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Is there a place for data science generalists in the job market?

With some introspection these last few months, I found that no one field (e.g, analytics, natural language processing, experimentation, etc) in the data science space really draws me (though all are very interesting in their own way). With that being said, is it frowned upon in the job market to be more of a generalist data scientist than a specialist data scientist?

In the past, my academic journey has allowed me to earn degrees in history, anthropology, mathematics, computer science, statistics, economics, political science. I suppose this conundrum I'm having in the data science space closely mirrors my experience back when I was an undergraduate.

Perhaps a company or business may derive more value from someone who is more specialized in their subfield than someone who is fluent in most modalities but not particularly an expert in any one subfield.

Though I would have to also add that domain knowledge and understanding of business context are important skills to have regardless if you're a generalist or specialist data scientist based on my what I've observed.

#datascience #data #career #professionaldevelopment


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Holly’s Answer

Hi Jimmy - I agree with Carrie. Data scientists are in high demand. Almost every industry today can derive value from these skillsets. I would recommend spending time thinking about what problems excite you and that you would like to solve. Then look into data science opportunities in those areas. I have not done any analysis on this topic, but there may be some industries where there is more demand than others, so that could also be a factor you evaluate. Good luck!

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Carrie’s Answer

Data science is a high demand job. If you have the basics I think it is a good start, however, I do think if you specialized there would be more opportunities for you. If there are fields that you have interest in for example medicine or criminology, you could focus on learning some of these. If you focus on specific programs that those organizations use to read and interpret their data in those fields this is a leg up. I think there is more opportunity for moving up if you specialize.

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