October 08, 2015 09:31 ET

New Study Finds 52% of Data Scientists Have Earned That Title Within the Past 4 Years

RJMetrics Report, The State of Data Science, Reveals a Definitive Picture of Where Data Scientists Work, the Skills They have, and Their Academic Backgrounds

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - October 08, 2015) - A new study released today by RJMetrics, a cloud-based data infrastructure and analytics platform, provides rich insights on the state of data science by analyzing self-reported LinkedIn data. The biggest finding: 52% of all data scientists have earned that title within the past 4 years.

But while the rise of data scientists is rapid, there remain surprisingly few of them out there: only 11,400 professionals self-identify as data scientists today.

The report delves deep into three core areas of data science:

Where data scientists work
The research shows that the top three industries employing data scientists are: Information Technology and Services, Internet, and Computer Software. And the top employers of data scientists are: Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, GlaskoSmithKline, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

The core skill set of a data scientist
The top five skills of a data scientist are data analysis, R, Python, data mining, and machine learning. The study also found that these skills look slightly different for data scientists working in more senior roles. Individuals working as Chief Data Scientists list their top skills as strategy, management, leadership, business intelligence, and analytics.

The academic backgrounds of data scientists
Over 79% of all data scientists listing their education have earned a graduate degree, and 38% have earned a PhD. The most common backgrounds that data scientists come from are Computer Science, Business Administration/Management, Statistics, Mathematics, and Physics.

In 2012, Thomas H. Davenport and DJ Patil declared data scientist to be "the sexiest job of the 21st century." Lillian Pierson, data science author and educator, says The State of Data Science "reveals the future that Davenport and Patil envision":

  • Universities, bootcamps, and training programs have sprung up to bridge the skills gap. Simultaneously, organizations are clarifying and shaping the data scientist's role. They are recognizing that the distributed tasks formerly carried out by a variety of roles can be most effectively executed when condensed under one title.

All this data, and more, can be found in The State of Data Science.

About RJMetrics

RJMetrics is a cloud-based data infrastructure and analytics platform. It provides tools to consolidate and analyze the ever-growing volume of data available to every organization that does business online. RJMetrics customers include Walker & Co, Choxi, Threadless, and more. For more information on RJMetrics, read the blog, visit the website, and follow them on Twitter.

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