Data Scientist wanted!

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Analysis of the enormous volume of data has become a key to company success. This is why data experts are high on the wanted list of HR departments. A job platform has summarized the skills that are in demand.

Six years ago, the Harvard Business Review stated that data scientists had the “sexiest job of the 21st century”. In the meantime, the forecast has long become reality. The enormous growth in data volume and the necessity of capitalizing on this have made data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers the most sought-after experts by HR departments.

The lines between the three are blurred, basically data engineers aggregate the data, while the other two create added value, using statistics and machine learning methods.

Among other things, an analysis of about 14 million job ads from the past 24 months on the job platform Joblift showed that the requirement profiles for data experts involve much more than just mathematical-programming skills.

According to this, 64,173 vacancies for data experts have been listed in the past 24 months. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of 23 percent. German companies are increasingly looking for people who can handle large volumes of data. On average, the jobs remain vacant for 34 days, which is slightly less than the time needed to fill software developer positions (36 days). This could be due to the fact that it is not only applicants with an IT background who are suitable for the role of data scientist.

Data Scientist Graduates

An examination of the training that is required highlights the particularly high academization level. In more than 90 percent of the job ads, a university degree is a basic requirement for applicants. 69 percent explicitly demand a master’s degree, while in 20 percent of the cases, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient.

In other words, people who are considering working as a data scientist should study – but what? In 41 percent of the vacancies, perhaps not surprisingly, companies put information technology at the top of the list, but mathematics and statistics degrees are also wanted in 21 percent of the ads. In third place is economics in 18 percent of the job profiles, followed by physics in 5 percent and engineering (especially industrial engineering) in 4 percent of the ads.

SQL and Communication

But in many cases, the special skills and capabilities of the applicants is more important than having the right degree. In the job profiles the five most important programming languages were listed as SQL (16,942 mentions), R (8,422 mentions), Python (6,587 mentions), Java (5,945 mentions), and SPARK (2,356 mentions). Applicants should also have prior knowledge in the areas of artificial intelligence (1,202 mentions), especially machine learning (5,931 mentions), and deep learning as a special sub-area (1,100 mentions). Companies also often expect applicants to have experience in data visualization (4,217 mentions) and cloud technology (3,356 mentions).

In addition to these hard criteria, employers also expect good communication skills in almost 50 percent of the job ads for data scientists (30,088 mentions) and analytical skills in 45 percent of the ads (28,854 mentions). As important soft skills, applicants also have to be creative (23,196 mentions), be able to work in teams (9,738 mentions) and show personal initiative (7,846 mentions). After all, data scientists not only have to sort huge volumes of data, they also have to interpret it and be able to communicate it in a comprehensible manner.


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Data Scientist p(Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann).

Data scientist is one of the best jobs in tech. (Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann).