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While hiring may have slowed down during the uncertainty of last year, we’re already starting to see hiring return to many data science & analytics teams.

Data Science & Analytics Hiring in 2021

Hoping to measure this, we sent out our annual flash survey to our network asking data science & analytics teams to describe their hiring plans for the first half of 2021.


According to our respondents, which represented over 150 companies across the US, we found that 73% of data science and analytics teams are planning to hire during Q1 or Q2 of 2021. This is actually a significant increase from last year, where 67% of teams planned to hire in the first half of 2020.  Since we had sent the 2020 survey in early January, this was before the COVID-19 pan demic disrupted hiring across many organizations.

Right now, we’re in a recovering economic climate, and overall, we are seeing hiring trends are starting to pick up quickly.  These are all good signs that the data science & analytics community is amongst the first to recover and bouncing back stronger than ever!  Combined with what we’ve been hearing from many analytics teams regarding their hiring plans, this increase should be taken as the beginning of what could be increased hiring demands for years to come.

There is a possibility that some of this hiring increase might still be attributed to filling empty roles after COVID-19 cutbacks, but from many of our conversations with analytics teams, many organizations had already resumed their hiring sometime last year.

Different Types of Data Science & Analytics Hiring in 2021

Anecdotally, we’ve been noticing an increase in requests for contract roles recently, so we added a new question to the survey this year, asking about what type of hiring was in the plans.


We found that 50% of teams are only looking for permanent staff, 3% are only looking for contract staff, but 21% of teams are hiring for both permanent and contract positions.

Notably, this means that most teams looking to hire contract staff are still hiring for permanent positions as well. While we don’t have numbers from previous years to compare, this will be an interesting point to monitor going forward, to see if there is any shift towards more contract hiring. This includes contract hiring for project-based work and contract to hire scenarios.

 

Motivation for Data Science & Analytics Hiring in 2021

We also like to ask teams about their motivation for hiring, whether the primary goal is to actually increase the size of the team through adding to headcount, or whether they’re focused on backfilling roles left vacant due to attrition.


For 2021 we found that 50% of teams are actively trying to increase the size of their teams, 38% are primarily focused on backfilling, and 15% are looking for temporary or project-based hiring.

Since this question is slightly changed from last year (we added the temp/project category), the numbers are not exactly comparable, but we did find that 58% of teams stated they were planning to expand in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic. This may mean that much of the anticipated hiring for last year was suddenly put on hold and more teams are primarily focused on either backfilling or temporary/project hiring to catch up to support current business demands.

Data Science & Analytics Career and Hiring Resources

Thinking about a career move this year, or looking to add to your team? Here are a few resources that might be helpful.

1. Check out our data science & analytics job search guide! This post has all our job search resources all in one place, from interview prep to offer evaluation, COVID-19 trends and much more.

2. Check out these developing hiring market trends – This post shares our observations on developing trends like changes to the interview process, technical assessments, and other important considerations for both those looking to hire and job seekers.

3. Looking for new opportunities? Click here to view our active job openings that we would love to discuss with you in more detail. You can also submit your resume here.

4. Looking to find talent? Want to talk hiring strategy and see how the Burtch Works team can help your data science or analytics team? Click here to get in touch with us.

 

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

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