Like many start-up companies, business networking site LinkedIn once struggled to capitalize on the mountains of data generated by its users. Then, in 2006, a new hire, data scientist Jonathan Goldman, swept in and tamed the unwieldy data mess in a way that launched the company to the next level. Goldman extracted patterns from the connections between LinkedIn's users, and came up with a way to suggest to those users other people they may know. The "people you may know" feature created millions of new page views, and LinkedIn's growth went skyward. Sexy? The folks at Harvard Business Review think so, and in their October issue they proclaimed the data scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century. The authors of the article, Thomas H. Davenport, a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, and D.J. Patil, a data scientist at Greylock Partners, liken the profession to the Wall Street quants of the 1980s, and the computer engineers of the 1990s. "If 'sexy' means … [Read more...] about Is Data Scientist the Sexiest Job of Our Time?
Data science salary survey
You must have seen the warning a thousand times: Too few young people study scientific or technical subjects, businesses can’t find enough workers in those fields, and the country’s competitive edge is threatened. It pretty much doesn’t matter what country you’re talking about—the United States is facing this crisis, as is Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, India…the list goes on. In many of these countries, the predicted shortfall of STEM (short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers is supposed to number in the hundreds of thousands or even the millions. A 2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, for instance, stated that over the next decade, 1 million additional STEM graduates will be needed. In the U.K., the Royal Academy of Engineering reported last year that the nation will have to graduate 100 000 STEM majors every year until 2020 … [Read more...] about The STEM Crisis Is a Myth
Figuring out how to get more students drawn into the “STEM education pipeline” has been a major concern of those arguing that there exists an acute shortage of STEM workers, be it in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Australia, or almost any country you choose. Typically, the arguments made to encourage students to enter the STEM pipeline center around how interesting STEM careers are and especially how much money you can earn over pursuing non-STEM careers. However, others point out that many students aren’t interested in STEM careers because they see that the academic work needed at both the high school and university-level to pursue a STEM degree is just too hard in comparison to non-STEM degrees. Until this changes (for example, by increasing the readiness of a prospective STEM student by “redshirting” them), the argument goes, don’t expect a full STEM pipeline anytime soon. recession of 1957-1958, he assumed the company would be rehiring him a few … [Read more...] about What Ever Happened to STEM Job Security?
One of the strongest reasons given by those trying to entice more students to enter the STEM education pipeline is the “earnings premium” STEM workers make in comparison to non-STEM workers. Typical is the statement by the U.S. Department of Commerce press release from 2011 that, “STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.” Further, the Commerce Department press release quotes U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s plea to prospective STEM students that, “A STEM education is a pathway to prosperity – not just for you as an individual but for America as a whole. We need you in our classrooms, labs and key government agencies to help solve our biggest challenges.” However, not everyone is happy as Duncan with STEM workers earning a premium for solving those big challenges, instead believing that the U.S. would be even more competitive and have a more equitable society if the … [Read more...] about Are STEM Workers Overpaid?
Editor’s Picks Bill Stone's Excellent Underwater Adventure It’s a hot late-spring Friday on a cactus-studded cattle ranch in Mexico, and nothing is happening. Nothing, in fact, has been happening for going on a week now, and it’s starting to get tedious. Ordinarily, the group of scientists, engineers, and students who have gathered here might have enjoyed a respite from their otherwise crazy schedules. But they didn’t come here to catch up on their reading, play the guitar, or take long, leisurely walks. They came here to work. Their goal is to field-test one of the most intelligent and agile underwater robots ever crafted, a possible predecessor of a machine that might someday swim the vast, ice-crusted ocean of Jupiter’s mysterious moon Europa. Called … [Read more...] about Swimming to Europa
Back in the 1980s, a false sense of security that infectious diseases were under control helped spur the drug industry to shift its resources away from creating new antibiotics. Since the discovery of penicillin, hailed in the ’40s as the miracle drug, scientists had developed new generations of antibiotics that cured a wide range of diseases. “There was a sense that the market and the clinical needs were already pretty well satisfied with existing agents,” remembers Keith Bostian, who was a researcher at Merck Research Laboratory in the ’80s. “The hurdle to qualify for a new drug candidate that could be competitive and take market share was getting higher and higher.” As a result, many drug companies turned their basic research efforts to antiviral and antifungal medicines, few of which were on the market. What a difference a decade makes. Today Keith Bostian is the founding scientist and chief operating officer of Microcide Pharmaceuticals, Inc., … [Read more...] about Battling Bacterial Resistance
It’s no secret that finding, hiring, and retaining top cybersecurity talent has always been challenging. But today’s cyberthreats are becoming both more numerous and more sophisticated, making those tasks tougher than ever before. The complexity of information-security environments is escalating in response to the fast-evolving cyberthreat landscape—and the ramifications are widespread: recent breaches at Target and Sony Entertainment, among others, led to high-profile resignations as business leaders bore the blame. But with intense competition for highly in-demand skills and increased turnover in cybersecurity positions, the race to find—and keep—top talent is more difficult than ever to win. “This is one of the biggest challenges facing security leaders—recognizing there is a significant capability gap in terms of people, process, and technology,” says Andrzej Kawalec, chief technology officer (CTO) of Hewlett Packard Enterprise … [Read more...] about Close the Talent Gap, Secure the Future
For many years, rumors have circulated that Chinese scientists are financially rewarded whenever their scientific papers are published in reputable journals. At first, this caused the odd raised eyebrow among Western scientists, for whom this kind of financial reward is anathema. For them, science is venerated as a search for truth that is unaffected by self-interest. But as the number of papers published by Chinese scientists has begun to skyrocket, these financial rewards have raised more serious questions about the credibility of work published with this kind of incentive and the integrity of Chinese science in general.At the heart of this debate is an interesting question—just how much are Chinese scientists paid for publication in top journals? Today we get an answer thanks to the work of Wei Quan at Wuhan University, Bikun Chen at Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Fei Shu at McGill University in Montreal. These guys have surveyed the … [Read more...] about The Truth about China’s Cash-for-Publication Policy