Industry Insights

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Survey Results: 2021 Data Science, Analytics, Data Engineering Hiring in Q3/Q4

June 15, 2021

This post is contributed by the Burtch Works Data Science and Data Engineering recruiting teams. Our hiring survey results from February 2021 showed that 73% of data science and analytics teams were planning to hire during Q1 or Q2 of 2021. So how are plans shaping up for the second half of the year?

Hiring on Data Science & Analytics Teams: Q3 and Q4

We typically send hiring surveys every year, and our latest results for Q3/Q4 were very indicative of the hiring acceleration in today’s sizzling hot market.

According to our respondents, which represented over 125 companies across the US, we found that 81% of data science and analytics teams are planning to hire during Q3 or Q4 of 2021. This includes plans to hire data scientists and analytics professionals as well as data engineers, who continue to become an increasingly key part of data teams. You can read more about developing trends specifically in the data engineering market here.Our Q3/Q4 hiring survey results show an impressive increase from the 73% of teams that planned to hire in the first half of 2021, and an even bigger jump when compared to the 67% of teams planning to hire in the first half of 2020 (which we surveyed before COVID-19 had disrupted hiring plans).It’s no surprise to us that with the economic restart kicking into high gear and data science & analytics being a key element for digital transformation efforts (which are crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage in most industries), we're seeing many companies keen to beef up their teams this year.

There are a variety of factors spurring on the data science & analytics hiring market right now:
  1. Strong hiring need for analytical talent as more companies pursue or expand their digital transformation efforts.
  2. The proliferation of remote roles increasing access to more talent for companies and access to more opportunities for professionals.
  3. More data professionals evaluating potential career moves in 2021. Since many people put job searches on hold in 2020 and reactivated this year, this will increase attrition in 2021 significantly.

Overall, we’re seeing a flurry of activity among both data science & analytics teams and professionals leading to increased competition in the hiring market.

Types of Data Science & Analytics Hiring: Q3 and Q4 2021

We also asked about permanent vs. contract hiring, to determine where there was the biggest increase and how that compared to earlier this year.

We found that in Q3 and Q4, 57% of teams are only looking for permanent staff (increasing from 50% earlier in Q1 and Q2), 5% are only looking for contract staff (up from 3% earlier this year), and 20% of teams are hiring for both permanent and contract positions (compared to 21%). Additionally, fewer teams answered that they were holding steady or cutting back for Q3/4.

Motivation for Data Science & Analytics Hiring: Q3 and Q4 2021

We also like to ask teams about their motivation for hiring, whether the goal is to increase the size of the team through adding to headcount, whether they’re focused on backfilling roles left vacant due to attrition, or augmenting staff to deliver on temporary or project-based work demands (teams may choose all that apply).

For Q3/Q4 of 2021, we found that 63% of teams are actively trying to increase the size of their teams, which is a noticeable jump from the 50% who were adding to headcount in Q1 and Q2. There is also an increase in teams focused on backfilling vacant roles, increasing from 38% earlier this year to 43%. This suggests a more active hiring market in general as the economy continues to heat up and more professionals change jobs, leaving more teams with vacant positions that need to be backfilled.We also found that 15% are looking for temporary staff augmentation or project-based hiring, which is the same percentage that we found in our survey earlier this year.

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. Wondering what skills are most in-demand for data scientist roles? This post has our list of 12 key skills that hiring managers are looking for in data scientist hires right now.

  1. Job searching with employment gaps on your resume? This post shares our tips for how to approach employment gaps, layoffs, furloughs, or salary cuts in interviews.

  1. 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.
  1. Looking to find talent? Want to talk hiring strategy and see how the Burtch Works team can help with your data science, analytics, or data engineering staff? Click here to get in touch with us.
Interested in our salary research on data scientists and analytics professionals? Download our latest 2021 report using the button below.

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Want to learn more? Check out our webinar recording below, where we share data highlights, additional insights, and market research that we examined this year.