For years, Big Data has been one of the hottest topics in technology: Data Scientists are in high demand, and more and more universities in Europe are offering specialised Data Science Masters degrees.
If you are asking yourself: Why should I study Data Science? - then read on and learn more about this fascinating subject:
For decades, technological advances were mostly driven by improved hardware: Processing power increased and led to more possibilities. Now that conventional hardware is pushing physical limitations, the focus has been shifting to software-driven applications.
Data has been called “the oil of the digital economy” (Wired) because of its immense potential; you could say it would fuel our future. Data analyses enable completely new generations of technological solutions: Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) is one example where we see great changes already happening. But in other areas, advanced statistics drive new developments: For instance, data on user behaviour and predictive analytics help companies improve the user interfaces (UI) of their software products; and detailed performance analyses help businesses track the return-on-investment (ROI) of their marketing campaigns and make smarter decisions.
Data and information have become the key resources in a wide range of industries. With the increase of computing power and digital storage come many new possibilities that - just ten to fifteen years ago - were beyond our imagination.
But such new developments are not confined to the technology industries themselves. Consider the famous quote attributed to management guru Peter Drucker:
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
That is why data is so important to all organisations, and at all levels. It’s not just big IT and software companies: Data experts are needed in banking and finance, automotive, energy, healthcare, transport, retail, and virtually every domain you can think of. And because data drives decisions - from small regional offices to the boardroom - graduates from study programmes in Data Science will be directly involved in important strategic decision-making processes.
The job titles you will encounter are as diverse as the responsibilities you will have. If you are a specialist who knows how to “crunch the numbers”, you will be a valuable team member in many parts of an organisation. Common job titles include:
Data scientists are in high demand - and employers don’t find enough graduates to fill their openings. To address the demand, universities have been increasing the number of masters in data engineering and data analytics. With potential employers fighting over them, university graduates are now in a comfortable position, and can demand high salaries.
With a postgraduate degree, your chances are even better: An analysis by job search platform Joblift found that half of all data science job listings require applicants to have a postgraduate qualification. That means that by getting a Master’s in Data Science, you are quite literally doubling your job options in the field. And beyond that, it could also pave the way for you to get a PhD.
Perhaps these reasons have not convinced you yet. Or perhaps you are interested in Data Science, but would like to study something with a slightly different focus. If you are looking for something similar, there are a number of subjects related to Data Science worth looking into: