Which is a Better Career Option – Networking or Data Science?

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In the world of careers, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which path to take with the qualifications you achieve, whether it be just a high school diploma, bachelor’s degree or higher than that, it can be a difficult decision to pick the path you want to take. Here we will be discussing which route is best to take when faced between networking and data science.

Networking is a reference to the connectivity between systems, mobile phones, and IOT-linked devices. The fundamentals of networking include switches, routers and wireless access points that allow devices to communicate with each other and across different networks available to them. Data science differs from this as this refers to the use of scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems which can be used to extract insights from structured and unstructured data.

Networking is the process of building structures for data to be able to travel and data science allows individuals or companies to analyse the information that travels through them. This can be one way that you could choose for a career, does the idea of building the structures or analysing what travels through them sound more interesting?

Networking vs. Data Science

Networking specifically deals with wired and wireless networks which is a concentrated area of study and learning, whereas data science requires a breadth of expertise in maths, statistics and computer science-related disciplines as you have to use techniques such as machine learning, data mining, storing of data and visualization.

Networking is a domain where the data is exchanged within networks while data science deals with analysing, maintaining and processing large amounts of data.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Both fields have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to pay, skills, knowledge, and experience, here we will break this down and look at what option could be best for you.

Network administrators are still in high demand, but this career is the safer option because of how developed this role is within its industry, it is easier to plateau once reaching a high enough point in skills and knowledge based on this industry and those seeking a challenge would be better suited to data science as it shows a faster growth rate and is beginning to become more in demand than network administrators. Data science can also be harder to break into as companies and potential employers require past experience in the field and this can be hard to get when compared to working in networking.

Whilst networking jobs are still available to professionals in the field, the growth rate of the industry predicts that jobs will only grow at a rate of 6% by 2026, whereas data science jobs are predicted to grow 15% in the year 2021 alone. Showing more stability and growth areas for data science, which would argue that this could be the better career path to choose.

Entry level positions, according to Glassdoor, start with an annual salary of $55,000 going up to $111,000 for more senior roles. When comparing this to data scientists, again using Glassdoor, entry level positions start at $89,000 going up to $136,000 for senior roles in this field. Going on the numbers alone, data science can be a lot more lucrative than networking but it also comes down to companies and how complex the role that you would work for them would be which can vary the yearly pay from them.

Emerging Trend

As of late, a trend has been seen where networking professionals have actually begun to make the move over to data science, despite the technologies and systems used by both areas of expertise being poles apart in difference. Since data science careers require a lot of analysis and a mind geared towards statistics, if you do decide to make the switch from another field then we recommend taking courses or degrees which are backed by recognized institutions.

Top Certifications To Choose From:

  • Dell EMC Proven Professional Certification Programme
  • Certified Analytics Professional
  • SAS Academy of Data Science
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA)
  • Cloudera Certified Professional: CCP Data Engineer
  • Data Science Certificate – Harvard Extension School

Data science seems to be preferred by professionals across the world because of the opportunities and developments in the technological world that it has to offer. However, the decisions are yours as per your area of expertise and discretion. Ensure that you analyse all aspects of both networking and data science to find out which one is suitable before planning on which path to take.