Which domain skills do developers most want to pursue? That’s a key question, considering how domain skills—and the specialization that comes with them—can unlock all kinds of career opportunities.

HackerEarth’s 2021 Developer Survey asked developers about which domain skills interested them the most, and the response was strong: data science is “the domain that is most coveted by both students and professional developers,” with 24.4 percent of respondents showing interest. Blockchain came in second, with 16.4 percent, followed by cybersecuritywith 14.9 percent. Here’s the full chart: 

Hackerearth also predicts that developers’ embrace of data science could “continue well into the future as people discover more problems that can be solved through statistical and probabilistic problem-solving.” 

Indeed, Harvard Business Review once called data science the “sexiest job of the 21st century.” In simplest terms, data scientists use a growing set of tools to analyze massive datasets for insights that can change how companies operate and strategize. According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, data scientist positions are expected to grow 19 percent over the next decade.

Data science also utilizes a number of cutting-edge tech skills, including machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.). Many data-scientist roles utilize programming languages such as Python and R, along with SQL skills

Data science is a complex arena, in other words, but one that technologists seem keenly interested in pursuing. If you’re considering a data-science track, keep in mind that you’ll need more than technical skills—you’ll also need “soft skills” such as communication and empathy (since a big part of the job is sharing results and information with stakeholders throughout an organization), as well as some business acumen