Data Science – Skill Gaps in the U.K

Global Employability

In the past 20 years, we have generated more data than humankind has ever created since the beginning of human existence! Managing this enormous amount of data poses quite a challenge without some level of computation.

Data science allows us to manipulate data so that we can derive meaningful conclusions from it. However, most data science jobs lack graduates who are skilled in the required tools and technologies.

Let us take a look at some of the skill gaps that are commonly seen in the data science job market in the U.K.

Table of contents:

  • What is Data Science, and where can it be used?
  • What are the Data Science skill gaps in the U.K?

What is Data Science, and where can it be used?

Data science is a multidisciplinary field that makes use of analytical techniques, scientific principles, data mining, data engineering, machine learning, and data visualization, among others, to extract information from raw data that is collected from various sources. Why is data science necessary? To start with, most organizations thrive on data to catapult their products and services. By understanding how their product sells or by understanding what their customers require, they can address those specific needs. By applying data science to the business’ data, organizations can make informed decisions that can aid their day-to-day operations. Generally, data science is used in transport management, business intelligence, healthcare, search engines, route planning, logistics, and even in gaming!

What are the Data Science skill gaps in the U.K?

It is estimated that companies in the U.K have been very actively hiring graduates with good data science skills gaps. In the U.K alone, organizations have been recruiting for 175,000 to 230,000 vacant roles in the data science sector. Why is that? Simply because there aren’t enough data scientists to match the growing demand! Although 48% of the companies have recruited or are recruiting for jobs that require hard data skills, 46% of organizations have been having a tough time recruiting for data science jobs due to the lack of skilled individuals. It is estimated that the lack of data skills among new graduates has been costing companies over 2 billion pounds every year!

This has meant that more and more companies have been investing heavily to train their employees in data science. Organizations also prefer graduates with data science skill gaps and those who are good at solving problems using AI techniques. But most graduates who are looking for data science jobs assume that a background in STEM is compulsory. However, data science is something that can be learned by anyone from anywhere.

The lack of skills has become alarming, especially at a time when data science skills are becoming must-haves! Some of the important data science skill gaps have been categorized into technical and non-technical, and have been listed here.

Technical skills Non-technical skills
AI skills Ability to adapt to changing environments
Analytical skills and tools (including Hadoop, SAS, Spark, SPSS) Communication skills
Big data-related skills Information management
Database programming and manipulating skills (including SQL, MongoDB)
Data structures and algorithms (understanding how and where data is stored)
Data visualization skills (including Tableau)
Knowledge of emerging technologies
Machine learning (including TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn)
Mathematical skills
Programming (including Python, Java, C, C++)
User interface designing

Not all data roles are the same. Each role requires different sets of skills that cater to very specific needs. While a data scientist analyzes the data or applies specific algorithms that work well with the dataset, another person may be tasked with data collection and sorting. Some of the data roles that have the highest salaries and are in high demand across the U.K are listed below.

  • Business analysts – Expected salary ~21,000-50,000 pounds
  • Data analysts – Expected salary ~21,000-50,000 pounds
  • Data scientists – Expected salary ~23,000-60,000 pounds
  • Economists – Expected salary ~25,000-70,000 pounds
  • Financial analysts – Expected salary ~40,000 pounds
  • Machine learning engineer – Expected salary ~35,000-150,000 pounds
  • Statisticians – Expected salary ~26,000-50,000 pounds

With every passing day, the demand for data scientists is increasing. The right set of skills is the only thing that is stopping you from becoming an in-demand data scientist! You may want to check out how an MA in data science can be the thing you need!

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Global Employability


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