Hottest Job: Data Scientist
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What’s the Hottest Job? Data Scientist

Mary Jane Horton

If you want a degree that virtually guarantees a good-paying job, consider enrolling in one of these CSU programs focused on analytics, information science and related fields.

Hottest Job: Data Scientist

Classes in computer science and information technologies may be part of the curriculum if you're on a path to becoming a data scientist. Photo courtesy of CSU Channel Islands


When Glassdoor compiled its "25 Best Jobs in America" list earlier this year, at the top was "data scientist." The jobs-and-recruiting site reported a median base salary of nearly $117,000 annually for those with this title.

Data science, which relates to the fields of analytics and information science, has been a hot area in recent years. According to Computerworld that's because there simply aren't enough highly trained people to go around: "It's become painfully clear that data scientists and analytics talent in general are in chronically short supply, even as universities have begun establishing degree programs to increase their ranks," said an article from the IDG News Service in January 2016.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, predicts that the growth rate for statisticians will climb by 34 percent between 2014 and 2024.

Which makes it no surprise that a number of California State University campuses are doing their part to graduate more skilled students who can fill these high-paying jobs.

In spring 2017, Sacramento State will debut a 40-week business analytics certificate program. Programs that are already in place at the CSU include Chico State's certificate in data technology; CSU Fullerton's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics'  undergraduate and graduate classes in information systems (decision science) and a certificate program in data science; CSU Long Beach's master's in applied statistics; and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's cross-disciplinary minor in data science.

Many campuses also have undergraduate and graduate degrees in business analytics, geographic information science and library and information science.