Friday, March 14, 2014

Scam Artistry

At a few conferences I attended last year, the biggest buzz was how data science was going to take over the world and if we knew what was good for us, we would prod our kids to become data scientists. There was obscene amounts of money to be made in this line of work. Since no one was sure exactly what a data scientist was and supposed to do. So there was an opportunity with someone with related experience to re-brand themselves. Several people I know did just that - they hopped on the Big Data bandwagon, got a smattering of Machine Learning and were calling themselves Data Scientists on their Linked In profiles. 

They continued to do the jobs they had been doing for a while but had a new name for it. The idea being that the name would translate to lucrative job offers and a bigger paycheck. Sounds like the race to the bottom has begun now. A drop from $300/hr to $30/hr is pretty steep. Ironically, no one is still clear on what this job all about and what is a reasonable price to pay for the skill. The opportunity for the savvy data scientist is to take advantage of the fact that no one can clearly articulate what the problem is that needs solving. So they can step in pretending to be the data savant and create a problem that sounds very complicated and have that justify what they need to be paid to solve it.

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