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Linda Burtch, Managing Director at Burtch Works | 30+ years’ experience in quantitative recruiting

So far in 2016, the quantitative hiring market has been vibrant! Q1 historically brings new clients and job openings, but this year feels different: this year there is a marked sense of urgency to find talent. With more companies jumping on the data-driven bandwagon, companies have been creating new roles and new data science and analytics teams. With such an increase in the number of quantitative jobs available, no wonder there has been such an increase in churn and talent movement!

 

Were you among those that changed jobs last year?

After examining a sample of our LinkedIn network, we discovered that 20.1% of analytics professionals and data scientists changed jobs in 2015, compared to 18.6% in 2014. The hiring market has continued strong, with candidates continuing to take advantage of a robust market.student-849825_1920

 

Is your tenure above or below average?

For those that found new opportunities in 2015, how long were they at their prior position? We found that the average tenure was 2.6 years. This is right in line with what I’ve previously said about how long analytics professionals should stay at their jobs. To summarize: less than one year is likely to raise eyebrows, 2-4 years is ideal, and 5+ years is getting too long. As you gain more experience, however, your tenure should increase beyond that, as it will take more time to accomplish goals, especially in leadership roles. Once you’ve reached the leadership level it’s important to spend more time in each role so that you can build the business and show results before moving on.

I’ve always recommended that early career analytics professionals change jobs to take advantage of their ability to strategically broaden their domain knowledge. Generally, hiring managers are skeptical of professionals who stay stagnant for too long, because it makes them wonder: can this professional adapt? Are they afraid of change?

The likelihood that Millennials will stay at their current jobs for the next 30, 20, or even 10 years is close to zero. According to Deloitte’s survey of nearly 7,700 Millennials, 44% plan to leave their current employer within 2 years and 66% plan to leave by 2020. Only 16% say they envision staying with their current employer 10 years from now. Career strategy has certainly changed over the past few decades!

 

Are you evaluating opportunities?

3BXHKLDWN9With the increase in opportunities, you may be presented with more options to evaluate. It’s incredibly important to be deliberate with your career planning. Choosing an offer based solely on salary or being too title-focused are common career strategy mistakes that prioritize a short-term goal, which means you could miss out on positions with better opportunities for advancement and long-term earning potential.

If you’re considering something new, what do you want to do next? If you can answer that question before you start your job search, it will save you a lot of time and effort. Evaluate each position based on the whole opportunity – are you being challenged technically? Are you continuing to learn new skills and tools? Will the job allow you to broaden your industry experience? To protect your time as well as your potential employer’s time, only follow-up with opportunities if you are seriously considering making a change.

 

It will be interesting to see where the quantitative hiring market goes from here. It’s unlikely that it will keep accelerating in perpetuity, but, at least for the foreseeable future – until the skills shortage gets under control – things will probably remain in high gear. I’ll keep you posted on any other changes that we’re seeing in the hiring market.

In addition to the job change information above, we also examined what kind of salary increases analytics professionals and data scientists are realizing these days. So if you’re interested in seeing how much other quantitative professionals are increasing their salaries when they change jobs (who wouldn’t be curious?), be sure to keep your eyes on the blog for part two!

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  1.  How Much do Analytics Salaries Increase when Changing Jobs? - Burtch Works
  2.  How Long Should You Stay at Your Analytics Job? - Burtch Works

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