Google, Facebook, Amazon and many other big corporations and institutions collect massive amounts of data when consumers engage with social media, participate in e-commerce or rely on other web-based services. This so-called big data is mined by data scientists, who help companies extract knowledge and insights to gain a competitive advantage.
Data scientists topped Forbes’ most recent list of “Most Promising Jobs” with more than 1,700 openings and a median base salary of $116,840. The pay reflects the shortage of talent, and demand is expected to grow as new data sources are found in healthcare, retail, weather, traffic and other areas.
Data scientists can be hired in a variety of roles depending on their expertise, which includes statistics, mathematics, data engineering, machine learning, business, software engineering, visualization and related fields.
Exciting Companies Who Are Always Hiring
The following companies are constantly on the lookout for new data science talent.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, continues to lead Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For list with such perks as free gourmet food, haircuts and laundry service. The company’s products and services include search, online advertising technologies, cloud computing and software. Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches each day, generating vast amounts of big data. The company employs around 72,000 people “of all backgrounds and experiences,” Google told greatplacestowork.com.
Zillow is a leading database company specializing in real estate and rental listings on mobile and web-based platforms. The Seattle company ranked fourth among the Best Workplaces in Technology 2017, according to greatplacestowork.com. Stock options and free health insurance are among the perks. “We look for data-driven people who take ownership,” the company told the website. Zillow has about 2,600 employees.
IBM is a leader in data science, predictive analytics and machine learning, and the company is a provider of enterprise tools that enable users to store, manage and analyze data across numerous sources. IBM recently created a Watson IoT consulting practice that will include 1,500 data scientists, consultants and security experts. The Armonk, N.Y., company offers competitive 401k and vacation benefits. IBM has nearly 387,000 employees worldwide.
Amazon.com is a global online marketplace but it is also a leading provider of cloud computing infrastructure and services that help big data collectors build, secure and deploy applications that manage data. The Seattle-based company, which also manufactures and sells tablets and other electronic devices, offers full benefits from an employee’s first day. It employs about 341,400 people.
With its iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and thousands of apps, Apple is a major technology provider that generates big data on consumers and their interactions with peers and e-commerce sites. Many apps developed for Apple devices are designed to monitor and share user data. The Cupertino, California-based company offers free training and certification classes to its 116,000 employees. Business Insider recently rounded up some of thecompany’s best perks, in employees’ own (anonymous) words.
Facebook is a leading collector of consumer data through its global social networking services, which include Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus virtual reality technology. Facebook, which has nine data centers, was on track to hit 2 billion monthly active users in 2017. Employees get free food and break rooms have Xboxes (among other benefits, of course). The Menlo Park, California-based company has nearly 19,000 employees.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional site for job networking and searches, amasses huge amounts of data on more than 500 million users globally. Those users are seeking jobs from more than 9 million companies, the Mountain View, California-based company says. LinkedIn uses analytics to help brands and professionals better understand the reach of their posts. Perks include free breakfast and lunch, plus gym facilities in key locations. The company has more than 10,000 employees overall.
Better Education Can Lead to Better Job Opps
Big data is changing the way institutions solve problems to gain a competitive edge. Every web-based interaction via devices that can send and receive data generates massive amounts of raw data, and it is the job of data scientists to extract knowledge and insights.
“Fields are as varied as bioinformatics, information technology, simulations and quality control, computational finance, epidemiology [and] industrial engineering,” data science pioneer Vincent Granville said.
To accelerate their careers, and possibly earn a spot at one of the above companies, many data scientists hold advanced degrees. Some schools offer amaster’s in data science online, such as Lewis University, for example.