“The emergence of big data – a term used to describe sets of data so large, disparate and proliferating that traditional data processing applications aren’t able to handle them – has led to a growing need for skilled professionals who can mine and interpret the required data sets to help businesses make better strategic decisions. There is currently a shortage of data scientists – with companies looking for programmers and analytical thinkers to plug the gap.” I saw this feature in the Guardian recently and the phrases “mine and interpret the required data” and “programmers and analytical thinkers” really jumped out. The profile of a Physics degree on Prospects includes:
- problem solving – with a pragmatic and analytical approach
- reasoning– constructing logical arguments, applying analytical skills and grasping complex problems
- numeracy – skills in using mathematics to find solutions to scientific problems, mathematical modelling and interpreting and presenting information graphically
Check out the full article and you’ll start to see why physicists would be good at this. The most common programming languages used in big data applications are Java, Python, C# and R so if you are also developing these though your studies you already have a headstart!