Tech

Revenge of the Nerds

| Thu Aug. 6, 2009 2:26 AM EDT

Crunching numbers is the new cool thing:

“I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians,” said Hal Varian, chief economist at Google. “And I’m not kidding.”

The rising stature of statisticians, who can earn $125,000 at top companies in their first year after getting a doctorate, is a byproduct of the recent explosion of digital data. In field after field, computing and the Web are creating new realms of data to explore — sensor signals, surveillance tapes, social network chatter, public records and more. And the digital data surge only promises to accelerate, rising fivefold by 2012, according to a projection by IDC, a research firm.

They want to know what you're doing and what you're likely to buy next.  That's worth a lot of money.  Multivariate correlations and data cluster analysis are the new black.