Data Scientists Oversupply


As with many questions related to Data Scientists, the answer to, Is There an Oversupply of Data Scientists, depends on your definition of Data Scientist. Jeb Stone on said recently, “There’s already a significant oversupply of junior or “new” data scientists and a significant undersupply of experienced professionals.” If, as Jeb Stone believes, “40% of the work is gathering and cleaning data,” isn’t a junior data scientist adequate for the job?

IBM reported in a recent study that 39% of all Data Scientist and Advanced Analytic roles require a Master’s degree or higher. That leaves another 61% of roles that can be filled by someone with a bachelor’s degree or significant boot camp experience, right? Not exactly. IBM goes on to report that over 80% of all postings in the Data Science world require at least three plus years of prior work experience.


Data Scientist Oversupply?

These experienced Data Scientists answer the other 60% need that Jeb Stone defines as the role of Data Science: If “40% of the work is gathering and cleaning data; another 40% is working on your own and directly with internal clients, to discover business opportunities, put together compelling business cases for green-light, and implement solutions that growth the business. 10% is thinking ahead and staying in the loop so that your data science organization isn’t instantly crippled by business changes or new development that would screw up your data assets. Maybe 10% is actual modeling.”


Matthew Theisen on voices a point raised by many, “Just understanding machine learning algorithms has never been enough. The price of a job in tech is keeping up with the firehose of new technologies and workflows. It’s the ability to adapt to the most valuable technologies that’s important.” Bootcamps can answer this need to constantly update your skill set , but foundational knowledge and expertise comes from college and a graduate degree, particularly in STEM. Skipping the hard work of an advanced academic education with six weeks of boot camp training is not adequate for the full-fledged Data Scientist.


IBM predicts demand for Data Scientists will soar 28% by 2020. They also predict openings for Data Scientists will increase by 364,000 to 2,720,000. Interested in participating in this dramatic increase in opportunities? Contact the Data Science and Analytics Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

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