We got an e-mail the other day that posed an interesting question:
So, where are all these jobs where people are using R? I have three separate Master’s degrees in Math, Statistics, and Computer Science. I generally work as a Java/J2EE/Web developer. But my passion is math, statistics and data analysis. I have “dabbled” in R from time to time, but have yet to use it in a professional capacity.
R is often associated with analysis of financial data, but it’s found anywhere there are massive data sets. R programmers write software for statistical data analysis to solve real world problems.
Companies like Amazon use R to define paths of growth for the Kindle and improve the device’s periodicals unit. Amazon also needs a Software Development Engineer - Demand Forecaster for “large-scale computing, distributed systems, data mining, scalability, security, and statistical algorithms”
A Dice search on “electrical engineer R” returns Senior Statistician for Shopzilla who’ll “leverage state-of-the-art data systems to mine some of the most comprehensive logs of the online retail world…learning to identify correlations, patterns, and levers that provide meaningful optimization opportunities.”
R is also used in agriculture, astrophysics, climatology, ecology and environmental science, econometrics, electrical engineering, finance, geneticsandgenomics, geography, psychology, and social sciences.
Choose the area you’d like to work and perform a search. Searching “econometrics R returned Web Data Mining Lead for Resonant Networks. That position will analyze online browsing behavior, search terms, online and offline purchasing in order to enhance the company’s ad-targeting algorithms.
A search of genetics R returned Bioinformatics – Nextgen Sequencing Specialist at 5am Solutions Inc. A more generic search of data mining R produced 30 results with some companies needing to fill multiple positions.
Remember, you can always introduce your R skills during the interview. Companies like True Bridge Resources are looking for a Data Analyst with a math, statistics, and computer science background, but they don’t mention R in the job description. You can demonstrate the advantages of R for a data analyst. Since R is open source, they’d incur no additional licensing expense.
Finally, you may have had trouble find search results for “R” because it’s like searching ‘the.’ It’s everywhere. In the Dice search engine, I performed Boolean searches like, “genetics R NOT R&D” and “data mining R NOT R/3.”
– Dino Londis