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Cool Careers in Science
Mason Crest Miami
Mason Crest PO Box 221876 Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free)
Copyright © 2023 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-4222-4656-6 SERIES ISBN: 978-1-4222-4654-2 E-BOOK ISBN: 978-1-4222-7158-2
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Table of Contents
Chapter 5: The Future of Big Data
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Chapter 1: Big Data and Careers . . . . . 11 Chapter 2: Terms of the Trade . . . . . . 29 Chapter 3: Preparing for the Field and Making a Living . . . . . . . 39 Chapter 4: Key Skills and Methods of Exploration . . . . . . . 59
and Careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Further Reading & Internet Resources . . . 93 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Educational Video Links . . . . . . . . 96 Author’s Biography . . . . . . . . . . 96
Table of Contents
6 Cool Career in Sci ence: BIG DATA PECIALI T
Careers in Science Offer Good Pay, the Opportunity to Help People, and Other Rewards
Where would we be without science? Well, we’d be without computers, smartphones, robots, and other cutting-edge technologies. Crimes would take longer to solve without modern forensic analysis techniques. We’d be stuck relying on environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels instead of using renewable energy. And life would be less fun because we wouldn’t have drones, awe-inspiring and physics-defying roller coasters, or the computer and video games that we play for hours. Jobmarkets are sometimes strong and sometimes weak, but a career in science (which, for the purposes of this series, includes the related fields of technology and engineering) is almost a sure path to a comfortable life. The following paragraphs provide more information on why a career in science is a great choice. Good pay. People in science careers earn some of the highest salaries in the work world. The median annual salary for those in engineering careers in the United States is $80,170, according to the US Department of Labor (DOL). That is much higher than the median earnings ($38,640) for all careers. Additionally, those in life, physical, and social science occupations earn an average of $66,070, and information technology professionals earn an average of $86,320. Science professionals who become managers or who launch their own businesses can earn anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000 or more. Strong employment prospects. There are shortages of science workers throughout the world. In fact, engineering workers are the third most
in-demand occupational field in the world. Technicians rank fourth, and computer and information technology professionals rank sixth. There’s a shortage of software engineers in more than twenty countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Other science careers where there is a shortage of workers include electronics engineers (nineteen countries), electrical engineers (sixteen countries), data analysts (eleven countries), and hardware engineers (six countries). The DOL predicts that employment of computer and information technology professionals in the United States will grow by 12 percent during the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all careers. Career opportunities for those in life, physical, and social science occupations will grow by 7 percent (faster than the average). The outlook is also good for engineering professionals. Employment is expected to grow by 4 percent during the next decade. The strongest opportunities will be found in the rebuilding of infrastructure, oil and gas extraction, renewable energy, and robotics The DOL predicts that by 2028 there will be nearly 757,000 new jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Rewarding work
environment and many career options. A career in science is fulfilling, because you get to use both your creative and practical sides to develop new technologies (or improve existing ones), solve problems, and make the world a better place. In the instance of data science, you get to collect and analyze information to help
8 Cool Career in Sci ence: BIG DATA PECIALI T
provide better medical care, help banks stop financial fraud, or help companies understand and better serve their customers. There’s a common misconception that science workers spend most of their time in dreary, windowless laboratories or research facilities. While they do spend lots of time in these places (that really aren’t dreary), they also spend time in the field, testing, troubleshooting, and trying out their inventions or discoveries. Some science professionals launch their own businesses, which can be both fun and very rewarding. Job opportunities are available throughout the United States and the world. Science professionals play such important roles in our modern world that there are job openings almost anywhere, although many positions are found mainly in big cities. I a Career in ence Right for Me? Test your interest. How many of these statements do you agree with? ___ My favorite class is mathematics. ___ I enjoy doing science experiments. ___ I am curious about how things work. ___ I am creative and have a good imagination. ___ I like to build electronics and other things that require electricity. ___ I like to take things apart and see how they work. ___ I am good at math and physics. If many of the statements above describe you, then you should consider a career in the sciences. But you don’t need to select a career right now. Check out this book on a career as a big data specialist, and other books in the series, to learn more about occupational paths in the sciences and related fields. Good luck with your career exploration! ___ I also enjoy computer science classes. ___ I like to conduct research and gather data. ___ I like to design and build things. ___ I like to solve puzzles.
Words To Understand artificial neural networks: biological brain–inspired systems that are created to replicate the way that humans learn; they consist of layers of connected “neurons” that share information data mining: the process of finding irregularities, patterns, and correlations in large data sets in order to predict outcomes or obtain other insights Global Positioning ystem (GP ): a satellite-based navigation system established by the Department of Defense that is made up of at least twenty-four satellites Internet of Things (IoT): a network of appliances, vehicles, and other items that are embedded with electronics, sensors, software, and other technology that allows them to communicate with each other and share information liberal arts: the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities unauthorized: not having permission
Cool Career in Sci ence: BIG DATA PECIALI T
BIG DATA AND CAREERS The World of Big Data
Texts. Videos. Social media posts. Medical records. Customer reviews on Yelp. Information collected from the Internet of Things . These are just a few of the many types of data that are being generated as a result of advances in technology, the growth of the Internet and social media, and the introduction of sensors, cameras, and other devices that gather information. We live in a world that is awash with information, and massive collections of data are known as big data . There are two types of big data: 1. Structured data consists of words and numbers that can be easily organized and analyzed. Examples include data generated from sensors, smartphones, financial transactions, and Global Positioning System devices.
Chapter 1: BIG DATA AND CAR
Retailers are some of the biggest users of big data.
2. Unstructured data consists of information that is not stored in a fixed format. It comes from documents, digital pictures and videos, audio transmissions, sensors, social media feeds, and unstructured content from the web (e.g., blogs and tweets).
There are five main qualities of data:
1. Value: the usefulness of the data 2. Variety: the different types of data
Cool Career in Sci ence: Big Data Sp ecialists
3. Velocity: the speed at which the data is generated 4. Veracity: the trustworthiness of the data 5. Volume: the size of the data
Studying data helps us to answer science-related questions, better understand diseases and treat them, and learn more about a vast variety of things in the world. The study of big data also allows companies to better understand and serve their customers, reduce risks, better maintain their equipment and machinery, and improve the efficiency of workers and production processes—and make a lot of money in the process. The management consulting firm Bain & Company reports that “early adopters of big data analytics have gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world . . . those with the most advanced analytics capabilities are outperforming competitors by wide margins.” Big data is used by businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. The market research firm IDC reports that the banking, manufacturing, professional services, and federal government are currently making the largest investments in big data and business analytics solutions. Big data has many subfields, but the two main areas in this discipline are data analytics and data science. People disagree about the definitions of these terms, but for the purposes of this book, data analytics is the collection, organization, and study of data to solve problems, make strategic decisions, and meet other goals. Data science is the design and creation of new types of data analytics processes by using algorithms, predictive models (the use of statistics to predict the outcome of a process or event), and other methods.
CHAPTER 1: BIG DATA AND CAR
Land-surveying information is just one type of data that data scientists study.
Other ource of Data
Photographs Clickstreams from an app or website Purchase transaction records Maps Cell phone GPS signals Information from sensors (traffic signals, utility meters, etc.) Census data Land-surveying data Banking records Government-produced data (e.g., CIA World Factbook and European Union Open Data Portal) Articles and books
Cool Career in Sci ence: Big Data Sp ecialists
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