Why a data career is a great choice

Data scientist career CSC Blogs

It’s a great time to be a data professional. I’m amazed at the variety of specializations available, with titles like data scientist, data engineer, database administrator and data visualization engineer. But some might worry that a career in data would be too stressful or, worse, boring.

Strata + Hadoop World is hosting a panel to talk about the data field and its various specializations with the hope that understanding will eliminate fear and empower attendees to pursue a career in data. I thought it would be cool if that panel could include … well … everyone!

On March 2, CSC is hosting a Town Hall where virtual attendees will get the chance to share their thoughts and ask questions. We’ll start with a brief introduction using streaming video. Then, we’ll invite everyone into a CrowdChat to talk about important traits, the need for diversity and how to get started in the field of data. Top responses will be discussed at Strata + Hadoop World.

CrowdChats are fun and fast-paced. Here are the questions ahead of time. If you come willing to respond to at least 3 questions, we’ll have a very lively discussion. Hope to see you there.

What is a data professional?

  1. What’s your title? What does it mean?
  2. What do you tell people you do for a living? What do you *really* do?  ; -)
  3. How do you explain to your 7-year old what you do in 30 seconds?
  4. Pressure cooker, day at the beach … How would you describe what it’s like to be a data professional?
  5. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far in your data professional career?
  6. It’s not all Numb3rs and Moneyball. What’s the worst part of your job?
  7. What data myth (or stereotype) would you like to bust?
  8. What natural strength do you find most useful as a data pro?
  9. What’s your vote for one of the 7 habits of highly effective #datadriven professionals?

The rise of the data professional

  1. Companies that will thrive in the next decade will be those that use data to …
  2. Artist, chess champion, athlete … Describe the perfect #datadriven executive.
  3. Will #datascience become a staple in the company boardroom? Why?
  4. What do you see as one of the forces driving the trend toward #datadriven?
  5. Describe the perfect #datadriven product manager.
  6. Describe the perfect #datadriven customer advocate.
  7. Describe the perfect #datadriven technical support.
  8. Can you imagine definitions of #datadriven that might force us to rethink what it means to be a data professional? 
  9. What in the future of data are you most excited about?

Profiles and career paths of the modern data-driven workforce

  1. My data career started when I decided to …?
  2. I was not a traditional data professional. Before getting into data I was …
  3. What was the catalyst for you to switch to data? What caused the change?
  4. What was your weirdest stop along your path to becoming a data professional?
  5. If you are not a traditional data professional, how did your previous experience help you in the data career?
  6. What gave you the confidence to pursue a data career?
  7. What do you plan to learn about next?
  8. Where do you go for mentoring/encouragement/inspiration?
  9. How do you invest in yourself and your career?
  10. Contrary to popular belief, aspiring data professionals really shouldn’t worry too much about …
  11. Would you recommend the data field to young graduates? What would you tell them?
  12. Practical suggestions for the beginner?
  13. Practical suggestions for the intermediate?
  14. Practical suggestions for the pros?

Diversity in the data field

  1. Do you see the data field as: a) diversified b) less diversified than other technology fields c) in need of significant improvement regarding diversity?
  2. Is diversity valuable to the data field? Give us an example.
  3. The data field desperately needs more people who …
  4. I think the biggest benefit of diversity in the #datadriven workforce is …
  5. I think the biggest threat to diversity in the #datadriven workforce is …
  6. How would you encourage greater participation in the data field?
  7. What is holding people back from joining the data field?

Register now for the CSC Town Hall, “So You Want to Be a Data Scientist?”

overton-2015Jerry Overton is head of advanced analytics research in CSC’s ResearchNetwork and founder of CSC’s FutureTense competency, which includes the Predictive Modeling Research Group, Advanced Analytics Lab and Predictive Modeling School. Connect with him on Twitter.



Why a good data scientist is like a flight attendant

The 6 most in-demand data analytics skills of 2016



  1. Ounce Blog says:

    A Great Choice For On Or

    […] Modeling Research Group, Advanced Analytics Lab and Predictive Modeling School. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: