What it's like to have the best job in America right now

glassdoor data science

  • Once again, data scientist ranks as the best job in America, according to employees.
  • Business Insider interviewed a data science manager at Glassdoor to learn what it's like to have the best job in America right now.
  • Data scientists not only command high salaries, but play a huge role in influencing company decision-making.

For the third year in a row, data scientist has been ranked the best job in America.

According to rankings by job site Glassdoor, the data scientist position has the highest overall job score of 4.8 out of a possible 5.

To determine its job rankings, Glassdoor takes into account the average salary of positions listed, the number of open positions, and the average job satisfaction of employees in these roles.

According to Glassdoor, data scientists have an average compensation of $120,000 per year, there are 4,524 job openings, and overall job satisfaction in the position scores a 4.2 out of 5.

To find out what it's really like to have the best job in the country, Business Insider interviewed Ling Cheng, a Data Science Manager at Glassdoor.

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Why data scientist is the best job this year

Aside from the great pay and ample job opportunity, data scientists help steer their companies in the right direction.

"I think that it's a really exciting field," Cheng told Business Insider. "More and more companies are starting to realize the potential they have in their data. A data scientist who's answering questions for you does their own delving in and serves as the detective.

"You have to be open to what comes out of the data. What is it telling you versus what you believe in? This can happen when we look at A/B tests, when we look at products, and it can be in strategy, where we find what's working and what's not." 


What being a data scientist actually looks like

Data scientists can impact the decisions that managers make, with respect to product management and operational efficiency.

"It varies by company, but overall, it could be generating insights for high-level decisions, product decisions, business decisions, or strategy decisions," Cheng said. 

The job can also include building dashboards to display data in a more visually clear way. A single dashboard can include several charts and graphs containing different information.

"In Glassdoor's case, it could be building salary estimates, looking at how to return results for job search," Cheng said. "I think those are kind of the big areas. Insights, dashboards, and building products."

The main difference between a data scientist and a data engineer

Although there is quite a lot of overlap between data scientists and data engineers, their roles are not to be confused.

"A data engineer is responsible for making sure that data scientists have all the data that we need and that we get it in a timely manner," said Cheng.

As Vik Paruchuri wrote on DataQuest, "Data engineers are responsible for constructing data pipelines and often have to use complex tools and techniques to handle data at scale." He continued: "Unlike [data science], data engineering leans a lot more towards a software development skill set."

Data scientists really depend on data engineers, Cheng told Business Insider, "because we need the data processed, and we need it available in a way that we can get to it without waiting hours. So they build tools and process the data in a way that allows us to do that."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider