Why Study Data Science?

"Having an interdisciplinary skill set and knowing how to handle and analyze large amounts of data is now essential for many career paths. In biology, data is pouring in faster than anyone has a clue how to make sense of; it is an exciting but challenging time!" —Scott Boyken, '07

Big data. Virtually every organization has it and most want to find ways to use it to help them grow their business.

That’s where data scientists come in. Data scientists know how to use their skills in math, statistics, programming, and other related subjects to organize large data sets. Then, they apply their knowledge to uncover solutions hidden in the data to take on business challenges and goals.

Why Study Data Science at Luther?

Being a successful data scientist takes more than just knowing how to make sense of big sets of data. You also need to understand business issues and how to address them with analytical solutions.

A data science major, along with Luther’s liberal arts program, can help you become what is called a “unicorn” data scientist. This term is applied to software engineers and data scientists who are, like unicorns, rare and amazing creatures with just the right combination of awesome skills to fit the job. You will become someone with great skills in statistics and computer science who can write, speak publicly, and interact well with other people. The major will teach you about techniques and theories from many related fields (i.e., math, computer science, statistics, etc.) that will help you understand and analyze data.

Beyond the major, Luther’s liberal arts program will help you grow as a person. Luther’s cross-disciplinary program will equip you with strong communication skills to help you work effectively with teams and clients. You’ll also learn analytical and problem-solving skills, and demonstrate ability to apply your knowledge and abilities in real-world settings. In many ways, a liberal arts college is the perfect environment for a data science program, where we intentionally create intersections between multiple areas of study such as business management, economics, communication studies, and biology.

Some Job Titles Related to This Major:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Architect
  • Big Data Engineer
  • Business Analytics Specialist
  • Data Visualization Developer
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Engineer
  • BI Solutions Architect
  • BI Specialist
  • Analytics Manager
  • Statistician
HBR: Data Scientist
HBR: Data Scientist

Harvard Business Review on Data Science

"More than anything, what data scientists do is make discoveries while swimming in data."
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Venn diagram of data science unicorn.