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Vol. 11 Num. 8 October 2012

When I grow up I want to be a … disk whisperer

Do we really need data scientists to parse our way through all that big data, or will programmers and engineers and admins handle things OK? In a kind of weird coincidence, the same subject recently found its way into several business and technology trade press pubs -- almost as though it had been deliberately placed there. The topic was “the next big thing” in corporate career paths. It described a degree that you, if you’re unemployed, should be working to obtain to ensure your re-entry into a workplace that has left you behind, or what you should be pressing your children to pursue instead of those silly sheepskins in fields like philosophy, fine arts or history. What was this high-and-to-the-right profession that was sure to propel its practitioners into the very Valhalla of corporate corner officedom? The authors of the pieces I read defined the career simply and inauspiciously as “data scientist.” Wow, I thought. The moniker sounded somehow technical and even computer related. It was also very similar to “data management ...

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