The Data Buzz series brings you a regular roundup of what’s trending in data science.
A career in data science can be both personally rewarding and lucrative, but you have to stay on top of your game to get those results. With major changes in technology and industry happening at lightning speed, ongoing professional development is crucial.
What data science skills should you be building right now? Here are five with some serious salary boost potential, according to sources like Payscale, Time.com, and Monster.com:
1. Data Mining
Demand for experts in data mining – the process of analyzing large datasets to generate insights and identify patterns – will continue to grow as more industries and companies seek to make sense of their data and predict outcomes efficiently. Data mining is useful not only in big business, but also in the physical and social sciences, and anywhere else that patterns and correlation matter.
Salary boost: 18 percent, according to Payscale
2. Natural Language Processing
Advances in natural language processing have the potential to transform any industry that relies heavily on human interaction, from healthcare, to education, to marketing. Teaching computers to understand the intricacies of human language is a highly complex process that requires specialized skills – this a great field for humanities and linguistics students to get into data science, as well as a solid area of growth for anyone with a strong analytics background.
Salary boost: 17.9 percent, according to Time.com
SAS software is used for business analysis, forecasting, statistical analysis, and project management. Because the software is so versatile, it’s used all over the business world. Both new and experienced data analysts can step up their game – and their job opportunities – by getting to know the ins and outs of this powerful tool.
Salary boost: 17 percent, according to Monster.com
4. Machine Learning
Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that helps machines reprogram themselves based on patterns found in data. It’s a rapidly growing field, and experts are especially sought after in architecture, engineering, and the sciences, where machine learning techniques can dramatically improve efficiency and accuracy. Engineers and experienced data scientists looking to keep their skills relevant should give machine learning a try.
Salary boost: 12.5 to 22.6 percent, depending on the field, according to Payscale
By boosting data storage and retrieval capacities, Hadoop lets just about anyone in on the Big Data game — and allows them to work faster. That’s made Hadoop an in-demand skill in just about every industry, from market research to medicine. IT professionals and data storage experts will benefit from mastering Hadoop and keeping their skills current as its features evolve.
Salary boost: 12.5 percent, according to Time.com
You can now earn a degree in Data Science from Coursera. Discover firsthand how online degree programs work.