May 8, 2024

10 Data Science Jobs That Are In-Demand in 2024

An infographic with ascending salary figures for Python Developer, Software Engineer, and Data Scientist positions.

Data science continues to be a vital field in 2024, driving innovation across industries. Even with the tech layoffs of 2023, data science jobs were largely spared, highlighting their importance to business growth.

So what exactly do data scientists do? Basically, they tackle more advanced analysis than data analysts, building predictive models and applying sopthisticated techniques to improve outcomes. This article will walk you through some of the most promising data science jobs, detailing specific responsibilities and must-have skills for each role.

  • Discover 10 in-demand data science jobs
  • Understand key responsibilities and skills for each position
  • Get tips for gaining practical experience to advance your career

Whether you're looking to break into data science or level up in your current position, understanding the nuances of these different jobs will help you chart the right course. We'll cover the key details of each role, and how to gain the practical skills that can take your career to new heights.

Let's get started!

Why choose a career in data science?

Data science is booming, with 650% growth since 2012 according to QuantHub. This impressive expansion highlights both the strength and growing importance of data science skills in today's job market. Pursuing a data science career offers major advantages, including strong job security, room for advancement, and the chance to make a real impact across industries.

If you're thinking about a data science career, here are three main reasons it's a smart move:

  • Job Security: Demand for data scientists is skyrocketing, with a projected 35% jump in job openings between 2022 and 2032. This growth is fueled by the critical role data plays in every sector.
  • Growth Opportunities: Data science is constantly evolving, providing ongoing opportunities to learn, grow your skills, and advance your career as technology progresses.
  • Meaningful Impact: As a data scientist, you can use your skills to drive key decisions and innovations that shape an organization's future.

These advantages make data science more than just a job - it's a path to a rewarding long-term career that stays relevant as the world and technology change.

In short, a data science career offers strong job prospects, significant room for professional development, and the opportunity to do impactful work across many fields. Next, we'll explore some of the most in-demand roles in this exciting field.

Infographic depicting important elements of Data Science

10 Top Data Science Jobs Shaping the Industry

Data science job openings are expected to grow by an impressive 59,400* additional jobs annually from 2022 to 2032. Companies are especially looking for data scientists who can clearly communicate insights* from data. Even with the rise of AI, human expertise is still critical in data roles, and skills like natural language processing* are in high demand.

Here are the top 10 data science jobs that are currently shaping the industry:

  1. Data Engineer
  2. Database Administrator
  3. Data Architect
  4. Data Scientist
  5. Machine Learning Engineer
  6. Deep Learning Engineer
  7. Business Intelligence Developer
  8. Data Translator
  9. Data Privacy Officer
  10. AI Ethics Officer

In the sections that follow, we'll explore each of these data science roles in more depth. You'll gain insight into the core responsibilities, key skills, typical salary ranges, and overall importance of each position. This overview will give you a better idea of which roles align with your talents and goals. Let's get started!

1. Data Engineer

Data engineers play a crucial role in enabling data-driven decision making by building and maintaining the data infrastructure that powers analytics. While data scientists focus on analyzing data to uncover insights, data engineers work behind the scenes to create the architecture that makes this analysis possible in the first place.

On a typical day, a data engineer might design databases, pull data from APIs, write SQL scripts to wrangle datasets, and meet with their team to plan future infrastructure projects. These responsibilities highlight how data engineers are the unsung heroes who ensure data flows smoothly and is readily accessible.

Salary: $121K–$199K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities

  • Build scalable data pipelines to transform and process information
  • Maintain reliable databases and data storage systems
  • Ensure large datasets are collected and stored efficiently
  • Partner with stakeholders to understand requirements and deliver technical solutions

Key Skills

  • Coding skills in languages like Python and Java
  • Deep knowledge of SQL and NoSQL databases
  • Experience with big data tools (e.g. Hadoop, Spark) and cloud platforms
  • Ability to develop CI/CD pipelines

As companies amass ever-increasing volumes of data, the demand for skilled data engineers continues to surge. By establishing robust data foundations and ensuring information is efficiently processed and easily accessible, these professionals empower organizations to effectively leverage their data assets for strategic decision making and competitive advantage.

2. Database Administrator

Database Administrators (DBAs) are the guardians of an organization's structured data, ensuring databases operate securely and efficiently. While Data Scientists analyze data to solve problems, DBAs focus on managing the database infrastructure itself.

A DBA's typical day involves monitoring performance, managing access, and securing data - all critical tasks that keep databases humming. They design and implement database solutions, oversee data storage and retrieval, and optimize performance through careful tuning.

Salary: $96K–$159K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities

  • Designing and implementing database solutions
  • Managing data storage and retrieval
  • Optimizing performance through database tuning
  • Maintaining documentation for management procedures
  • Scheduling backups and recovery procedures
  • Ensuring compliance with data regulations

Key Skills

  • Proficiency in SQL and relational database management systems (RDBMS), which are databases that store data in tables with rows and columns
  • Familiarity with popular databases like Oracle or MySQL
  • Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with IT and data teams
  • Clear communication skills for reporting to stakeholders

In short, DBAs are vital for managing the technical backbone that supports an organization's data needs. As companies increasingly rely on data to drive decisions, DBAs will only become more indispensable in ensuring that data is accurate, secure, and accessible.

3. Data Architect

Data architects play a crucial role in designing and maintaining the data infrastructures that power effective data-driven decision making. While typical data scientists focus on analyzing and interpreting data, data architects are the builders, creating the frameworks that enable advanced data analysis to happen in the first place.

On a typical day, a data architect might be found developing comprehensive data strategies to ensure the integrity and usability of an organization's data systems.

This requires a deep understanding of how to structure and manage vast amounts of information, not just for current needs but also with an eye toward future requirements.

Salary: $149K–$229K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

  • Designing robust data models to support business operations
  • Implementing data governance and security measures
  • Developing strategies for database growth and scalability
  • Collaborating with IT teams to integrate new technologies
  • Maintaining the integrity and accessibility of company data

Key Skills:

  • Advanced knowledge in data modeling techniques
  • Proficiency with big data technologies like Hadoop and Spark
  • Familiarity with cloud services platforms such as AWS or Azure
  • Strong analytical skills to align technical solutions with business goals
  • Ability to oversee large-scale database architectures

By ensuring that an organization's data strategies are designed to take full advantage of available information, data architects support not only day-to-day operational efficiency but also the quality of decision making - which can have a major impact on business outcomes.

4. Data Scientist

Data scientists play a key role in transforming complex data into actionable insights that drive business strategy. Their deep analytical skills and ability to develop predictive models using machine learning set them apart in the data science field.

What makes data scientists unique is their flexibility. On any given day, they might clean datasets, test machine learning algorithms, and present findings to stakeholders. This variety keeps the job engaging.

Data scientists spend their time gathering and analyzing data, building predictive models, and working with teams across the organization. The goal is to ensure the insights they uncover are relevant and can be acted upon to improve the business.

Let's look at some key details:

Salary: $118K–$206K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities

  • Analyze large sets of structured and unstructured data
  • Create predictive models to solve business problems
  • Collaborate with other teams to integrate systems and data effectively
  • Communicate findings to stakeholders with varying technical expertise

Key Skills

  • Proficiency in Python, R, SQL for data analysis
  • Strong understanding of machine learning algorithms and statistical modeling techniques
  • Ability to translate business challenges into data pipelines & model frameworks
  • Excellent communication skills for presenting complex analyses clearly

By generating data-driven insights, data scientists help optimize processes in areas like marketing, product development, and customer service. Their work improves efficiency and helps companies better meet customer needs.

5. Machine Learning Engineer

If you're fascinated by the potential of machine learning to transform industries, a career as a Machine Learning Engineer could be an excellent fit. While Data Scientists often focus on research and experimentation, Machine Learning Engineers are more concerned with the practical implementation of machine learning solutions, taking theoretical data science models and turning them into production-ready applications.

On a typical day, a Machine Learning Engineer might be working on tasks like integrating external datasets to enhance model performance, building APIs to make models more accessible to end-users, or implementing feature transformations to optimize model accuracy. It's a hands-on role that requires a blend of strong technical skills and creative problem-solving.

Salary: $126K–$221K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

  • Designing and developing efficient, scalable machine learning systems
  • Implementing machine learning algorithms to solve real-world problems
  • Conducting tests and experiments to monitor and improve model performance
  • Optimizing machine learning systems for production environments

Key Skills:

  • Proficiency in programming languages like Python and C++
  • Deep understanding of popular machine learning frameworks (e.g. TensorFlow, PyTorch)
  • Experience with data structures and algorithms for building efficient models
  • Familiarity with cloud platforms that support machine learning operations

As more companies look to leverage machine learning, the demand for skilled Machine Learning Engineers will only continue to grow. If you're ready to tackle complex algorithmic challenges and build intelligent systems that drive smarter decisions, this could be the ideal data science career path to pursue.

6. Deep Learning Engineer

Deep Learning Engineers are the masterminds behind advanced AI systems that can learn and make decisions like humans. While data scientists work with all kinds of data, Deep Learning Engineers focus specifically on building complex models using deep neural networks.

What sets Deep Learning Engineers apart is their expertise in cutting-edge machine learning techniques.

