If you haven’t heard, data scientist jobs are everywhere. Yet, there’s no universally agreed upon way of classifying data scientists.

One company’s data scientist is another’s research analyst. Another company might be looking for a machine learning engineer, which isn’t quite a data scientist, but you may have the skills to be a qualified candidate if only you knew that search term. Even a generalized “data scientist” job description can be inadequate because some companies may want researchers while others are looking for experienced coders. So, let’s talk about what types of jobs a data scientist can get.

So many data scientist job titles, so little time

Understanding what to search for is an important discussion to have about data science — and data scientists in particular. The need for data scientists following the arrival of big data has made it the hottest job in America. Searching for data scientist will yield the most results, but it’s more of an umbrella under which other, more accurate terms live under. It’s a good place to start, but you need to do more research to find a data scientist job that’s relevant to your experience and needs.


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There are almost too many data scientist job titles to list based on comments from a data scientist, the Scientific Director at Lyft, the Product Scientist at Indeed, and our own Immersive Data Science Bootcamp description. Data analyst, machine learning engineer, and research scientist are just a few terms that are synonymous with data scientist.

The more succinct answer is there are many types of jobs a data scientist can get. Like, thousands upon thousands of jobs. Companies need qualified individuals who can find stories and insights in data. That need will only continue to expand across all industries as more companies seek to capitalize on the data they have gathered.

There are also a lot of data scientist-adjacent roles that would be perfect for someone with data science skills and experience. If you can name it, you can find a job that fits. A better approach would be focusing on your experience and what you want from a data scientist job.

Finding the right data scientist job for you

With any job search, broad search terms will yield a lot of results that run the gamut from junior positions to CEO opportunities. Let’s take a step back to figure out a way through this confusion. Experience, skills, and what you’re actually looking for will help to eliminate the data scientist job logjam. Further, it’ll give you a realistic picture of what data scientist jobs are currently available and what role might be right for you.

Every data scientist has a few skills and languages in common. Data scientists need to know statistical computer languages, such as Python and R, data management software like SQL, and experience building models. A working Github portfolio with a few projects is a great way to show off your data science bona fides.

You don’t need a Master’s or PhD to become a data scientist, but some companies may be filling a role where an advanced degree is required. Most companies want applicable experience and it doesn’t matter if a software engineer gets those skills from a data science bootcamp or through the course of their career. You can start to narrow your search by including terms based on your skills and experience.

Another approach is figuring out what type of data scientist you are and what job you want to get. The head of research at Pandora identifies two types of data scientist. Type A, for analysis, data scientist are looking to make sense of data. They have skills to a statistician, but are well-versed in data science areas like big data management, data cleaning, and visualizations. Type B, for building, data scientists are expert coders who are creating production-level code and models. O’Reilly Media identifies four different types of data scientists based on a survey of data scientists and that number can climb to 10 based on other factors.

There’s a clear demand for data scientists even if companies are identifying what that term means to them. As that’s happening, you can gain the data science skills you need to stay competitive through multiple data science bootcamps. Whether it’s learning the basics or an immersive bootcamp to transition into a data scientist, there’s a course that’s right for you.

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