Data Science is everywhere and as the fastest growing field, 2017 is a great time to earn a data science degree. You are almost certainly reading this article because someone, somewhere, told you that earning a data science degree a good idea. Here are some exciting reasons for why they’re right

1. Data Science Experts Are In High Demand

According to a McKinsey & Company’s article, ‘The Age of Analytics: Competing in a data-driven world” , non-location-based data industries have largely failed to fully take advantage of their data.  In many cases,  this is due to the lack of analytical talent. Similarly, LinkedIn’s list of top skills for 2016 named Statistical Analysis and Data Mining at #2, noting “statistical analysis and data mining, … came in #2 last year, and #1 in 2014”. These skills are in such high demand because they’re at the cutting edge of technology. Today’s companies and/or organizations need employees with statistical analysis and data mining skills to stay competitive.’

The above trends indicate that the hunger for data science skills has not diminished at all. Many data science sources predict a future in which data science skills will continue to be invaluable. Learning these skills now means you will be well equipped to handle the future.

2. Data Science Base Salaries Are 39% Higher

According to The Burtchworks Study, 2016 saw an increase of 7 percent in the mean salary for data scientists with less than three years of experience. Additionally, data scientists continue to lead the field in earnings, with base salaries up to 39% higher than those of other predictive analytics professionals.

The strength of salaries is directly related to the increase in demand for data science professionals. Employers are well aware that candidates with this skill set have lots of options, and are rolling out increasingly enticing combinations of salary, equity, and non-traditional perks, in order to attract data scientists to their companies.

3. Industry Options Are Endless

The significant role of data scientists working for internet leaders such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon is well known. However, data science is also becoming increasingly prominent across traditional fields, such as fiance, government and healthcare, as well as those focused on social causes. This makes data science a great career to pursue regardless of whether your goals are financial, social, or both.

More than ever before, data science is being utilized as a tool for social good. Crowdsourcing platforms such as Bayes Impact and Datakind , are helping data scientists leverage their skills to help prevent home fire injuries, death, while increasing the transparency of police organizations.  Kaggle.com, the well-known data science competition website, is also involved in pushing different projects, including predicting the physical and chemical properties of soil in Africa.

4. Flexible Educational Opportunities

The need for data science talent requires the right education. According to the big data site datanami, ‘While the misalignment may be short-term, the long-term trend is clear: data science is here to stay. Colleges across the nation are investing in postgraduate data science programs…’

The options to earn a data science degree, certifications or badges are increasing. Programs are available from more traditional sources, to boot camps, to online courses that allow you to conveniently learn at a pace and location that fits your specific goals and needs.

5. Align Your Personal Vision and Career Goals

With the great career and financial opportunities that come with being a data scientist, the truth is working in data science is a lot of fun for the mathematically or multi-disciplinary minded. In organizations that truly leverage their data science talent, there are varieties of people working on different problems that enable teams to answer previously unanswerable questions. You can make a real impact on how businesses operate and compete in the marketplace.