The demand for soft skills is an especially pronounced trend, given our age of booming automation. Even for highly technical jobs, companies need people who demonstrate more than just the ability to crank out analysis. According to recent research from Bruce Tulgan and SHRM, “While it’s well-known that a technological gap of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills exists, there is a growing soft skills gap in the workplace.” This notion was also supported at the recent Emsi conference, where the importance of soft skills was mentioned by Emsi clients in nearly every breakout session and best-practice example. Yes, businesses need workers with incredible technical abilities, but they prefer ones with a real heart and soul.
What majors do companies mention in their job postings?
Companies looking to hire data scientists mention majors such as economics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, operations research, and engineering. In 2015 there were 164,000 graduates across these majors—an increase of 5% since 157,000 graduates in 2003. However, the growth in jobs seems to be outpacing the growth in graduates. During the same time period, job growth for these analysis ninjas grew much more: 325,000 new jobs, or 24%. And much of that growth (241,000 jobs) occurred just between 2010 and 2015.
What types of jobs are we talking about?
As was mentioned earlier, the title “data scientist” could apply to a number of occupations. In the list below are 10 examples.
These careers represent over 2.5 million jobs and grew by 12% (or 278,604 new jobs) from 2012 to 2016. Average wages are between $33 and $55 per hour, or $68K and $114K annually. Six of the careers typically require a bachelor’s degree, three a master’s, and one (computer and information research scientists) a doctoral degree.
Computer and information research scientists is the highest-paying job on the list (nearly $55 per hour average). The fastest-growing job is operations research analysts (19% growth). Systems analysts added the most new jobs (80,000), and at nearly 820,000 total employment, management analysts is the largest.
The metros with the highest per capita employment for these 10 positions are San Jose, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Austin, Charlotte, Boston, Durham, Columbus, and Seattle. Provo, Utah, has seen the fastest growth (37%) with Austin just behind (35%). New York, San Francisco, and Dallas have added the most new jobs since 2012 each contributing over 10,000 in four years.
It’s easy to see why data scientist would be labeled a top career of the 21st century. Despite the growth of the positions above, many sectors continue to feel the pinch for professionals with the education, training, and analytical prowess to turn big data into real insight—making data scientists some of the most sought-after talent in the labor market.