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Do Data Scientists Need Certification?

Defining a “data scientist” is tough; finding one to hire in today’s market can be even tougher. A certification program aims to help

2 min read
Illustration of data scientists on a pie chart
Illustration: iStockphoto

What is a data scientist? Job search firm Indeed recently sketched out a picture of a data scientist as a technologist with a degree “in computer science, statistics, or a quantitative social science, along with some training in statistical modeling, machine learning, and programming.” Wikipedia describes data science as “an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from data in various forms, both structured and unstructured.”

But while a lot of companies want to hire data scientists, there is little agreement about what a data scientist actually is. In a discussion on Hacker News about my recent blog post indicating that demand and salaries for data scientists are both growing rapidly, one commenter wrote: “‘Data scientist’ is a title recently thrown around a lot for positions that used to be called ‘data analyst,’ with no strong [machine learning] or [software engineering] ability required.”

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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