Written by: Reagan Flowers, Ph.D.
Though data science may seem like a popular catchphrase in tech, it’s much more than that. Data science is being used across many industries and is a skill that is rapidly expanding to every career field. Re-evaluating how we teach science and math in the classroom will play a big part in preparing students to succeed in these careers.
What is Data Science
Data science involves gathering information and then organizing it for analysis and application. With the way today’s technology has evolved, it’s easier than ever to measure every aspect of a process, a product, a potential audience, and more. As a result, data science creates efficiencies for determining what is working and not working before trying another solution when it comes to STEM and problem-solving. For example, when Thomas Edison invented the electric lightbulb, it took thousands of tries. Today, information is constantly at our fingertips, and knowing how to use that information to move the world forward is crucial.
How is Data Science Being Used
Data science has endless applications, but let’s take a look at a few to show you just how widespread its use has become. In the last decade, data science has played a role in:
- Gaining insight about customers, where they’re shopping, what they’re buying, and what communication they respond to (this is how search engines and social media websites are continually becoming “smarter” about targeting your search results and the ads you see)
- Increasing the security of a company’s system and information, fighting fraud and hackers
- Reducing inefficiencies in manufacturing
- Predicting future trends in retail or financial markets
- Improving healthcare practices such as better detection through X-Rays and CT Scans, developing new prescription drugs, and expanding the study of genetically linked disease
Why Teaching Data Science Matters
Data scientist careers are very lucrative, with many making well over six figures. On top of that, the number of these jobs available already far outnumber available qualified candidates. This disparity will only continue to grow if we do not prepare students for changing jobs. Read more…