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Although many of the recruiters have decades of experience in analytics recruiting, with the increasing popularity of data science and analytics (and the ever-evolving talent landscape) we’re always adding new members to our team.

Stefan Vallentine joined our team a little over a year ago, and with his background of three years including actuarial recruiting, making the transition to working on quantitative roles within analytics and data science was a natural fit – he has even modeled with a unicorn mug for one of our blog posts!

Since he’s a bit newer to the data science field, we thought it might be interesting to get his thoughts on what recruiting data scientists and analytics professionals is like and how these fields (and professionals) stand out to him.

 

Observations from a Data Science Recruiter

This post is contributed by Stefan Vallentine, Burtch Works’ data science and analytics recruiting expert.

 

1. Data science and analytics backgrounds can vary a lot

As our recent Burtch Works Studies have shown – and as any data science blog will confirm – there are a lot of different ways to get into these fields! There are traditional degrees which can include everything from math, stats, computer science, physics, operations research, or others, but also numerous online courses, bootcamps, and even newer degree programs like the MS in Data Science.

I was also surprised at just how many different specializations there are within these fields (some of which have been written about on this blog), with new ones seeming to pop up every day. And with so many different job titles – and few clear definitions – it can make navigating the job search process a bit tricky!

My best advice on this for both job seekers and hiring managers is to ask a lot of questions during the hiring process to make sure everyone is on the same page.

 

2. New industry use cases for data science are appearing every day

With analytics and data science initiatives spreading to even more industries and companies, it seems like every week we’re hearing about a new or innovative way that companies are looking to capitalize on their data. There are so many different business questions that can be addressed by the data science team that this has really opened up opportunities for professionals across the US and in practically every industry.

 

3. It’s a hot market for quantitative candidates – and they’re ghosting as a result!

Naturally, with so many companies looking to get in on the action, this can make hiring a bit of a challenge. Not only are you often looking for specialized skills that can make talent hard to find, but since plenty of other companies are looking as well there is competition for strong talent.

We’ve even been seeing some candidates ghosting during the hiring process – disappearing and going radio silent! – because they have so many options available to them that they may feel less obligated to stay in touch.

If you’re in this position – don’t just disappear! Even if you’re no longer interested in that company or going to accept another offer, leaving everyone in the dark about your plans can damage your reputation. Make sure you’re managing multiple offers with tact!

4. Tools and techniques in this field are evolving quickly

One of the first things I noticed was that the data science and analytics fields are undergoing a rapid shift. New uses cases are appearing every day, more companies are adopting these approaches, and tool preferences are shifting with the times. Obviously it’s natural for most professions to evolve over time, but I think that the transitions in data science and analytics are happening particularly fast right now compared to others that I’ve seen.

If you’re curious about where the field might be headed, Linda Burtch posts annual predictions with her thoughts, and my colleague Heidi Kalish contributed her thoughts on shifts specifically in the financial services space.

 

5. Data scientists and analytics professionals love their side projects!

Whether it’s competing in Kaggle competitions, programming as a hobby, or analyzing sports data for their fantasy leagues, it’s incredible how many quantitative professionals love working on data projects outside of their day jobs. Obviously if you’re passionate enough about something that you’ll do it as a hobby in addition to your job, this is a great sign that you’ve picked the right field for you!

If this sounds like you, we always encourage candidates to talk about their side hobbies if they’re relevant to the company or industry. Sometimes there can also be opportunities to show off your work which can really help you stand out during the hiring process.

 

6. There is a large market for early career talent

With so much interest from the press and business world alike, this has helped drum up interest in data science and analytics from both students and professionals in other fields. We’re seeing lots of new people joining these fields (still not enough to meet the significant demand, though!) which makes it a really exciting time, I think, to be working in this space.

 

 

I hope this information was interesting! If you’re looking for more tips on how to manage your data science or analytics career, here are a few other posts to check out:

1. 10 Reasons for Data Scientists and Analytics Pros to Consider a Job Change

When should you think about a job change? Here are a few signs that it might be the right time, plus other timing situations to consider.

2. Breaking Into Analytics & Data Science: Skills/Tools to Learn & How to Transition

Looking to break into analytics or data science, or transition into a new role within these fields? This post has skills and tools to learn, plus how to switch at your current company or apply to a new one.

3. 10 Tips for Data Scientists & Analytics Pros Navigating Today’s Market

My colleague put together a few great tips on everything from making career choices to evaluating offers to making presentations in interviews and more.

 

If you’re looking to explore opportunities in data science or analytics, be sure to connect with me (Stefan Vallentine) on LinkedIn.

Interested in our salary research on data scientists and predictive analytics professionals? Download our studies using the button below.

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Want highlights from our 2019 Data Science & Analytics report, including salaries, demographic comparisons, and hiring market analysis? Watch our 15-minute RECAP video below!

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