Demand For Data Scientists Has Outpaced Supply Of Talent January 17, 2012 by Brett Prince Do you want a job that’s in high demand and will likely stay that way for the next 5 years? You may not have considered becoming a Data Scientist before now, but the conclusion of IT service company EMC’s recent survey is showing that this position is in very high demand. According to 63% data scientists, it’s projected that the profession will be undermanned within the foreseeable future – half of that group viewing it as a serious shortage. As the “physical Internet” continues to expand, there has been explosive growth of the use of sensors, which will provide companies with an extraordinary wealth of data. Gathering data is the easy part, the difficulty lies with transforming that raw data into something useful. In fact, only 1/3 participants in the study were confident that their company has the ability to make strategic business decisions based on new data. “Data is the new oil,” said Andrea Weigend, Stanford’s Head of the Social Data Lab, also the former Chief Scientist at Amazon. Unfortunately for the majority of companies, technology is evolving faster than the workforce’s ability and skills to make sense of it, and organizations across all sectors need to adapt quickly to the new reality or perish. The explosion in digital data, bandwidth and processing power – combined with new tools for analyzing the data – has sparked massive interest in the emerging field of data science. Organizations of all sizes are turning to people who are capable of translating this trove of data – created by mobile sensors, social media, surveillance, medical imaging, smart grids and the like – into predictive insights that lead to business value. Despite the growing opportunity, demand for data scientists has outpaced supply of talent, and will for the next five years. Who are data science practitioners, what skills do they need, and why are they so different? The rest of the survey data is in the infographic below. Are you in the Web or IT industry? Is this a career you can see yourself pursuing?