Data Science and You
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of modern society is the amount of data that’s created second. People constantly browse websites, make posts on social media, give information to eCommerce operations, and so on. All of these activities amount to an average of 1.7MB generated for each second a user spends online.
Why does this data matter? Well, scientists and programmers found out that there’s a lot to learn about people by analyzing their combined data. And since we produce such an enormous amount of it, companies and governments have started putting effort into studying it. Records from Internet browsers, social media posts, online purchases — these are just a few of the things that make up this newly-studied data. The effort to organize and extract insights from unorganized data is what people call data science: the science dedicated to studying huge amounts of data.
Since we are living at the peak of the Information Age, data science has become one of the most important and valuable fields of our time. The market is expected to reach an evaluation of $25.94 billion by 2027, and it's already among the job markets with the biggest number of opportunities. Data science can help companies create powerful recommendation tools for movies and products and can create personalized feeds for your social media and video platforms. It’s powers are limitless.
Since this booming area is becoming a bigger part of our daily lives, it’s a good thing that data science is now being scrutinized itself. We want to know: is data science a diverse field? Are the voices of people from underrepresented communities being heard? Unfortunately, the answer is currently no.
According to research conducted by the General Assembly, data science is considered the least diverse amongst other technology disciplines, such as data analytics or programming. It’s estimated that more than 62% of all workers in data science are men; not only that, but Black and Latino people make up only 12% of the total workforce. This situation suggests a problematic scenario, since only a small percentage of people from underrepresented communities are getting a say on what is considered to be one of the most important aspects of modern technology. We have a great need to recruit more people of color in data science.
What can be done about this? There are many approaches to how we can educate and provide opportunities to more people to join the data science market, but one of the most interesting ones is currently being developed by Data Science for Everyone. They advocate for an overhaul of the current K-12 education system by increasing the emphasis on data-related topics and by updating curriculums that are out of touch with the modern world. This would not only increase the quality of our education, but also incentivize more people to join and pique interest in the data science field.
And so, overall, the data science field has become one of the most important areas of technology in our current world, with more than enough job opportunities to accommodate newcomers to the area. However, it remains a non-inclusive field, with most of its workforce consisting of white men. The field desperately needs major improvements to become more inclusive, but we can and should be hopeful for the future, since there are many new approaches to increase the diversity of the area.