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The Hidden Art in Data Science and Why I Need to Learn It

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Dimpho Mashile! Have you been keeping up with the data science trends? Dimpho Mashile, a 25-year-old Mashile is known to be a multidisciplinary storyteller. At times, her medium remains visual and at other times it is numerical. But this depends on factors such as – whether she’s there as a creative director or a data scientist.

The Mail & Guardian spent the last few weeks speaking to Dimpho over a series of phone calls, WhatsApp text messages, and emails to understand the practice she’s been doing that involves numbers and visuals – which are often perceived as two opposite ends of the information spectrum.

Well, that’s that.

But what is data science?

Data science is often perceived as a study of numerical statistics to predict meaningful insights about the upcoming events. These data or statistics can be collected in multiple ways such as retrieving data we share while filling in our details for posts, subscriptions or registering our phone numbers in the context of answering all the questionnaires giving out on the website. Some data can be structured and unstructured.

“Data science is the ability to take data, understand, process it, to extract value from it, visualize it, communicate it – skills that are going to be huge in the next decade says Hal Varian, chief economist at Google and UC Berkeley professor of information sciences, business, and economics.”

Why should I study data science?

Well, why not?

Choosing a data science career makes you a professional who wears multiple hats –  be it being part analyst, part mathematician, part trend-spotter, and part computer scientist, besides critical non-technical skills such as business acumen, communication skills, and cognitive ability.

  • Hottest job role

Data science is the hottest career and the most valued tool for upcoming businesses, the proliferation of certified data science professional is an emerging trend worth watching. For someone who can analyze and interpret complex data have become one of the most desirable jobs of the century.

  • Rise of data predicts the rise of data science professionals

The year 2020 is on a verge to accumulate volumes of big data that will increase from 4.4 zettabytes to near about 44 zettabytes or probably 44 trillion GB. The rate at which data created is growing at a breakneck speed.

  • High in-demand

It implies that the companies are in search of data science professionals more than there are available. Data scientists, data engineers, data architects, big data engineers, statisticians, and big data engineers are some of the job roles that are in high demand.

2018 LinkedIn Workforce Report predicts an acute shortage of data scientists in the U.S. particularly is tech cities such as LA, New York, and San Francisco amounting to 151,000 unfilled job positions.

What’s even sadder?

In a recent survey, approximately 46% of CIOs were found to suffer from data analysis skills shortage.

Does this mean you have greater job opportunities?

A definite yes.

However, companies are quite skeptical about hiring their data scientists. Most employers prefer candidates who can start their work from day one itself. Sure, you can learn the skills by watching videos and reading a lot. But taking up a structure learning approach through data science certification keeps you at the edge in the competitive world.

  • You earn good money

If you’ve heard news about data scientists earning handsome salary packages, it is true. The fact remains that data scientists are among the highest paid professionals in the job market today. Based on a Glassdoor report, a data scientist earns an average of around USD 118,709 per annum. And if you’re lucky enough to be employed by tech giants such as Google, you’re likely to earn as much as USD 45,000 per annum.

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