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OPM Asks Agencies to Implement Classification, Qualification Standard for Data Science Jobs

1 min read

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has released a memorandum directing agencies to implement the new occupational series job classification for data science in compliance with the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. 

OPM created the position classification flysheet for the Data Science Series, 1560, by conducting focus groups and other engagement activities to identify skills, competencies, knowledge and work roles related to data science, Kimberly Holden, deputy associate director of talent acquisition, classifications and veterans programs at OPM, wrote in the memo released Monday.

The occupational series for data science covers positions that involve the identification of processes, methods, algorithms and related tools to interpret findings from unstructured and structured datasets as well as the “use of data visualization techniques to articulate findings.”

“The occupational series in which data scientist work is performed is determined by the domain expertise required to conduct data scientist activities,” the memo reads. “Therefore, agencies will maintain the flexibility to use a parenthetical of Data Scientist along with the occupational title for positions that perform data science work as a major portion of the job, and not as a collateral duty, for example Statistician (Data Scientist).”

OPM is calling on agencies to implement the new job classification flysheet for data scientists within 12 months of the date of the document’s release. It also asked agencies to immediately apply the qualifications standard for data science to new positions.

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