How do you put your hacking skills to use in your job search? Sure, you can find a security job like, say, penetration tester or digital forensics expert but as data becomes more prevalent and complex, hacking skills can help land you a position as a data scientist.

How Hacking Skills Can Help You Land a Data Science JobData science job openings will rise substantially this year, much as community management and social media jobs materialized three years ago. Since last year, there's been high demand for people for with data analysis skills. At Dice, searching on "data analysis" returned more than 10,000 results including data analysis manager, data modeler, data architect and data management consultant.

For the relatively new data scientist position, the skills needed are divided into three categories: hacking skills, math and statistical knowledge, and substantive expertise, writes Drew Conway, a former member of the intelligence community who is now a Ph.D. student in political science at New York University. Hilary Mason, a data scientist at, says a data scientist is someone who can "obtain, scrub, explore, model and interpret data" and blend hacking, statistics and machine learning.

"This is the first time in my 15 years I've ever seen data as such a big focus," for companies, Katie Tucker, a senior partner at executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry, told GigaOm.

Hacking abilities are important since data tends to reside in multiple locations and in multiple systems, which makes finding it a bit of a challenge.

"You need to be familiar with different databases, different operating systems, and different programming languages," says Mike King, a quantitative analyst at Bank of America. "Then you have to get those systems to communicate with each other. You must learn where and how to extract the data you need, and you better enjoy the process of figuring it out."

-- Chandler Harris