Monday, December 3, 2012

Big Data Talent Gap: Shortage of Quantitative Analysts and Data Scientists in North America

From the link:

In the job market, you will find plenty of musicians, singers, dancers, waiters, chefs, marketers, salespersons and so on. However, what you will not easily find is number crunchers or data analysts. This is perhaps because Mathematics is not sexy to most people. Statistics is not fun to most people. Not everyone is crazy about Physics.

Guess what! There is a serious shortage of Data Analysts (or Data Scientists as they are sometimes called) in the market now.

How are companies finding data scientists? They are looking far and wide, trying to source from academia, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and industry competitors. When asked, "How are you getting data scientists skills into your organization?" 69% of respondents indicated they were "training existing analytical professionals," but 91% were "hiring new people." So while there is an effort underway to develop talent from within, the vast majority of companies are seeking talent from the outside. The challenge of finding data scientists is viewed as more daunting than finding qualified analytic talent.

The report from Harvard Business Review from the link above captures this picture.



Moral of the story: If you want to get hired quickly, specialize in a field that is not crowded. One such field is Data Analysis - this includes Statisticians, Economists, Accounting, Finance professionals, Marketing metrics analysts, Physicists, and so on. There are enough marketing and sales professionals out there. There are even some qualitative analysts. But NOT enough quantitative analysts.

I guess this is a `Nate Silver effect`, ha ha.

It is common for engineers to branch into these fields after MBA. A lot of engineers go on to specialize in Finance during their MBA and find jobs in Wall St. and Bay St.

Here is another must read article called `Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century`:


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