hot jobs


Recently Crain’s Chicago Business writer Judith Crown highlighted the insights of Smith Hanley Associates’ Data Science and Analytics Recruiter, Nancy Darian, in an article titled, Hot Jobs: The most in-demand, well-paying positions now. Three of those hot jobs are part of the Smith Hanley recruiting practice and these niche recruiters offer their insights.

The downturn precipitated by COVID-19 has created “pockets of opportunity” according to Crown. There are the obvious critical health needs for Respiratory Therapists, Medical Technologists and Histotechnologists and Epidemiologists. IT hiring always seems to stay strong but the expansion of remote work has increased demand even more for Cloud Operations Engineers and Cloud Integration Engineers. Increased remote shopping means the need for Managers of Digital Experience and E-commerce Managers has also sky-rocketed and can be classified as hot jobs. Crown asked Nancy Darian her thoughts on the increased demand for Operations Research Analysts and Data Scientists.


“These specialists use software, statistical analysis, modeling and other tools to get under the hood of processes to identify and troubleshoot problems. They often work at manufacturers—possibly monitoring the quality of components or efficiency of shippers delivering parts,” says Nancy Darian, a recruiter for data science and analytics jobs at recruiter Smith Hanley Associates. But the work also could be applicable to running a bank’s call center efficiently. How many customer service representatives are needed on a shift? Should staffing be boosted in anticipation of a surge in calls? Like data scientists, these analysts often have master’s degrees with expertise in mathematical modeling. The government pegs the median salary at $84,810. Analysts might typically start at $70,000 or more and progress to six figures in senior or managerial roles.’


“These professionals make sense of big, sometimes enormous, datasets. Using software tools, they build algorithms and models to spot and solve business problems. Data scientists draw conclusions and make recommendations to management such as a change in suppliers or shippers or a technology upgrade, says Kanak Rajan, a partner at HR consultancy Mercer in Chicago. “They often monitor data that’s streamed over the internet. For example, a sensor in a tractor engine relays information on performance so that a manufacturer could forestall a problem by shipping a new part,” says Nancy Darian, a recruiter for data science and analytics jobs at recruiter Smith Hanley Associates. Data specialists typically have a master’s degree, with expertise in mathematical modeling or business intelligence.Data scientists can start as an analyst, with a median salary of $87,780, according to BLS. The government says the median salary for statisticians and mathematicians is at $92,030, but salaries often run over $100,000, recruiters say.”


Actuary was another well-paying position that is experiencing growth in hiring during the pandemic according to Crown. She said, “COVID-19 and other recent calamities such as hurricanes and floods have elevated the job of actuaries, who analyze the financial impact of risks. Most people associate actuarial work with forecasting mortality rates for pricing life insurance, but it goes beyond that. Actuaries quantify the risk of disease for health insurers and the cost of damage from natural disasters for property and casualty insurers. Actuaries have bachelor’s degrees in math, finance or economics and go through a rigorous professional certification.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 20% through 2028 and median pay of $108,350. Smith Hanley Associates’ Actuarial Recruiting Practice Lead, Rory Hauser, reports increased hiring across both actuarial consulting firms and insurance companies.

Interested in hiring or a career in the hot jobs of Data Scientist or Actuary? Contact Nancy Darian at [email protected] or Rory Hauser at [email protected].

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