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Job Comparison – Data Scientist vs Data Engineer vs Statistician


Data Science is one of the flourishing industry. Countries and companies around the world are continuously experiencing a rush in the amount of data collected. They are determined to hire experts who can work on their data and improve their lives.

Such experts are known by many names. Most popular being, ‘Data Scientist’. Among others include Data Engineers, Data Architects, Statisticians etc. But, how many of us are clear about the difference in these roles and designations?

As I’ve experienced, people are confused between a Data Scientist, Data Engineer and Statistics. Some end up concluding, all these people do the same job, its just their names are different. I got astonished at hearing such answers. With these thoughts in mind, I decided to create a simple infographic to help you understand the job roles of a Data Scientist vs Data Engineer vs Statistician. This will help you to decide the best job role for you in coming future.

infographic, data science jobs

If you have more questions about various designations and their roles, you can always post them in our discussion portals.

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  • Vini says:

    Very good article! I fall more into the “data engineer’ category, but it is very important to know about the other categories as they are related.

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Thanks Vini! Finally we have got a ‘Data Engineer’ here.
      Tell me one best thing you find about working as a Data Engineer?

      • Vini says:

        What I enjoy as a Data Engineer is when you let the “data” in its rawest form become information. Pretty much you let data help you with decisions, not the other way around. I also enjoy to work on data-driven projects from start to finish. Thanks

        • Indranil Roy says:

          Excellent article !!!.I am currently working as a data engineer in a MNC.I would like to know 1)What are the prospects of a data engineer?2)What are the courses and certifications I can pursue to excel in this field?
          3)I have a Btech in CSE from an average institution.Could I land a job at any top tier Product company in their data engineering team without MS or Mtech from any top tier university?
          4)Are there any part time part time masters/courses in any good institute that will give an edge to my profile?

          Thanks a lot for sharing this article.Waiting for your reply..

    • Ankita says:

      A very well explained and visualised differences… but just one more querry.. What is the difference between a Data Analytic nd a Business Analytic?

  • Suresh Kamal says:

    Excellent Article Manish! glad you shared this. Thank you.

  • deepak says:

    Hi manish,
    Good article.

    Just curious to know, apart from above, is MIS (excel-access data preparators/reporters) field diminishing.
    What is the future of MIS?


    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Hi Deepak,

      In simple words, MIS profile is like an All-Rounder in cricket. MIS Executive broadly does two things:Data Handling (at lowers scale) and Data Analysis.
      Future of MIS Executive depends on which path he/she chooses from the two defined above. If he/she chooses data analysis, then there is incredible world of data science and machine learning ahead. If one chooses Data Handling, then is bright future ahead in gigantic world of Big Data Analytics.
      Both ways, the future is promising and safe.


  • deepak says:

    Hi manish,
    Good article.

    Just a bit curious to know, where the traditional MIS role is heading, what’s its future?

  • Praveen Kumar says:

    Excellent differentiation Manish!

  • hemanth varma says:

    Awesome 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Craig says:

    Wow, wonderful weblog format! How lengthy have you been running a blog for?
    you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of
    your site is excellent, as well as the content!

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Thanks Craig for the encouragement! Appreciated.
      We started almost 2 years back.. And since then our incessant efforts to help people learn data science and analytics have allowed us to discover easier ways of explaining difficult concepts.
      Do let me know if there is any way we can further improve.

  • swapnil says:

    Thank you manish
    its a good article, but can you please explain the difference between Data scientist and Data analyst?? I tried hard but still havent got it. please explain if you can

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Hi Swapnil

      Your’s is one of the most commonly asked question on Internet.
      Looks like I found your question already answered by Kunal in simple terms : http://discuss.analyticsvidhya.com/t/career-growth-of-a-business-analyst-and-data-scientist/104/6

      • Swapnil Gaikwad says:

        Hi manish,
        thank you for your reply. I have another question for you. I have completed MTECH in Modeling and Simulation at University of Pune. During MTECH, I have studied some of the machine learning algorithms, Genetic algorithms, statistical models and methods, probability theory and implemented all these things in R. I am actively searching for a job as a data scientist but a I havent got yet. Now please help me to chose one of the following options:
        1.continue studying and practicing ML and algorithms in R and python and keep searching for job or
        2.preparing for the CDAC entrance which is on 6th dec to get admission to diploma in Bigdata and analytics ,to enter the field of data analytics and it will also provide me a placement platform but here I have to invest 92000 and 8 months .
        please suggest me a suitable option.One thing is fixed that I want to be a data scientist.

        • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

          Hey Swapnil

          Usually, the trajectory to become a data scientist begins with MIS Executive or Data Analyst or getting hired directly from a reputed college with a suitable degree.
          The career paths which you’ve suggested will lead you to your desired aim, however, the time to achieve your aim may vary..
          Since, I am unaware of your personal situation, I can’t vouch on any side.
          However, If I were at your place, I would have surely not opted for CDAC (why to start from scratch). With all the knowledge which I gained during my MTECH, I would have competed in Kaggle competition, delivered my best result and then would have applied for a job.
          As per my experience, companies these days prefer to evaluate a candidate on their knowledge, more than their college or school !

  • Anupam Basu says:

    Excellent article. Honestly I was confused too. I have had several companies call me for job offers & some of the senior people from these companies (not referring to HR but people who run the analytics show) say they want a Data Scientist & the main job will be working on Hadoop. I used to wonder what do they actually want & where do I fit in until I read this article. A lot of companies actually look for Data Engineers in the name of Data Scientists. Thanks guys for posting!

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Thanks Anupam. I’m glad you’ve found it useful !
      Let me know if there is any feedback for us.

  • Deyan says:

    Wow… this is really excellent and very informative! Thank you for that, Manish!!!

  • Vickram says:

    Hi Friends,

    I need your advice. I want to learn and work on Data Science, I have a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry and have 5+ years of exp in Web design/web support. So, now that I want to learn and work on new technologies, I am confused where to start with. So please help me with your valuable suggestions.


  • Marcio Zancheta says:

    Great article Saraswat. Congratulations.

  • Chuck says:

    Another fantastic article with graphics to bring meaning to it all. I was wondering if you would be willing to make another article comparing data science with actuarial science?

  • Sai Venkatesh says:

    Excellent Article and excellent information and excellent way of presenting. Hope to see more such useful information from you.


  • Johnny says:

    Nice work!

  • Thirumal kumar says:

    Hi Manish, Once again, a job well done !!! Many miss out due to a major aspect “lack of clarity”…!! Such works will help many.

    Manish, on a personal note I need an insight.
    Iam a former finance professional with my Las stint being at HP ltd as team leader for p2p & o2c operations. Then, I have been a businessman handling my restaurant. Now, I have handed over the business to my younger brother and want to pursue my professional career. Its been a gap of 7years.
    Now, I have chosen the field of data analytics. Kindly don’t be perplexed :):). Iam aware that its going to be a mountain to climb. I have a sheer passion towards this work.

    My question to you is, though I know its going to be tough to reach where I intend to…..I want to know the odds that stand against me from your perspective. And a path that would help me to accomplish my goal.

    Thank you!!!

  • João Pedro Silva says:

    It seems thatthe data scientist and the statistician can both do each others jobs. BTW Statisticians also learn a lot of the stuff quoted in the data science

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Hi Silva

      Rightly said! I’d say data scientist adopts ‘some’ of the statistical measures for model building. Data Scientist is more technically advanced since s(he) prefers to work with latest technologies, unlike Statistician.

  • subodh says:

    it was really helpful thanx alot manish! helped to have basic & clear idea data engg.

  • Elydenis says:

    Good article Manish.
    It’s the first time that I see the name “Data Engineer” thanks a lot for the comparisons.

  • Ashutosh says:

    I am unable to see the book name in statistician section please reply the name of book…

    • Analytics Vidhya Content Team says:

      Hi Ashu

      Didn’t you click on infographic and zoom it?
      Anyways, Book names in statisticians sections are :
      1. Elements of Statistical Learning
      2 The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
      3 The Signal and the Noise
      4 Exploratory Data Analysis

  • Lakshmi says:

    Great article, Manish! Very informative and comprehensive.

  • Siddarth says:

    I have just completed my BE in Chemical Engineering, and am currently interning at an Analytics company. But the projects that I have been working with do not involve any analytics work. To be clear, I want to work as a Data Scientist. I was attracted to this field because it involves logic, quants and problem solving. So what should be my future course according to you?

  • Microcrowns says:

    Regarding the term of Data Scientist/PM. What does the PM stand for?

  • ARINJAY says:

    Great and informative article !

    Thanks for update to you, Manish and your Team !

  • Indranil says:

    Excellent article !!!.I am currently working as a data engineer in a MNC.I would like to know 1)What are the prospects of a data engineer?2)What are the courses and certifications I can pursue to excel in this field?
    3)I have a Btech in CSE from an average institution.Could I land a job at any top tier Product company in their data engineering team without MS or Mtech from any top tier university?
    4)Are there any part time part time masters/courses in any good institute that will give an edge to my profile?

    Thanks a lot for sharing this article.Waiting for your reply.

  • Ashwanth says:

    Hi Manish Saraswat,
    I am fresh graduate. I am currently working as a Data Scientist in a company where I am getting very less chances to work on projects. Now, I got another opportunity as a Data Engineer, in a product based company, which usually have lot of work and learning curve is pretty good.

    Now, my question is, if I join in new organisation, what are my chances to become a data scientist with experience over the period.

    I am in dilemma to make a wise choice. Please suggest your opinion.

  • Parul says:

    Hi Guys,

    I am bit stuck in the next career move. Initially I was doing work on data transformation in Excel and then I got MIS work (only reporting) which I didn’t like. I left the organization and now I have been working on cloud computing from last 6 months. But I have heard that cloud computing is not a good career move for girls as it requires working in shifts (night shifts) which I don’t want. So I am totally confused what to do next- Should I step forward in cloud computing or Should I change my domain to data science. I am working on a contract job which will be completed very soon so I have to prepare accordingly. In your article, I like being a Data Engineer. Please suggest guys.

  • NITIN SIROHI says:

    thanks manish sir good article and sir I want to became a data scientist can you give me any suggesstion.

  • Parag Kulkarni says:

    It’s sad to know that statistical skill sets are paid less than that of data engineer. This means that theoretical knowledge is of no use. Knowing software is sufficient to get high salary in job market (Is there any perception among today’s job hunters that statistics skill sets can be gained through MOOC?). Are job markets only feeding Engineers? Post graduates in statistics are out of the job market as per above article if they are only buried in books. Kindly correct me if I am wrong.

  • Sanket C says:

    Nice article and visualization Manish! It helped me to get insights of what do we mean by Data science and different roles in it. However I have some confusion over Management Information System and Data Science, are these two related somehow ? I can guess MIS is related to management stuff while Data Science deals with technicalities to make business decisions.I have offer of admission for Masters in MIS + MBA from University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Masters in Data Science from Indiana University Bloomington. I am totally confused to choose between two as I am totally unaware of job opportunities in these two fields. Could you please help me sorting this out ?

  • João Pedro says:

    Hello, I’m studying statistics in my university, I would like to know what those symbols in the data scientist tool box stand for. I recognize a couple of them, like R, Python and SPSS, but not all. Could you or someone list them for me, please?

  • Nitesh Verma says:

    That’s an excellent article. The infographic gives a clear picture on who does what.
    Specially the tools, skills, must reads and career path demarcation is an excellent information compiled into one.
    There is a lot of demand for all these 3 jobs in data science and everyone working together in very close collaboration.

  • inches- shoe says:

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked
    my interest. I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for
    new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  • Rohit K. Sawai says:

    Very useful article.

    I have a query. I’m a fresher then how can I get one among these jobs? Is there any possibility of getting job in these fields for fresher? I think company expects experienced person.

  • A H says:

    This is the best article on the internet so far. You are the only person explaining the difference between each role. Everyone on the internet just say horrible things about each other like this is a children’s playground.

    Thank you for taking the time to make this article. I hope more people read this instead of hating on each other. There is a lot of overlap between Statisticians and Data Scientist. I feel like data scientist is just a new name for computational statistics.

    I have seen any articles stating that Data Scientist test assumptions. Do you know if it is done in real life? How do they know the pattern is correct? Isn’t the point of all this to try to get the best model that can understand and possibly predict the outcome?

  • Sourav Saha says:

    Data engineering was the correct one but still it didnt justified the difference between data scientist and statisticians since most of the machine learning tools require statistical knowledge ! The only main difference between data scientist n statistician is that the data scientists have more programming knowledge than statisticians where datascientists use their statistical skills by constructing algorithms for model building !

  • arnaud says:

    Seems like I’m more a Data Scientist hopefully !!!!

  • I think Elements of Statistical Learning is very well rated Machine Learning Text and should be on the read list of Data scientist.
    I am a Data Science student and participated in some Kaggle competitions.
    Most of the experts suggest that book , if you want deep understanding of various machine learning algorithms.

    and Not to mention,ML is very essential skill for a Data Scientist.

  • [email protected]@ghav says:

    People will get very much clarity post reading of this article. Well done guys, keep up the momentum of good work.