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Data science profession: accredidation, code of conduct

Data scientists are the lion kings of data pros while salaries for business intelligence and data warehousing pros are stagnating. 

Actual data scientist salaries are much higher considering many garden variety data analysts have renamed their job titles as "data scientists" to exploit market confusion causing lower average salaries in surveys.


This is creating competition between the “qualified” and the “unqualified,” and hurting those who are truly qualified to practice leading to widespread demands to create specialized data science programs at the university undergraduate and graduate levels and establish minimum training requirements to practice data science.


While this is on balance a positive development, there still is a need for a data science accreditation organization to establish educational guidelines and performance standards, and to create a clear demarcation between qualified and unqualified practitioners.

This laid the foundation for establishing the Data Science Association, an organization built to develop proficiency in existing skills, develop new skills, and meet new conduct and performance standards. The Data Science Association - with over 4,000 members - was formed to advance data scientific disciplines, define and improve standards in data science education and establish a code of ethics - with the overall public goal of improving life, business and government using advanced data science techniques.

At this time the Data Science Association is working on developing educational guidelines and performance standards as well as a professional certification for data scientists. The data science professional certification is a process where a person proves that he or she has the knowledge, experience, and skills to practice data science by passing an exam that is accredited by the Data Science Association.

The data science professional certification demonstrates to employers and clients that a person is not only a qualified data scientist but also committed to data science as a profession. Certification makes a person more valuable to employers and allows data scientists to:
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  • Enjoy better employment and advancement opportunities
  • Have a competitive advantage over candidates without certificates
  • Earn higher wages
  • Receive tuition reimbursement for continuing education
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The Data Science Code of Professional Conduct of the Data Science Association provides ethical guidelines to help the data science practitioner. This demonstrates to employers and clients that a data scientist is not only committed to data science as a profession but will act in the best interests of the client and prevent or mitigate potential harm to the client. It also protects data scientists from unscrupulous clients and employers who may desire to abuse data science to gain unwarranted or illegal advantage and potentially hurt the public.
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I respectfully ask that you join us in developing and professionalizing data science to improve life, business and government. Our guiding principles set the aspirations that we endeavor to achieve:
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  • Setting standards for the ethical professional practice of data science.
  • Assuring base-level data scientist competency.
  • Advancing data science to serve core values of the scientific method and noblesse oblige.
  • Helping to shape a better future - not just for the powerful, but for the majority of people.
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Join over 4,000 data scientists today @ http://www.datascienceassn.org

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Tags: 2014, Association, Certification, Data, Professional, Professionals, Salaries, Science, Scientists

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Comment by Vincent Granville on May 28, 2014 at 3:06am

During a job interview, if the interviewer asked the candidate a simple question on how to process a data set with 50 million rows, just ask the candidate to write a few lines of code (or better, maybe even prior to being invited for an interview), it would eliminate most fake data scientists. The same applies to any profession: the interviewer must do his due diligence, as anyone can call himself anything. And there will always be stellar professionals who are too busy to get accredited anyway.

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