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Here's the scoop on one of the fastest growing and most talked-about roles in IT.

After months of high unemployment and a still-wobbly economy, any good news from the jobs market is going to get some traction. But even that doesn't seem to fully explain the attention surrounding a suddenly very "in" job title: data scientist.

According to CNN, data scientist is one of the best new jobs of 2012, and an article in the Harvard Business Review called it the "sexiest" job of the 21st century.

The allure surrounding this role is in direct correlation with the general market's interest in big data and analytics -- tools of the trade for data scientists, who are tasked with unearthing meaningful correlations within ever-mounting data volumes and turning them into profitable business insights.

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