Goodbye Librarian-Hello Data Scientist

I ran across an interesting article from Syracuse University-School of Information Studies. It is called Librarians: Get a Job in Data Science, Make Lots of Money.   Here are some of the pearls from the article:

There’s been lots of talk of whether a master’s degree in library and information science is worth the cost. Only time will tell if this MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Science) student’s investment pays off. In the meantime, I’m continuing my survey of job opportunities in this field. This week, I’ve been thinking about data science.

Consider what Mike Loukides of O’Reilly Media Inc. wrote in 2010:

The question facing every company today, every startup, every non-profit, every project site that wants to attract a community, is how to use data effectively — not just their own data, but all the data that’s available and relevant. Using data effectively requires something different from traditional statistics, where actuaries in business suits perform arcane but fairly well-defined kinds of analysis. What differentiates data science from statistics is that data science is a holistic approach. We’re increasingly finding data in the wild, and data scientists are involved with gathering data, massaging it into a tractable form, making it tell its story, and presenting that story to others.

A data scientist needs the math and computer science skills classes like these provide. Good communication skills are vital, since many data scientists work in teams. If you’re also able to understand where a company’s coming from, you’ll be able to turn pools of data into information that cab drive business decisions. You’ll become indispensable.

What’s the Bottom Line?

So, what does this mean for the career of tech-minded MLIS grads who do data science coursework? It means you’ll be likely to land a lucrative job in the field of data science. Big data has big potential.

My take is this: When I did a Google search for Data Scientist Jobs there was a who’s who of companies offering jobs for data scientist including: Apple, FaceBook, Intuit and Google! Looks like good company and the salary appears to be in the six figure range. Data Scientist anyone?

Do you know any data scientists? Are you a Librarian considering this career change?

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