One of the big job market trends we are noticing is an increased focus on data and analytics. Suddenly terms like “Big Data” and “Data Science” are everywhere. McKinsey called Big Data, the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity in 2011 and argued that it would create a massive shortage of talent:
There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.
1.5MM managers and analysts? Thats a massive number, but it’s probably an under-estimation when you roll forward to today.
The implications for professionals across fields are massive:
Data and analytics is becoming a resume differentiation factor: Companies are increasingly looking to fill marketing, product management, finance, and other types of jobs with talented professionals who are familiar with data warehouses, analytics, statistical analysis and more. Today these requirements are showing up as “plusses” or “preferred” but soon we think they will be must-have skills separating candidates. Much like basic computer proficiency did in the late 80s and the 90s
This is creating fantastic opportunities for candidates to transition careers: As data and analytics becomes a better defined proficiency, it allows professionals familiar with it to make mid-career transitions easily. Given the tremendous shortage of qualified candidates with these skills, companies are more open to people with non-traditional backgrounds. We are seeing a significant demand for engineers and scientists in traditional business roles like finance and marketing. There is an openness for finance people to take on operating and product management roles. Data and analytics has the potential to become almost like an MBA — a core set of well recognized and transferable skills that employers seek across divisions at management levels.
New set of data focused companies are creating entire new sub-sectors for employees to consider: Data and insight-focused startups are being founded every day and the fabled “Unicorn Startup” list (private companies valued at over a billion dollars) consists of a disproportionate number of companies that distinguish themselves with their data. From Palantir, to Mattermark, to Snapchat, these companies are built on data. Ad-tech and mar-tech are entire sub-sectors constructed on analytics. These skills open up massive new opportunities for professionals
The tricky part here is that these jobs aren’t always intuitive to find. They can be called a lot of things — product manager, finance analyst, growth hacker, analytics research member. The more hardcore data science roles specifically look for a PhD, but there are plenty of roles that are focused on MBAs, engineers and other various backgrounds.
We have a number of job channels right on this site that help you browse through these jobs and identify ones that are useful for you, across startups and large corporations. These channels are dynamic. Our algorithm hunts down new jobs every day. We also have channels for internships and junior positions in case you are trying to get your foot in the door.
TL;DR: Data science and analytics is not a fad. It is changing the job market as we speak and these skills will be must-have skills in the same way employers look for basic computer proficiency today