Data Scientist – Sexiest Job of 21st Century or just plain Hype?


It has been said that Data Scientist is the “sexiest job title of the 21st century.”

Is this just a hype or an emerging reality?

Studies and research shows that it certainly is not a Hype. In fact the demand for data scientists is increasing so quickly, that McKinsey predicts that soon, there will be a 50 percent gap in the supply of data scientists versus demand.


So let us examine What are the reasons for such an exponential increase in the jobs for Data Scientists and Data Analysts?

The simple answer is that over the last decade there has been a massive explosion in the data generated – not just by organizations but also common public including you and me.

With the advent of Social Media, Online Shopping, Online communities and forums, there is deluge of data being produced by people. This data is coming up in all formats videos on YouTube, pictures and selfies on Instagram and FB, texts in twitter and so on. This huge volume of data being generated every second and every minute in different formats is referred to as “Big Data“.

Since this big data is a reality now, experts, who can handle this data i.e. clean it, analyze it and make use of it, are needed. The traditional data analytic tools and those who only know these traditional analytical tools simply do not suffice any more. Hence there is a big shortage of such experts currently as the science and techniques related to handling of such data is new and evolving.

Since generation of Big Data through social media and other newer channels is expected to not only continue but grow exponentially, the need for Data Scientists and Analysts is expected to also grow exponentially.

All organizations with data therefore desperately need professionals who can take on data organizing as well as preparing data for analysis and then conduct analysis to find valuable insights and develop accurate models for customers and business success.

Though this demand for data scientists started amongst large ecommerce and technology firms, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, more and more organizations in different Industries like Banking, Retail, Healthcare etc are appreciating the insights from Big Data Analytics and gradually even smaller organizations are realizing that using social media analytics and other data can help them to make better decisions quickly and helping them to gain revenue as well as customers.

As an evidence of the growing needs for Data Scientists and Analysts, a recent article in Forbes reported that in USA:

  • Jobs requiring machine learning skills are paying an average of $114,000. Advertised data scientist jobs pay an average of $105,000 and advertised data engineering jobs pay an average of $117,000.
  • 59% of all Data Science and Analytics (DSA) job demand is in Finance and Insurance, Professional Services, and IT.
  • Annual demand for the fast-growing new roles of data scientist, data developers, and data engineers will reach nearly 700,000 openings by 2020.
  • Data Science and Analytics (DSA) jobs remain open an average of 45 days, five days longer than the market average.

The role of the Big data scientist and analysts is evolving with new techniques and technology being invented continually. However, in addition to the data analytics skills, understanding of business domain functionality is also important so that Data Scientist can interpret the analyzed data and use the insights correctly in business decisions.

To check what are the top skills needed to become Data Scientist, read  about the Seven skills needed to become a Data Scientist.



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