Why Data Science?

Posted on Oct 15, 2015

Oh how the world has changed in the past few years. Organizations across the globe are becoming ever more desperate to hire talent, yet it seems no one has the skills. “Hire a Phd, they must be smart.” But every day, academia becomes more disconnected from the real world. The desperation for raw talent even has Barrack Obama pleading for Americans to study and work in computer science and data science. He's even gone so far as to appoint the nation's first Chief Data Scientist.

Data science is the new gold rush. Every industry is reaping the benefits and becoming aware of how important data isto stay competitive. Masters and doctorate programs are popping up around the country and the world although they are struggling with keeping tuition low, students losing time in the workforce, and the bureaucratic impossibility of approving a syllabus a year in advance while the technology is silently replaced.

How did we get here? How did we fall so far behind? Today's students are graduating with less opportunity compared totheir parents. Competition for jobs is fierce, yet there are many positions that remain unfilled due to “lack of talent”. H-1B visas are a hot issue when there is still so much slack in the American workforce.

The world hasn't degenerated into a talentless cesspool. Our education system is failing to provide our students with the skills necessary to compete in today's world. But we can't fully blame the university system when the world is changing faster than these behemoths can keep up. According to Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, every two days humans create as much data as all of humanity before 2003. The gold is there, we just need a new system that allows us to train individuals to dig it up and process it.

The future is bright for the data scientist, but the path to get there is not so clear. Fortunately, we are currently living in the best time for talent to rise and find a path. The world is pushing forward with movements for open data and open source – in essence, a democratic approach to technology. Anyone can become a data scientist; the investment is your hard work and talent.

About Author

Vivian Zhang

Vivian Zhang is the CTO and School Director of the NYC Data Science Academy. She started the NYC Open Data meetup group. She earned her M.S. in Computer Science and Statistics and B.S. in Computer Science. She is...
View all posts by Vivian Zhang >

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