Which role do I choose: Statistical Analyst or Data Scientist?


Dear all,

I have recently started following Analytics Vidhya and it is really helpful and informative and I love this blog. I am working for an analytical firm for about 2.8 years and I am from statistical background(M.Sc. Statistics). Recently I have resigned from the current organization.

Could you please suggest which field should I choose?
Statistical Analyst or Data Scientist ? I have both offers in hand, so I have to confirm any one of them ASAP. I am totally confused because Statistical Analyst gives the nice compensation compared to the data scientist role and providing an onsite opportunity for the training and its related credit risk/banking domain, moreover the company is based in my home location. And other side Data scientist role related to telecom domain.
I am very much interested to start my career as a data scientist. But finally compensation matters.

  1. Please suggest me can I go with Statistical Analyst or Data Scientist?
  2. If I have chosen Statistical Analyst role, so is there any chance to get into the data scientist field again sometime in the future?

My current role is a Business analyst and working on web analytics data in the Market Research domain. I have hands on work experience on SAS, SQL and Excel. Other than this I have a basic understanding of VBA too. I have sound knowledge in R programming. My Masters and Bachelors I have used completely R and also I am good in Statistical background.



Congrats on getting the job offers. I would first like to be very sure of what the companies which have offered you these roles mean by these designations. For example, I would ask the following questions to get more clarity about the roles:

  1. Which of the following activities would you do: Building predictive models, Creating Data infrastructure, Collecting data over internet using APIs / web crawling?

  2. Talk to a few people in each of these roles to understand what they do exactly

I won’t be surprised, if the companies have used the designations loosely, If they actually mean what they say, I would personally think that compensation would not matter much. Data Scientists are minting good salaries currently, so the lower salary would only be a matter of time. Also, going by your educaiton, you would already know most of the stuff in a statistical analyst role - so few years down the line you would have better and more prospects by being a data scientist for a few years.