Brainy Quote of the Day

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Big Data...

Demand for data scientists is booming. Shown here is the relative growth in US data science job postings. (Data courtesy of

Citation: Phys. Today 69, 8, 20 (2016);
Topics: Computer Science, Economy, Jobs, STEM

A PhD is a heavy commitment, and many just like Bachelors and Masters STEM-prepared graduates have the same struggles anyone else has in the job market. It's a broad and somewhat inaccurate assumption that a STEM graduate doesn't have concerns with employment. The pendulum swings between massive need and largest expense: salaries on balance sheets. Despite the fact my youngest son will have a guaranteed job with his Civil Engineering firm, he heard over his last lunch with them before the semester starts when they've laid off, even affecting an employee that just came back from her maternity leave. It was sobering for him to say the least.

It is important most of all to remember why you entered a science-related field in the first place: the love of discovery that will never change, nor should you repent of. It is also important in knowing who you are to be flexible.

If different people buy the same items at the grocery store, will their taste in movies also strongly overlap? Can a company recognize when someone tries to make a fraudulent payment? Is a home buyer getting a fair price? Those are the sorts of problems that data scientists tackle.

“Data science is the marriage of statistics and computer science,” says Janet Kamin, chief admissions officer at NYC Data Science Academy. “It is the art of finding patterns and insights in large sets of data that allow you to make better decisions or learn things you couldn’t otherwise learn.” The demand for data scientists is booming across industries—retail, automotive, banking, health care, and more. It’s also growing in the nonprofit and government sectors. (See the plot on page 22.)

Physics Today: Data science can be an attractive career for physicists, Toni Feder

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