Navigating the competitive waters of the job market each day provides our team with unique perspectives. One unique perspective that rises to the top of mind is the ability to see job trends right before our eyes! Right now we are watching as a fight breaks out over talent between some of the most prestigious employers in the U.S. – that battle is over data scientists.
Data science emerged as an independent discipline in 2001, extending the field of statistics. Data science is thought to be broken down into six technical areas: multidisciplinary investigations, data models and methods, data computation, pedagogy, tool evaluation and theory. So what makes data science the hottest job for 2019 and why do employers need these jobs filled stat?
Why the Need?
We are overflowing with data, lending the ability to capture real time analytics. IBM estimates that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. The shortage isn’t to collect the data, the shortage is in the talent. Corporations in every industry leverage the ability to extract and analyze big data. Data scientists thrive at immersing themselves in the data and finding their way out, propelling the organization forward.
Our partners at CareerBuilder report that there are currently 267,768 jobs open in this country for data scientists and only 13,098 candidates available in the job market that qualify for these roles. To put that into perspective, there are 20 jobs for every one data scientist in the United States today.
Why the Shortage?
There are many factors that contribute to this shortage, but the one we will focus on today is the lack of educational programs for students aspiring to get into the data science field. DataScience.Community, one of the largest online resources for data scientists, only lists 37 educational institutions in the U.S. that offer bachelors degree programs in the data science field. In addition, 174 institutions offer masters degree programs and 19 offer doctoral programs both on college campuses and online. Furthermore, fewer than one-third of the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Top 100 Global Universities offer degrees in data science.
The lack of educational programs for data scientists poses an issue as the Burtch Works Study: Salaries of Data Scientists shows that 91% have at least a Master’s degree and 48% have PhDs. Educational experience appears to be necessary for a career in data science, so where should students turn?
With limited opportunities, students should be thoughtful in choosing their undergraduate coursework. Majors in statistics, computer science and physical sciences can provide classes that will be relevant and useful to graduate programs in data science. Leveraging relationships with professors in the field and participating in research and/or personal project opportunities can provide additional support in strengthening necessary skills for the field.
For example, our neighbors at Case Western University offer a Data Analytics Boot Camp where students can learn data analytics concepts in 24 weeks. The courses help students learn skills like Python, SQL, Advanced Statistics and Machine Learning. The curriculum includes projects that demonstrate mastery of these skills in the student’s portfolios.
Due to the lack of educational opportunities, many corporations, including some of our clients, have began to offer opportunities for their internal employees to gain experience and shape their continued education in data science. These programs allow internal employees to learn tangible skills in order to attain a coveted position in data science. For instance, an accountant at Deloitte could challenge themselves to carve out a career path in data science through internal offerings and career development.
2019 & Beyond
Because of data, science is now an integral part of every business regardless of industry. Going forward, the advantage will shift to businesses that are better, faster and more efficient at capturing data and using it to deliver better results to customers and shareholders.