you really do?

There’s a memorable scene in Office Space where consultants determining employee productivity start by asking, “What would you say… you do here?”

That scene and the “What I Do” images are funny because we empathize with the struggle to describe our jobs. It’s not funny, however, when the same misunderstanding occurs during the job search. It’s important to understand what a job posting means. It’s important for prospective employers to understand our skills and abilities. We’ve all viewed job postings with the same title, but with totally different descriptions.

How can the same title mean such vastly different things from one company to another?

This phenomenon is becoming increasingly common in the field of data science. The discipline has dramatically risen in popularity over the past few years. And while the number of data science jobs has increased, clarity around the role has declined. This post takes advantage of Indeed’s tremendous amounts of behavioral data to describe trends in the field and more specific definitions for data science roles.

The growing popularity of data science

Jobs matching “data scientist” have risen from 0.03% of jobs to about 0.15% (+400%) in a 4-year span.

Even earlier in 2012, a much ballyhooed article called Data Scientist the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.” If the title alone isn’t enough, maybe folks are interested for monetary reasons. According to Indeed’s salary data, a data scientist makes an average of $130k per year.

To continue reading this article in Medium, click here.

About the Author


Clint Chegin is a Product Scientist at Indeed and Editor of Indeed Data Science.


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