They spend their days constructing sophisticated learning systems, fine-tuning algorithms to perfection, and working with teams to put these AI marvels into action.

Salary: $145K–$234K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

Key Skills:

  • Coding like a pro in Python
  • Knowing deep learning tools like TensorFlow and PyTorch inside out
  • Understanding the ins and outs of neural networks and algorithms
  • Solving tough problems and collaborating with others

In today's AI-powered world, Deep Learning Engineers play a vital role in pushing the boundaries of what machines can do. Their innovative work is essential for building smarter, more capable AI systems that will shape our future.

7. Business Intelligence Developer

Business Intelligence (BI) Developers play a key role in transforming raw data into powerful insights that drive smart business decisions. Rather than predicting the future, they focus on analyzing historical information to clearly show how a company has been performing. By thoroughly examining the data, they uncover actionable insights leaders can use to guide their strategies.

On a typical day, a BI Developer might be found defining requirements for BI tools, creating in-depth reports, or constructing sophisticated data models. It's all about ensuring the data is accurate, well-organized and ready to inform those critical business choices.

Salary: $111K–$169K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

  • Design and build BI solutions tailored to the company's specific needs
  • Maintain high data integrity and reliability across all platforms
  • Develop user-friendly BI and analytics tools for easy data access
  • Optimize BI tool performance based on user feedback

Key Skills:

  • Expertise in BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, or QlikSense
  • Strong command of SQL and database management
  • Data modeling abilities to support effective BI solutions
  • Skill in translating complex data into clear, concise reports

Ultimately, BI Developers are instrumental in harnessing the full potential of a company's data. As more organizations recognize the value of data-informed decision making, demand for these skills continues to grow. For analytically-minded individuals who want to make a real impact on business success, a career as a BI Developer can be highly rewarding.

8. Data Translator

Data Translators play a vital role in helping organizations make data-driven decisions. They bridge the gap between the technical world of data science and the practical needs of the business.

While data scientists focus on building complex analytical models, Data Translators ensure those insights are understood and acted upon. They work closely with both technical teams and business stakeholders to align data projects with strategic goals.

On a typical day, a Data Translator might meet with data scientists to discuss their latest findings, then prepare reports explaining the business implications to non-technical colleagues. They are the link that enables data to power meaningful business decisions.

Salary: $53K–$95K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

  • Align data science and business goals
  • Facilitate communication between technical and non-technical teams
  • Translate complex data insights into actionable strategies
  • Manage end-to-end analytics initiatives to ensure business impact

Key Skills:

  • Strong data analysis and interpretation abilities
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills
  • Proficiency with data visualization tools like Tableau and Power BI

Increasingly, as organizations become more data-driven, the demand for skilled Data Translators will continue to rise. These professionals enable companies to maximize the value of their data investments.

9. Data Privacy Officer

Data privacy experts play a vital role in protecting data and ensuring organizations adhere to privacy regulations. In contrast to data scientists who analyze data for insights, data privacy experts concentrate on safeguarding information and complying with legal standards.

What distinguishes data privacy experts is their extensive knowledge of privacy laws and skill in translating complex regulations into actionable policies. They actively monitor data practices, evaluate privacy risks, and modify guidelines to stay current with changing requirements.

In a typical day, a data privacy expert may review data handling procedures within their company, perform impact assessments, create privacy policies, and educate employees on appropriate data practices. They also respond swiftly to resolve any data breaches or privacy concerns that occur.

Salary: $93K–$158K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities:

  • Develop comprehensive data privacy policies for the organization
  • Ensure compliance with GDPR, CCPA and other privacy laws
  • Conduct regular assessments to identify privacy risks
  • Train employees on proper data handling practices
  • Promptly address and resolve data breaches or privacy issues

Key Skills:

  • Deep understanding of national and global privacy regulations
  • Ability to assess risks and potential security vulnerabilities
  • Technical expertise to implement data protection measures
  • Strong communication skills to explain legal requirements company-wide

As our dependence on digital data increases, data privacy experts are becoming progressively more critical. They enable organizations to use data ethically while diligently safeguarding individual privacy in a constantly shifting regulatory environment.

10. AI Ethics Officer

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly integral to how industries operate, AI Ethics Officers play a critical role in ensuring AI systems are developed and used responsibly. These professionals establish ethical guidelines, provide oversight, and work closely with technical teams to maintain ethical standards as organizations rely more heavily on AI technologies.

On a typical day, an AI Ethics Officer might develop company-wide ethical AI policies, train staff on responsible AI practices, and collaborate with developers to ensure algorithms are fair and unbiased. They engage with stakeholders across their organization to deeply integrate ethical considerations into AI projects and promote awareness of technology's societal implications.

