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Career Opportunities

Data Mining Specialist

Data mining is the process of collecting and analyzing large amounts of data and picking out relevant information to aid in decision making. Business intelligence organizations and financial analysts use data mining specialists the most. It is also increasingly being used in the sciences to extract pertinent information from the data collected from scientific experimental and observational methods.

Day to Day Duties:

  • You will be gathering critical data, refining it, and organizing it for the data mining process to solve an organization’s information needs, challenges, or various other related problems.
  • You will be making decisions on using numerous statistical data mining algorithms to apply to your appointed tasks. Your choice of algorithms will depend upon the data you've gathered, the task you're trying to solve, and the technology you have available to you to solve that task.
  • Regression is a statistical technique that takes numerical data and creates a mathematical formula that fits that data. Using this technique you will plug new data into the formula and solve in order to create a prediction that will assist you with your challenge or problem of picking out useful and relevant information.
  • Classification analysis is another statistical technique and is more suited to working with categorical data or a mixture of numerical and categorical data? In this method a decision tree that requires a series of binary decisions make it easier to sort, work with, and interpret a larger collection of data.
  • Regression and classification are only two of the more popular statistical techniques used in this career. There are plenty of other data mining algorithms that data mining specialists use to accomplish their tasks of finding critical, relevant information.

Average Salary: Base Annual Salary: $72,000-$90,000  (Salary: Based on various websites and resources (ex. Salary.com, PayScale.com, and SalaryExpert.com) Specialty, gender, age, and location made a big difference in earnings.

Career Prospects:

The US Bureau of Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition points out that: 

"Employment in computer systems design and related services will grow by 38.3 percent and add nearly one-fourth of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services. Employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also will grow at a staggering 78 percent and account for another third of growth in this supersector. Demand for these services will be spurred by the increased use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity of business."

Suggested Minors:

  1. Statistics
  2. Math
  3. Computer Science
  4. Business
  5. Science (for those who plan to specialize in a certain field)

Additional Courses to Enhance Skills:

  1. Statistics/Modeling
  2. Math
  3. Computer Science
  4. Business
  5. Science (for those who plan to specialize in a certain field)

Alternate Job Titles:

  1. Data Warehouse Specialist
  2. Date Mining Professional