For the second consecutive year, job-seeking website Glassdoor ranked data scientist as the country’s top occupation. The results were based on earning potential, overall job satisfaction, and number of jobs available—data science enjoys a $110,000 median base salary and routinely has thousands of job listings on Glassdoor. Other top-10 ranked professions include DevOps engineer, data engineer, and solutions architect.

Though big data has been exploding for years, Business Insider reports the recognition of data science as a true science is still in the early stages.

And the fledgling industry is poised for significant and continued growth. IBM projected in May that demand for data scientists will grow 28 percent by 2020 as employers confront emerging problems. The creation of new geospatial tools such as data visualization platforms and machine learning algorithms for object recognition requires testing on large quantities of high-quality data; it also requires expert personnel to manage those massive datasets.

As companies and government organizations (like IARPA) continue to leverage open-source information, data storage and labeling becomes an even more arduous task. Intelligent labeling algorithms will help organize these open data oceans, but more data scientists will be necessary to build databases and conduct forward-looking analysis such as event prediction.

Additionally, the rise of analysis-as-a-service in multiple sectors will open data-centric roles at remote sensing providers offering actionable insights from imagery.

It’s no surprise data scientists report elevated job satisfaction considering the opportunities to assist with real-world problem sets supporting public safety and national security. From environmental preservation and disaster response to intelligence and warfighting, data scientists in the geospatial sphere will continue to be in high demand.

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Posted by Andrew Foerch