6 Top Data Science Careers

Data makes up the fabric of modern society. It drives the ads consumers see, the entertainment they consume, and the routes they take on their commutes.

Female data scientist studies business data graphs.

On a much larger scale, data collection applies to nearly every industry — from medicine and energy to education and advertising. Data science careers are numerous, and the demand is growing for professionals with the requisite expertise.

An online bachelor’s degree in data science can equip graduates with a number of useful skills in this growing field. In addition, many of the jobs available to those with a data science degree have high earning potential.

Which industries are hiring graduates with data science degrees?

When you’re educated and experienced in data science, you can find a career in nearly any industry. But several industries remain at the forefront because of their extensive use of data. These include:

  • Government
  • Technology
  • Medicine
  • Marketing
  • Transportation
  • Finance
  • Education

What are some popular types of data science jobs?

Data science careers are available in all sectors, including corporate, government, and nonprofit. The following diverse list of job titles represents several areas in which a graduate with expertise in the application of data science could pursue employment.

Your online data science bachelor’s can give you the foundation to start a promising career. But additional training, certifications, education, or experience may help to secure a position or seek advancement.

Data Analyst

Any organization that relies on data can benefit from the expertise of a data analyst. These sought-after professionals assist companies in making sound decisions, identifying trends, targeting customers, and more.

Many data analysts find employment within the finance sector in settings like investment banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, and credit bureaus. In addition, technology companies and medical organizations rely heavily on the experience of data analysts to accomplish functions like seizing market opportunities and making investment decisions.

Growth and Salary

Even at the entry level, data analysts often command impressive salaries, sometimes as high as $125,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job opportunities for many types of data analysts to increase by at least 19 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Data analysis
  • Computer science
  • Critical thinking
  • Data interpretation and visualization
  • Statistics
  • Communication

Actuary

When businesses seek to insulate themselves from risk, they turn to actuaries. These professionals bring to the table strong skills in data science, mathematics, and statistics.

Through their work, they give organizations strategic recommendations as they make important decisions. Actuaries are highly valued in a number of fields, including banking, insurance, wealth management, and marketing.

Growth and Salary

According to the BLS, job opportunities for actuaries are expected to experience a 22 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2026 — about three times faster than the average for all job types. In 2017, the median pay for actuaries was more than $101,000, although achieving this pay rate generally requires additional training and years of experience.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Data analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Statistics
  • Data modeling
  • Understanding of business

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts devise solutions that improve an organization’s technology systems. They often collaborate with colleagues across multiple departments to ensure the computer systems suit their needs and conduct research into new solutions.

In addition to constructing new systems, analysts determine how they can make existing systems more efficient and effective. Analysts manage the adoption of new and adjusted systems, run tests, and provide training for those who will use them.

Growth and Salary

The BLS reports there are more than 600,000 jobs in this field, predicting 54,000 additional positions will be created from 2016 to 2026 — a 9 percent growth rate. In 2017, the median pay for a computer systems analyst was over $88,000.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Data modeling
  • Data analysis
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking

Pricing Analyst

Determining the ideal price point for a product or service can be a difficult challenge for businesses. Companies seek to find a price that maximizes revenue and the potential number of purchases.

To accomplish this, businesses often hire pricing analysts, generally on a short-term basis as consultants. By examining a wide array of data — including competitive pricing, company expenses, buying trends, or customer behaviors — pricing analysts identify ideal target price points as well as ideal times to launch a new product. These professionals must communicate clearly with all stakeholders and managers across departments.

Growth and Salary

As with most data analysis specialists, the job prospects for pricing analysts are strong, especially considering it’s possible to work directly for a company or independently as a contracted consultant. The median pay, according to data compiled by PayScale.com, is $55,000 per year, and many analysts receive an additional commission.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Project management
  • Consulting
  • Data modeling
  • Data analysis
  • Communication

Business Analyst

Each business relies on a complex array of processes, systems, and procedures designed to keep everything running smoothly. However, when those processes become inefficient or break down, business analysts can be of significant help.

By leveraging their knowledge of both technology and business analysis, these professionals make smart, data-driven suggestions for moving forward. This data science career is ideally suited for individuals who have an interest in technology and business, and who are comfortable working with both people and data.

Growth and Salary

According to the 2018 Salary Guide by Robert Half Technologies, the 50th percentile of business analysts earn $92,000 a year. As businesses continue to recognize the need for data-driven process improvements, job opportunities for business analysts will likely continue to grow.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Communication
  • Data analysis
  • Information technology
  • Understanding of business
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Creative thinking

Market Research Analyst

When businesses attempt to project their earnings, they rely on the work of market research analysts. Market analysts help companies predict sales, given the available data.

As a market research analyst, your duties would include making forecasts by monitoring trends, collecting information on sales strategies, and evaluating consumer behaviors and opinions. While some market research analysts work for a company, many work on a contract basis.

Growth and Salary

The BLS anticipates that the number of market research analyst positions will increase from 595,000 to 733,000 from 2016 to 2026 — representing significantly faster-than-average growth. In 2017, the median pay for a market research analyst was more than $63,000.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Technology
  • Communication
  • Data analysis
  • Market research
  • Data visualization
  • Problem-solving

Open up your data science career possibilities.

Employer demand is growing for many types of data science jobs across a wide variety of industries. At Maryville, our online bachelor’s in data science can help you develop the skills to find an exciting career in this diverse, fast-growing area.

To get started on your own journey toward a career in data science, learn more about our online B.S. in Data Science.

Sources:

Be an Actuary, What is an Actuary?

CIO, “What is a business analyst? A key role for business-IT efficiency”

Investopedia, Data Analyst: Career Path & Qualifications

PayScale, Average Pricing Analyst Salary

Society of Actuaries, Career Paths

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Actuaries

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Systems Analyst

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts