Do you know the hottest job of the 21st century?


“Your career is your business. It’s time for you to manage it as a CEO”

~ Dorit Sher

For some, the finals have ended and maximum number of graduates would be wondering ‘What Next?’ Few thoughts that would do the rounds are – Internships, call centre executives, data operators, something easy etc. etc.

Then there those who are clear of what they want but have no idea how to go about getting it. They are the ambitious and rare breed who have a vision and are looking for the necessary atomic push to fast-track their career and paint the pages of history with their struggles and achievements.

Career planning is the artistic canvas where the decisions you make and the people you meet will eventually help draw the pretty picture of your life; the chart below should help you start your journey of ‘what first?’, ‘what next?’, ‘what now?’, ‘who, Me?’ and thereon.


To further assist you in the search for the right path with right mix of  high salary and super success – let’s look at a few facts first:

  • Harvard Business Review names this job as the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’;
  • Glassdoor called it the ‘best job of the year – 2016’;
  • India as a country would be facing a demand-supply gap of 200,000 for such professionals over the next three years (ref: TOI, 08/05/16)

So what are we talking about here?

It’s obviously ‘Data Scientists’ – a more sophisticated and sharper term for upper-class data analysts. The demand for this role is ever on the rise and supply is short. Without further ado, let’s get to the facts.

What does a Data Scientist do?

Well, for one they crunch the hell out of numbers and make it presentable in plain English to top management, IT leaders and investors. This is then used to make crucial sustainable decisions for business optimization, growth and expansion. A Data Scientist is an evolved data analyst who will solve the current problems facing the organization AND also pick new problems which when solved will add more value to the business.

In a nutshell, you will be a jack of analytics, computer science, maths and statistics providing a master visual solution with recommendations on the side.

How much do they earn?

Well, they apparently make more than CAs and Engineers. Teamlease, a staffing solutions company, says that if it’s a candidate with 5 years experience then he can draw around 75 lacs p.a. ($100,000+) 😮

An entry-level Data Scientist in India earns an average salary of Rs 5 lac ($7,500) per year. But keep in mind that as you become an established professional then sky’s the limit.

What skills do I need?

For starters, you must be a person who loves his maths, fond of numbers, always curious and every other sentence should start with ‘What if?’ Although there is a lot more that goes into it, the following diagram should be self explanatory as a Data Scientist is more of a hybrid of various skill-sets.


Why are they in demand?

There is currently data overload that needs to be tracked and companies are monitoring every thing from web visits, clicks on banners, transactions, customer views/reviews  etc. etc.

The Data Scientist would rummage from this data how the company can enhance their customer experience, alter product pricing, generate better revenue streams or pass-on enhanced business efficiency. Although easier said than done, he would be the Wizard of Oz who can change the way the organization is perceived and navigate expenses to generate increased profits.

How do I become one?

Good question. For starters there are various universities around the world offering diploma courses ranging from almost $50k – $270k with a time span of 1-4 years; there are summer courses as well as e-learning courses that one can attend. If you are really serious and can’t wait to get started then closer to home we have some of the following top institutes that you can research and get in touch with – SimpliLearn, Jigsaw Academy and iClass Bangalore.

How is a Data Scientist different from a Data Analyst?

A DS would go where no man has gone before; he will dive head-on into the company archives and various databases – search for potential problems, estimate the unknown, create an array of questions around it and provide insight into new products or services that would be a by product of unlocking and interpreting company data.

There is quite an overlap between the two roles with the tweak that a DA would gather his data where it lies waiting for him whereas a DS would need to move around his data on different tools (Hadoop, relational databases, NoSQL databases) to force out a solution to a problem he picked out.

At the end of it all – Data science is no rocket science – and I will summarize with a famous quote by the Late Ronald Coase (who was also a Nobel Prize laureate for economics):

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything”

Do share your thoughts below and till the next blog – stay safe and stay happy!