A career in data science can earn you big bucks

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Do you like working with numbers? Then you should think about a career in data science because “Big Data” is all the rage.

“Data Scientist” remains the hottest career in the country, landing at No. 1 on Glassdoor’s list of “Top 50 Jobs in America” for the past two years.

With a median salary of $110,000, you can count on getting a return on the investment in your post-secondary education in data science in no time. And the demand for data scientists will continue to be strong. By 2018, only an estimated 300,000 trained workers will be available to fill around 500,000 data jobs.

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While the name may be a little broad, “data science” can be described as a job which analyzes the large amounts of data being processed by supercomputers and extracting vital information to help businesses, employers and researchers make smarter decisions.

For example, Google is using big data to analyze trends in healthcare and the job search market. Facebook, where everyone can list their favorite foods down to their current emotional state, can be seen as a giant warehouse of information valuable for marketers and product developers looking to spot the next big trend.

While collecting and organizing data is nothing new, the gigantic amount of data that is flowing through our internet and computer servers is a byproduct of rapid technological advancement. Therefore, more people are wanted now than ever to do this work.

To illustrate this point further, almost all data cataloged in human history took place between 2011-2013, estimated to be 90 percent. Compare that to the 10 percent of data collection by humans since the invention of writing, that’s an exponential increase which will only get bigger as the data stream is expected to double over the next two years according to estimates from IBM.

Big data isn’t just for the tech companies. Every industry, from retail to energy production, relies on accurate accounting and more of them are beginning to understand what kind of power data analysis can bring. According to Dataconomy, the healthcare industry could save $400 billion if it adopted more big data research.

As data analysis technology scales outward, you can get ahead of the curve and re-skill yourself to land this lucrative job. While many companies are looking for advanced degree-holders to perform this job, getting an online Master’s degree from great regionally and nationally-accredited colleges isn’t as daunting as you think. Check out this list of the top 25 programs for data science to see if it’s the right choice for you.

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