2020 was the first year since 2016, Data Scientist was not the number one job in America, according to Glassdoor’s annual ranking. That title would belong to Front End Engineer, followed by Java Developer, followed by Data Scientist.
Now being 3rd isn’t bad at all, in fact you’re still on the podium. But is the shiny title of Data Scientist finally falling off, or did it just become another victim of 2020?
To determine this we’ll look at 3 economic factors that have an influence on job ranking:
Examining these factors will give us the answer if data science is still a rising career in 2021.
If you go back years ago, the shiny titles in the early 2010s were programmers and web designers. The salaries for the two were great back then, but have plateaued since as supply caught up with demand.
That is not the case for Data Scientists yet as demand is still quite high.
There is a reason Data Scientist is in the top 3 for job rankings, and it’s because their demand is absolutely ridiculous and in no sight of slowing down.
Where Does This Demand Come From?
Data-driven decision making. That is the simple answer to this question. To be a successful company in the 21st century you have to use data to your advantage.
Before many were doing this by using excel to analyze data, but now anyone can have access to and use data-crunching tools like:
- Google Analytics — Digital marketing cloud-based service
- Tableau, Power Bi — Data visualization tools for business intelligence
- Python, R— Programming languages used to perform complicated analysis with a few lines of code
The largest companies in the entire world are data science fueled enterprises. Take a look at Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Each use data science to create algorithms that improve customer satisfaction and maximize profits.
- Google — Ranking of webpages to ensure the top links have an answer to any desired question.
- Amazon — Recommendation of products based on consumer’s past behavior and interests.
- Facebook — Targeted ads (they know the sports you like, preferred price range, food, etc) to increase market success.
In the end, the main reason demand is still high is because if your competitors are relying on data-driven decision making and you aren’t, they will surpass you and steal your market share.
Therefore companies have to adapt and employ data science tools and techniques or they will simply be forced out of business.
Meaning… Data Scientists are a must in 2021.
The supply of Data Scientists is low, and it’s because the field of data science is still relatively new even in 2021.
You see 20 years ago it was impossible to learn data science because of slow internet connection, and low computational primitive programming languages. As the years went on though, the power of computers started to grow exponentially and data science became possible.
This exponential growth and interest in the field were impossible to predict, and traditional education was not ready to meet the needs of those who wanted to learn this growing field.
Very few programs were created to educate aspiring Data Scientists. This shows as research suggests those who get into the field usually transition from other fields such as business, psychology, and life sciences.
Most who transitioned learned their skills through self-preparation by reading books, and taking online courses…
Not through the traditional education system.
Those who get into data science have the advantage of starting a career path in which there are more open jobs than qualified candidates to fill them.
In fact, data science jobs remain open 5 days longer than the average for all other jobs. This points to the fact that there is less competition which results in the recruiters needing extra time to find the correct candidates.
These correct candidates are in luck as most will only need a bachelor’s degree to get hired. The low supply has resulted in 61% of data scientist positions be available to those with a bachelor’s degree, while only 39% will require a master’s degree or a PhD.
If you’ve been following this article along, then you probably have a good assumption on the trajectory of the growth of data science jobs.
Per LinkedIn, there has been a 650% increase in data science jobs since 2012. Glassdoor gives evidence to this claim as they had about 1700 job postings with data science being the primary role in 2016. That number rose to 4500 in 2018, and sort of flattened out in 2020 at around 6500.
COVID-19 was the big story in 2020, and presumably, the reason for this flattening out. Overall though tech jobs have proven to be resilient during the pandemic, which is now in its tenth month.
Don’t Bet Against the Growth
Demand for Data Scientists is still high while supply is low. According to IBM, this tendency will continue to be strong for years to come. Another credible source that agrees with this statement is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees strong growth in the data science field and predicts the number of jobs will increase by about 28% through 2026. To give that 28% a number, that is roughly 11.5 million new jobs in the field.
In the long term, it would probably be unwise to bet against data science as a career move, especially when you widen the field to include related positions like research engineers and machine learning engineers.
So is data science still a rising career in 2021? The answer is a resounding YES! Demand across the world for Data Scientists are in no way of slowing down, and the lack of competition for these jobs makes data science a very lucrative option for a career path.