Industry Insights

Background image of user typing on a calculator with floating interface elements surrounding them

Looking Forward: 9 Developing Data Science & Analytics Job Trends

August 11, 2020

Want to learn more about 2020 data science and analytics salary data, hiring market trends, and COVID-19’s impact to the quantitative job market? Download our full report or watch the webinar recording!With so much disruption in 2020 already, we wanted to also look ahead to next year and beyond, and share some insights about how some of today’s hiring market trends may impact our work lives for years to come.This post is an excerpt from our newly-released 2020 Burtch Works Study, which shares salaries, demographic data, and other hiring market insights for data science and analytics.

1. Potential Impacts to 2021 Overall Salary Data:

Widespread Salary Cuts May Decrease Median Salaries

Due to the prevalence of salary cuts impacting data science & analytics teams this year, we may see downward pressure on salaries impacting next year’s data. Bonuses are also likely to be negatively impacted.

Layoffs and Furloughs May Impact Job Offers & Candidate Negotiation Power

At the moment, we are not seeing any evidence of job offers being lower than expected as a result of the current crisis. From what we’ve seen, larger companies at least are currently staying within their prescribed salary bands. However, as this crisis continues it is possible that will change, which could have an effect on 2021 salaries. With the prevalence of layoffs and furloughs disrupting the career plans of many candidates, this may also have an impact on their ability to negotiate higher salaries, which has the potential to flatten salary increases at least temporarily.

Full Impact of Industry Disruption is Likely Yet to Come

Many industries and companies are being hugely disrupted as a result of COVID-19, and the market will likely continue to shift as some organizations that were more “downstream” from the immediate impact of the crisis are now starting to lay off their staff, including some consulting firms, ad agencies, industrial, software, financial services, etc.

Childcare & School Closings Increasing Requests for Modified Schedules

With disruption to childcare and school closings, we’ve been hearing from some managers that they’re seeing an increase in requests for reduced or modified schedules, which could in turn have an impact on salaries.

2. Interview Process Has Become Faster & More Flexible

For those companies that are hiring, we are seeing a much faster interview process because it’s easier to schedule. With vacations and travel mostly on hold and many candidates still working from home, there is more flexibility, especially since back-to-back on-site interview schedules can now potentially be more spread out to accommodate different schedules.

3. Start Times Speed Up Due to Remote Work

Because of the current prevalence of remote work, this has quickened start time for candidates that would have typically taken 5 weeks to relocate. Employers have been shipping computers to get talent on board faster to tackle data projects immediately, and in many cases relocation has been postponed due to safety concerns.

4. Technical Assessments Prioritized to Evaluate Technical Skills Sooner in Hiring Process

Given that the interview process has largely shifted to be entirely virtual, we are seeing more of an emphasis to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills earlier in the process, often even before a scheduled interview with a hiring manager. This could include technical screenings along with case study presentations.

5. Impact to Industry Demographics

While some industries and companies are finding themselves in an advantageous position if they have products or services that have increased in demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, some have found themselves struggling to adapt their business models with travel restrictions, lockdowns, and rapid shifts in demand. Industries such as retail, travel, or hospitality may lose jobs, or areas like tech may increase, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on industry demographic data to see whether we can identify any such changes in our 2021 report.

6. Location Shifts: Candidates Leaving the West Coast, Advantage to Suburban Offices?

With the increase in startups going under and some companies announcing permanent WFH strategies, it is likely that the movement of candidates out of the West Coast will accelerate. This is particularly affecting areas like the Bay Area and Seattle, which was already underway in recent years as a result of the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing. This could impact salaries if professionals move to lower cost of living areas and as a result receive lower salaries. It is also yet to be seen whether lockdown restrictions and avoidance of public transit coupled with a more favorable remote work environment could favor suburban offices.

7. With More Talent Open to Change, It’s an Advantageous Time to Hire

For some teams, the crisis has had a positive impact on their hiring. Talent that potential employers would not otherwise have access to may be available if they find themselves laid off, furloughed, or otherwise open to make a change because of industry uncertainty. We’re already seeing an increase in private equity groups, in the interest of accurately timing business decisions, who have been picking up additional analytics talent throughout the crisis.

8. With Increased Remote Work, Transition to the Cloud is Speeding Up

Due to the increase in remote work, more companies are speeding up their transition to the cloud for their data needs. As a result, experience with cloud computing will be more critical for candidates to stay marketable.

9. Ongoing Competition for Data Science & Analytics Talent

Despite recent job market disruption, we’re still seeing fierce competition for top tier talent, with many in-demand candidates receiving multiple offers quickly.Learn more about these trends and others by downloading our full report or view the webinar recording below!