Data scientists are fast becoming the rock stars of the 21st century. Thanks in part to Nate Silver’s eerily accurate election predictions and Paul DePodesta’s baseball-revolutionizing Moneyball techniques, math nerds have become celebrities. It’s debatable how much their work differs from what statisticians have done for years, but it’s a growing field, and many companies are desperate to hire their own data scientists. The irony is that many of these math nerds aren’t as math nerdy as you might expect.
No matter what degree they earn, Candido says, data scientists are never done learning. “Staying up on what’s new in the field is extremely important, if you don’t you will get left behind very quickly,” he says. “Participating in data mining contests is one way to stay up. Keep an eye on the people who are better than you.”
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