datascienceblogeducationskillswithstandard

When Does Education Level Matter in Data Science?

When Does Education Level Matter in Data Science?

Data scientists are highly educated. In our study of data scientists, we found that over half of them, both men and women, hold either a Masters or PhD degree and about a quarter of them hold a 4-year degree. The level of educational attainment is related to proficiency in data science skills (more advanced degrees are associated with greater proficiency), but only for specific types of data scientists.

Data scientists have the hottest jobs in America this year. Due to a shortage of these data-savvy people, data scientists are in high demand and well-paid. Because of this demand, many universities are now offering graduate degrees in the field of big data and data science (see here for a recent ranking of the top 50 Big Data graduate programs). But how much education does a person need to help their company successfully solve problems using data. Working data professionals offer their answers to this question (see this thread on Quora). We sought to take a more rigorous approach to answer this question. In ourongoing study of data scientists, we examined if data professional's education level was related to their proficiency across different data science skills.

Read Also:
Speech Analytics Will Change How We View AI

In our study, we asked data professionals to rate their proficiency levels of 25 specific data science skills across five broad skill areas: Business, Technology, Programming, Math & Modeling and Statistics. We also asked these professionals to indicate their job role: Business Management, Developer, Creative and Researcher. Finally, we asked about their level of education: high school / tech / 2-year degree, 4-year degree, Masters degree and PhD degree. The results appear below.

We looked at educational attainment by job role. The results are presented in Figure 1. On the whole, these data science professionals in this sample are highly educated. Irrespective of their job role, most of these professionals held, at least, a 4-year college degree (87% to 97%).

Data professionals who self-identified as Business Management or Creatives held the most Masters degree (58% hold this degree).

Most of the data professionals who self-identified as Developers held either a 4-year degree (43%) and a Masters degree (52%). None of them held a PhD.

Read Also:
3 Advantages of Using an Open Source Business Intelligence Tool

Data professionals who self-identify as Researchers possessed the largest number of PhD degrees (41% of them held this degree) compared to data professionals in other data science roles. Researchers held the most advanced degrees (80% held either a PhD or Masters degree).

For our study, skill proficiency could vary from 0 (none) to 100 (expert). A skill proficiency rating of 60 indicated that the data professional could essentially perform the skill independently, without help from others (see dotted line in Figure 2). See this blog post for a more complete discussion of the rating scale.

Data professionals with a PhD degree possessed proficiency (proficiency rating greater than 60) to independently perform more skills (10 skills) compared to the data professionals with other degrees (Masters degree: 5 skills; 4-year degree: 2 skills; High school degree: 1 skill).

While a PhD degree can be granted in a variety of disciplines, a common theme among them is that they are research-intensive; as part of your PhD, you learn how to conduct research, typically culminating in an independent research project focused on the PhD candidate's area of interest. Not surprisingly, we found that data professionals with a PhD were generally more proficient in skills related to math and statistics, skills necessary to conduct scientific research.;

Read Also:
Achieving new milestones in open analytics

 



Big Data Innovation Summit London

30
Mar
2017
Big Data Innovation Summit London

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
Understanding data access in a complex world

Data Innovation Summit 2017

30
Mar
2017
Data Innovation Summit 2017

30% off with code 7wData

Read Also:
Data scientists – will big data take your job?

Enterprise Data World 2017

2
Apr
2017
Enterprise Data World 2017

$200 off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
3 Advantages of Using an Open Source Business Intelligence Tool

Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

19
Apr
2017
Data Visualisation Summit San Francisco

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
How IBM Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Provide Cybersecurity

Chief Analytics Officer Europe

25
Apr
2017
Chief Analytics Officer Europe

15% off with code 7WDCAO17

Read Also:
Farmers get analytics 5x faster, thanks to guerrilla big data software

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *