Can the job title Data Scientist raise your pay?

Did you know there was a data scientist summit this year? It was in May 2011 in Las Vegas. I didn’t attend, but can you imagine hundreds of data scientists in a casino at the same time. I wonder if the casino lost money that night.

On a serious note, the conference sounds like it had some fascinating topics such as data visualization and data shifting. More important this discussion, however, is that if your job is related to analyzing large volumes of data, data visualization, data mining, statistics, or other related areas, you should know that this job title exists and is growing in popularity.

As data grows, it not only gets more difficult to handle, but it can be of extreme value and produce extreme wealth if it’s used correctly. Data can, to a certain degree, be used to predict trends in consumer spending, moves in the stock market, and countless other predictive purposes. Data can also be used to make money directly as a product by selling raw data, compiled data, and pre-analyzed data. There are also an enormous number of software tools and hardware devices that have been created to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, and visualize data.

OK fine, we all know data is growing and gaining in value and importance. Why is this being discussed in a column about IT careers? The reason is there are a large number of great IT jobs associated with the topics previously discussed and as an additional kicker, they are gaining in stature and becoming more defined.

As an example of a parallel situation that took place in the database administration world, the role of Data Base Administrator (DBA) has long been defined and respected. As a result, those who comfortably and appropriately define themselves in this way have had the ability to receive premium jobs and pay over those who simply defined themselves as database knowledgeable.

With all this said, if your job and skill set is deeply involved in statistical data analysis, data visualization, data mining, data filtering, or other similar endeavor, and you think you can walk-the-walk, consider personally adopting the Data Scientist title. It may not bring you fame, but it may help bring you fortune.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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