Salary:$114K–$212K/yr (Glassdoor)

Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement ethical AI usage policies across the organization
  • Ensure AI applications adhere to data privacy and protection regulations
  • Maintain transparency around AI decision-making processes
  • Mitigate algorithmic bias to promote fairness
  • Foster a culture of ethical awareness regarding technology's impact

Key Skills

  • Deep knowledge of ethical principles and their application to technology
  • Technical understanding of AI systems and data science
  • Excellent communication skills for conveying complex ethical issues
  • Strong critical thinking abilities to evaluate technology's societal effects

As artificial intelligence becomes ubiquitous, AI Ethics Officers will be indispensable in holding organizations accountable and ensuring this powerful technology benefits society as a whole. Their work is vital to the responsible development of AI.

How to Prepare for These Roles

How to become a Data Scientist From Scratch

Want to excel in data science? Focus on three key areas: technical skills, practical projects, and continuous learning. Here's how to set yourself up for success in this exciting field.

A: Master Essential Technical Skills

First, become proficient in programming languages commonly used in data science, such as Python and R. Next, learn how to clean data, create visualizations, and implement machine learning algorithms. Developing these abilities will allow you to tackle complex datasets and perform the advanced analyses required in data science roles.

B: Showcase Your Skills Through Projects

One of the best ways to demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers is by building an impressive portfolio. Look for opportunities to take on personal projects where you analyze real-world datasets. You can also contribute to open-source initiatives. This hands-on experience not only hones your skills but also highlights your ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practice

C: Commit to Lifelong Learning

Data science is a rapidly evolving field, so staying up-to-date is essential. Engage with professional communities, attend relevant conferences, and tap into online learning resources. These activities will give you valuable insights into current industry practices and future directions. Remember, continuous skill development is key to thriving in data science.*

In summary, preparing for a data science career involves a well-rounded approach. By mastering technical skills, applying them through practical projects, and embracing lifelong learning, you'll be well-equipped for success. As data science continues to advance, these strategies will help you thrive both now and in the future.

How to Choose the Best Data Science Role for You

Image depicting many choices and a robot highlighting one of them

Choosing the best data science role comes down to knowing your strengths, skills, and what each job requires. This section will walk you through a self-assessment to help figure out which position might be your ideal match.

The Different Data Science Roles

Data science includes several distinct roles, each with its own set of responsibilities and necessary skills:

  • Data Engineer: Builds infrastructure and pipelines for collecting, storing, and processing data.
  • Data Scientist: Examines complex data to uncover insights, make predictions, and develop strategies.
  • Machine Learning Engineer: Creates algorithms and predictive models using big data.
  • Data Architect: Designs the blueprints for an organization's data management systems.

Assessing Your Fit for a Data Science Career

To determine if a data science career is right for you, ask yourself:

  • Are you passionate about continuous learning and problem-solving?
  • Do you feel comfortable with programming languages and data analysis tools?
  • Can you effectively communicate complex data insights?
  • Are you persistent enough to tackle difficult data challenges?
  • How well do you collaborate on projects with different teams?

Your answers to these questions can provide valuable insight into which data science role best aligns with your abilities and interests. Top data scientists have a blend of technical skills, analytical capabilities, and personal qualities like curiosity and a keen eye for detail. Specialized machine learning skills are also predicted to be in high demand for these positions.

Aligning Your Career for Satisfaction

It's crucial to match your personal traits with your professional goals. Making sure your abilities fit the requirements of a specific role not only boosts job satisfaction but also enables career growth. So whether you're a student hoping to enter the field or a professional looking to advance, understanding these alignments is key.

In summary, taking time to reflect on your strengths and objectives can significantly help in identifying the data science role that's the right fit for you. Choosing a career path well-suited to your skills and interests will put you on the road to success and fulfillment in this exciting field.

At the end of the day...

Data science roles are shaping the future of business and technology. In this article, we explored 10 high-demand data science jobs that are making a big impact in 2024. From data engineers to AI ethics officers, these positions offer diverse and rewarding career paths.

Animated GIF displaying the Dataquest learning platform interface with educational material on the left and a coding practice area on the right

If you're ready to launch your data science career, a strong educational foundation is key. Here's how to get started:

Kickstart Your Data Science Career

As data science continues to evolve, adaptability and continuous learning are essential for staying competitive. By honing your skills with Dataquest's interactive courses and hands-on projects, you'll be well-prepared to thrive in the exciting world of data science.

Mike Levy

About the author

Mike Levy

Mike is a life-long learner who is passionate about mathematics, coding, and teaching. When he's not sitting at the keyboard, he can be found in his garden or at a natural hot spring.