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Data Scientist or Doctor? Which should I be?

As new technologies come online almost every 18 months, careers and education receive a boost with this new frenzy of how to prepare the future generation of leaders for their career.

The current buzz is around Data Science, as it was with Cloud before it, and Storage, Network – from 3G through 4G to soon 5G, and API; Software – open or proprietary; and before that processor speeds – first in MHz and then GHz and in the forgotten MIPS (Millions of Instructions Per Second)!

We get distracted by these 18-months shelf life shiny objects and sometimes get disappointed when what we learned in university does not get us the job we want after we spent 4 years preparing for.


 That is exactly the question. We need to focus on the WHY!

Technologies most times fill the gap of WHAT and HOW and most companies and markets rush to them, with or without the WHY figured out.

I have been privileged to be involved in many discussions, from national agenda debates, Enterprise soul-searching, to university talks in helping the leaders of the future shape their career.

The challenge is we look at things in vertical silo and not horizontal continuum.

In one of these meetings to solve the talent needed for the future Digital Economy, lengthy whitepapers and expensive surveys by esteemed institutions proposed creative and sometimes innovative ways to get the young generation take up Data Science, may it be Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence or the latest in Machine Learning.

In Asia, where parents have fashioned themselves to be proud parents of doctors, engineers or bankers, the term Data Scientist is as alien to them as the next food craze from Korea. 

Therefore the support in getting the endorsement for these new and fancy titles may not be forthcoming, not because the parents do not see a future in them but maybe they are ignorant of their purpose.

So they stay with the evergreen and forever trusted professions like doctors, engineers and bankers. This therefore robs the nation of the opportunity to exceed the target of producing Data Professionals, like Malaysia’s target of 20,000 by the Year 2020. (And if successful, will it rob the nation of doctors, engineers and bankers?)

The solution is to turn the vertical silo 90-degrees and have Data Science inculcated in every of these ‘traditionaldiscipline.

Meaning to have doctors use data science as part of their search for a cure for dreaded diseases like cancer and Alzheimers, engineers to leverage artificial intelligence in perfecting the robot assembly line for driverless cars, and bankers to use data analytics to prevent cyber-fraud or improve customer experience with data-driven Marketing.

Develop a Smart Nation, a Digital Economy through Data-Driven culture in EVERY Profession

With this, the nation will become smart and the economy digital, and the parents still will have their children be doctors, engineers and bankers; albeit better equipped now with Data Science.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.