3 criteria to look for in the best Data Science jobs


Are you an elite Data Scientist or, dare I say it, a “Data Science Unicorn”? If you are, then an “ordinary” Data Scientist job is not for you. But just as it’s hard for companies to find great candidates, it’s also not easy for great candidates to find the right jobs. Here are some points to consider when deciding if a role is right for you.

What is the day-to-day job?

A Unicorn is distinguished by being great, or at least very good, in three areas: Math and Statistics, Computer Science/coding, and Business Acumen. This is a rare and powerful combination of skills—so those that have them want every opportunity to use them. Their ideal job, therefore, has involvement in all parts of the product life cycle: conception, business model, analysis, prototyping, running live experiments, and shepherding the work into production.

Ideally, the position also has a wide variety of interesting problems to solve. Unicorns thrive on challenges and want to see their work impact the business. Preferably the nature of the business and the company’s processes and resources enable them to see results quickly. Not so quickly that raw product hurts customers, but fast enough that they get frequent positive feedback.

What is the culture?

Unicorns are lifelong learners. They thrive in environments that encourage learning and reward achievements. The best cultures for them foster open forums to brainstorm and encourage experimentation. These are places where people are careful, but not afraid to fail. Management is supportive as Data Science is core to the company’s value.

Where do alumni go?

An often overlooked question in a job search is where the alumni from the Data Science team have landed. Did working in that team enrich or harm their careers? Did they leave because they couldn’t make an impact or did they move to a more senior position in another company?

A real example

dataxu is a fantastic place for Unicorns to work. Yes, that is a self-serving statement but, simply put, it’s true. Our Data Scientists work on all aspects of the product lifecycle to make a direct, measurable impact on dataxu’s business. Our industry is young and rapidly changing resulting in many new and challenging problems to solve. We have an open culture that values learning and experimentation. 100% of our Alumni have accelerated their careers, moved on to great places, some as data science team directors and in one case a VP.

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Bringing it all together

Job searches aren’t easy, especially if you are very talented and refuse to ‘settle’. The guidelines above can be used to hone in on the positions that you will enjoy and excel at because they play to your strengths.


Interested in learning more about life at dataxu? Check out our careers page to discover what being a xukeeper is all about and take a look at our open positions!