As we all get buried under a tsunami of data, the challenge is managing it. The MIT Technology Review this week looks at the rise of the data scientist, a job title unknown a few years ago.
The problem for industry is the skill sets required to become a data scientist are fairly esoteric.
Data scientist has become a popular job title partly because it has helped pull together a growing number of haphazardly defined and overlapping job roles, says Jake Klamka, who runs a six-week fellowship to place PhDs from fields like math, astrophysics, and even neuroscience in such jobs. “We have anyone who works with a lot of data in their research,” Klamka says. “They need to know how to program, but they also have to have strong communications skills and curiosity.”
While Big Data might be to this decade what plastics were to the 1960s, it’s not the only technology change that’s affecting business as the McKinsey Quarterly describes the ten IT trends for the decade ahead.
The thing that really stands out with McKinsey’s predictions is the degree of reskilling the workforce is going to need, today’s workers are going to need an understanding of programming, logic and statistics as much the kids currently at school.
If you’re planning on being in the workforce at the end of this decade right now may be the time to consider getting some of these skills.
Just as businesses will be separated by how they use Big Data, workers may too find those skills divide the winners from the losers.
As the amount of data flooding into our lives explodes, we’ll all need to think about how we can get the skills to manage and understand data.