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As Big Data gets bigger, demand is soaring for professionals with business analytic skills.

Data Scientist: An In-Demand Role Now

Data scientist roles are some of the hottest jobs on the market right now. And for good reason. Data scientists made a median salary of $164,500 in 2020 and roles are expected to grow 22% by 2030.

Fortune recently spoke to experts who explained why data scientists are in high demand and why employers are willing to pay big bucks for them.


A data scientist’s job, at a high-level, is to essentially understand and interpret data. But, experts say, the job is much more intricate.

“First, data scientists lay a solid data foundation in order to perform robust analytics,” Hugo Bowne-Anderson, a data scientist and educator at DataCamp, writes for the Harvard Business Review. “Then they use online experiments, among other methods, to achieve sustainable growth. Finally, they build machine learning pipelines and personalized data products to better understand their business and customers and to make better decisions. In other words, in tech, data science is about infrastructure, testing, machine learning for decision making, and data products.”

But Karen Panetta, dean of graduate education for the School of Engineering at Tufts University and IEEE Fellow, says data science is far more than simply anticipating customer needs.

“When we think about data science, we think about it as using data to best serve customers, or anticipate where the next need is going to be. But it’s really evolved far beyond that,” Panetta tells Fortune. “It’s not just the ability to use math, there are so many components to data.”


Organizations can benefit quite a lot from having a team of data scientists to help them make better business decisions. Microsoft, Meta (Facebook), LinkedIn, and Apple are among some of the most prominent companies that employ large teams of data scientists and pay top dollar for data talent. According to Indeed, the average salary for a data scientist at Meta is $172,368. At Apple, it’s $180,281.

And while the data science industry is among one of the hottest right now, experts predict that it will only continue to grow.

“It’s always going to be evolving,” Panetta tells Fortune. “And if [a data scientist] keeps up with it, and stays on the leading edge, they’re going to be even more in demand.”

Sources: Fortune, IEEE, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Stitch, Indeed, Harvard Business Review

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