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With technology developing rapidly and digitization increasing, we keep producing growing amounts of data every day. This is where data science and cyber security come into play. These two strong fields that empower the digital economy today are necessary for analyzing data sets and protecting the valuable information extracted.

When comparing data science vs. cyber security, you will notice differences between these two promising careers. You can find the one that best fits your plans for the future by looking closely at the responsibilities of each profession, career paths, and salaries.  Let’s look into these details for the fields of data science and cyber security.

What Is Data Science?

Data science is a field that blends various tools and algorithms to extract valuable information from data. This field incorporates several disciplines, such as statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), data engineering, data preparation, data mining, predictive analytics, data visualization, mathematics, and software programming. Through these disciplines, they prepare and analyze the data. Data science includes many processes to expose patterns from which they conclude current trends and help companies and organizations make informed decisions.

Data science job description

Data science professionals are responsible for collecting large sets of data, analyzing, and interpreting them for business purposes. They use the insight gathered from data to assist the company in problem solving and decision-making. In addition to the already mentioned duties, data scientists also deal with:

  • Designing data modeling processes.
  • Building machine learning algorithms.
  • Developing and maintaining databases.
  • Assessing the quality of datasets.
  • Cleansing unstructured data.
  • Preparing reports for executive and project teams.
  • Proposing solutions to the executive team.
  • Creating data visualizations to present information.
  • Collaborating with the other teams.
  • Combining models through ensemble modeling.

Data science skills


Professionals in the data scientists field must have a strong foundation built on both mathematics and statistics. In addition, they should be knowledgeable in Python and R programming and use them for data mining, manipulation, calculation, graphical display, and running embedded systems. Data scientists must also be skilled in statistical modeling software, such as SQL databases and the Hadoop platform.

Besides the above-mentioned technical skills, some necessary soft skills for this career include communication skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.

Data science career path

The path towards becoming a data scientist typically begins with undergraduate studies. Many entry-level data science jobs require a bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science, or a field related to them. After that, to qualify for senior-level positions, many also pursue a master’s degree. Combining education with work experience and a few certificates will ensure you have a thriving professional experience in data science.

Data science salary

The average salary for data scientists in the United States is $115,330 per year. Entry-level positions offer around $81,000, whereas senior-level data scientists earn about $164,000 per year.

Master’s degrees also influence salary. For example, for professionals with a MS in Data Analytics salary expectations will increase to an average of $15,000 more per year compared to candidates without it.

What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a field that combines methods and processes to protect computer systems, networks, and data from internal or external threats. This field aims to shield the stored sensitive information and other organizational assets from unauthorized access that can damage, steal, or modify the data. Cyber security is also responsible for finding ways to restore lost or tempered information in case of cyber attacks or other threats.

Cyber security job description

Cyber security workers are responsible for ensuring the security and functionality of a company’s computer and networking systems. They have to constantly search for weaknesses in the company’s hardware and software to ensure no one can access data without authorization. Some of their other responsibilities include:

  • Implementing firewalls to networking systems.
  • Determining access authorizations.
  • Securing the IT infrastructure.
  • Monitoring the network for signs of cyberattacks.
  • Eliminating potential threats or attempted breaches.
  • Identifying cyberattackers.
  • Informing the company’s employees on security policies.

Cyber security skills

To succeed in cyber security, you need a set of technical and non-technical skills. First, you must have a good understanding of the technological devices you work with. This skill enables you to access databases, manage files, code, and use spreadsheets. Other technical skills useful for this career are:

  • Programming skills
  • Risk identification skills
  • Application design skills
  • Reverse engineering skills

Regarding soft skills necessary for the job, the most important ones include communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership, research, and writing skills.

Cyber security career path


Many cyber security professionals follow a career path that begins with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, cyber security, or a similar field. Then, you can proceed to start your professional career with an entry-level role. After gaining experience in the field and if you wish to  senior positions,  it is generally advised and required that you pursue a master’s degree.

The degree combined with a few years of work experience will make you eligible for numerous leadership roles in the company. But, you might be wondering: how hard is cyber security degree completion? Well, it certainly is challenging. However, the benefits outweigh the struggles. Earning this type of  degree will open many doors towards a successful career.

Cyber security salary

The average salary for cyber security professionals is estimated to be $76,808 per year in the United States. The salary ranges from an average of $37,000 for entry-level positions to $160,000 for the top senior-level roles.

Data science and. cyber security are both high-in-demand, lucrative work options that offer different career paths worthy of your attention. In order to make a decision, think about the skills you possess, the ones you can obtain, and what your goals are. Whichever profession aligns better with your interests will be a more suitable fit for you.



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