Being A Data Science in St. Louis, Missouri
By Saeed Mirshekari

March 19, 2024

The Data Science Experience in St. Louis, Missouri: A Comprehensive Insight

St. Louis, Missouri, often overlooked in discussions about data science, is quietly emerging as a vibrant hub for professionals in the field. Despite not boasting the size or renown of tech giants like Silicon Valley or New York City, St. Louis offers a unique blend of opportunities, challenges, and community spirit that make it an attractive destination for data scientists. In this blog, we'll delve deeper into what it's like to be a data scientist in St. Louis, exploring the opportunities, challenges, and unique aspects of this thriving Midwestern city.

The Rise of Data Science in St. Louis

St. Louis has a rich history rooted in industries like manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture, providing a solid foundation for data-driven innovation. In recent years, the city has experienced a surge in investment in technology and entrepreneurship, paving the way for the growth of the data science ecosystem.

Opportunities in Industry and Academia

St. Louis boasts a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, finance, and logistics, all of which rely heavily on data analysis and machine learning. Major corporations like Express Scripts, Centene, and Monsanto (now Bayer) have a significant presence in the region, offering ample opportunities for data scientists to make an impact.

Moreover, St. Louis is home to prestigious research universities like Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, which are driving innovation in data science and related fields. Collaborations between industry and academia further fuel the growth of the data science community in the city.

The Data Science Community in St. Louis

While St. Louis may not rival Silicon Valley or New York City in terms of sheer size, it boasts a close-knit and supportive data science community that is actively engaged in networking, knowledge sharing, and professional development.

Meetups and Events

Organizations like the St. Louis Data Science Meetup and the St. Louis Machine Learning and Data Science Group regularly host events, workshops, and hackathons, providing opportunities for data scientists to connect with peers, learn new skills, and stay updated on industry trends.

For example, the St. Louis Data Science Meetup hosts monthly meetups where professionals come together to discuss topics ranging from machine learning and artificial intelligence to data visualization and predictive analytics.

Academic Collaborations

Collaborations between local universities and industry partners foster a collaborative spirit and create pathways for students and professionals to engage in cutting-edge research and real-world projects. For instance, Washington University in St. Louis collaborates with industry partners on research initiatives in areas such as healthcare informatics, genomics, and environmental data science.

Career Opportunities and Growth

For data scientists considering a career in St. Louis, the city offers a range of exciting opportunities across various industries.

Healthcare and Biotechnology

St. Louis is home to a thriving healthcare and biotechnology sector, making it an ideal destination for data scientists interested in projects related to medical research, genomics, personalized medicine, and population health. Companies like BJC HealthCare and SSM Health are actively investing in data analytics to improve patient outcomes and optimize healthcare delivery.

Finance and Insurance

The city's finance and insurance industries provide opportunities for data scientists to apply their skills in areas such as risk assessment, fraud detection, algorithmic trading, and customer analytics. Financial institutions like Edward Jones and Scottrade leverage data science to drive business insights and enhance decision-making processes.

Startups and Innovation

St. Louis has seen a rise in tech startups and innovation hubs in recent years, with organizations like Cortex Innovation Community and T-REX fostering entrepreneurship and providing resources and support to startups in the tech sector. Data scientists can find opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects and contribute to the growth of the startup ecosystem.

For example, Benson Hill Biosystems, a St. Louis-based startup, uses data science and machine learning to accelerate crop improvement and address global food security challenges.

Quality of Life in St. Louis

Beyond career opportunities, St. Louis offers a high quality of life that attracts professionals from across the country.

Affordable Living

Compared to coastal cities, the cost of living in St. Louis is relatively low, allowing data scientists to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Housing costs, in particular, are significantly lower than in cities like San Francisco or New York City.

Cultural Attractions

St. Louis is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with attractions like the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra enriching the city's cultural landscape. Residents can enjoy world-class museums, theaters, and festivals throughout the year.

Outdoor Recreation

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the city's abundant parks, green spaces, and outdoor recreational opportunities, including the iconic Gateway Arch and the scenic Mississippi Riverfront. Residents can explore hiking trails, bike paths, and waterfront parks just minutes from downtown St. Louis.

Conclusion: Embracing Data Science in St. Louis

In conclusion, St. Louis, Missouri, offers a compelling blend of career opportunities, a supportive community, and a high quality of life for data scientists. Whether you're interested in working in healthcare, finance, startups, or academia, St. Louis provides a fertile ground for professional growth and personal fulfillment in the field of data science. With its vibrant ecosystem and collaborative spirit, St. Louis is poised to become a leading destination for data scientists seeking to make a difference in the heart of the Midwest. If you're considering a career in data science, don't overlook the hidden gem that is St. Louis.

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About O'Fallon Labs

In O'Fallon Labs we help recent graduates and professionals to get started and thrive in their Data Science careers via 1:1 mentoring and more.


Saeed Mirshekari

Saeed is currently a Director of Data Science in Mastercard and the Founder & Director of OFallon Labs LLC. He is a former research scholar at LIGO team (Physics Nobel Prize of 2017).

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