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Is Data Scientist Really The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century?

Do infographics get you hot and bothered? Is snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of red and a SQL database your idea of a cozy night in? Are you looking for a lover who can keep your axes labelled all night long? If so, you’re apparently not alone. The Harvard Business Review, a noted authority on “things that are sexy,” has declared “Data Scientist to be the sexiest career of the 21st century.

The article reflects the burgeoning mystique of the new and pocket protector friendly gig, which we have to assume narrowly edged out things like “Chippendales dancer” and “calendar firefighter” on its way to being named the sexiest of all possible careers. Because if there’s one thing that gives a job an indefinable allure, it is everybody else being kind of unsure what it is you really do — a quality that data scientists damn near embody.

The article by Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil is a primer on what data scientists do, who they are, and why every forward thinking company is going to be paying through the nose to keep them on hand in the coming years. Data is the new hot commodity in the world of business, and the engine that drives companies like Facebook and Google. Without people who can accurately parse the numbers and come up with creative uses for the information they contain, though, all that data can go to waste.

The takeaway here is that sexy for the rest of us is not necessarily sexy for the Harvard Business Review, which is all about being shown the money. That said, if your turn-ons include job security, fat stacks of cash, and analyzing spreadsheets for periods of time that would make mere mortals go all Raiders of the Lost Ark, you could have a very rosy future on your hands.

(via Harvard Business Review)

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