Facebook is hiring a data scientist, but you’ll have to fight for the job

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Facebook is looking to hire a new data scientist, but rather than sift through résumés it’s planning to sift through algorithms. The company is turning to the data-science competition platform Kaggle to host a contest that will determine who gets brought in for an interview. This is the third time Facebook has used Kaggle to identify possible data scientists.

The challenge this time around involves text mining. Specifically:

“This competition tests your text skills on a large dataset from the Stack Exchange sites.  The task is to predict the tags (a.k.a. keywords, topics, summaries), given only the question text and its title. The dataset contains content from disparate stack exchange sites, containing a mix of both technical and non-technical questions.”

The competition began at 4:00 p.m. UTC on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. UTC on Dec. 20.

In a hiring environment where demand outstrips supply — especially quality supply — it’s arguable that anyone with aspirations of becoming a data scientist should be on Kaggle, Facebook challenge or not. Kaggle now boasts more than 100,000 members, and standing out among this group can be a good feather in one’s cap. At the very least, it’s a good chance to gain experience working with real-world datasets and possibly win some prize money in the process.

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user Simon Bratt.

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