Big DataNews & Analysis

Indian Firms Witness Massive Gap When Hiring Data Science Talent

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The Data Science industry is witnessing a massive supply gap when it comes to talent, with 92% hiring managers having faced the shortfall, according to a recent study.

The study conducted by Great Learning, an edtech company, puts the spotlight on hiring trends in the Data Science space, growing demand for Data Science professionals and the skills gap in the industry.

The biggest skills lacuna was identified in the area of Natural Language Processing (NLP) by 15% of the hiring managers followed by Artificial Intelligence (12%), automation (11), computer Vision (10%), analytics (9%) and Machine Learning (7%).

A little over half of the surveyed hiring managers represented B2B enterprises, about one-fourth represented B2C companies and the rest included Government and others. Industry sectors like BFSI had the maximum representation (21%) followed by IT/ITES, Retail, E-commerce, Telecom, Engineering and Manufacturing.

About 57% believed that the gap between supply and demand exists at the entry Level/fresher level while 27% of the hiring managers believe that the talent gap exists in the mid-level roles of team lead and project management, highlighting the need to upskill both early stage and mid-career professionals with enterprise-specific use cases of Data Science.

The study also finds that the lack of gender parity is an issue in the Data Science domain, like it is with the broader tech domain. Over two-thirds (68%) hiring managers indicated that gender gap exists across the talent pool. The reasons behind the gender-based pay disparity in the Data Science space include, less awareness of opportunities in the space among the fairer sex and the lack of sufficient support from enterprises in ensuring work life balance.

Bengaluru has once again taken the pole position as the leading city for hiring talent in Data Science, with 54% hiring and recruiting managers selecting it as the preferred destination for hiring Data Science professionals. It is followed by Hyderabad the emerging cyber hub with 15% hiring managers reposing their faith in the city. The BPO and KPO hubs of Delhi NCR and Pune were preferred by of 9% and 6%, respectively, followed by Mumbai and Chennai, which were preferred by 5% each.

The large gap between Bengaluru and the rest of the cities signifies the superiority of the ecosystem that consists of a skilled talent pool, cutting edge application of Data Science both at corporates and startups and the opportunities to work on consulting projects, and carry out extensive research in the field.

Hackathons and Recruitment Events are the most preferred method amongst recruiters to hire candidates. Hackathons provide managers an opportunity to test the candidates in real life situations by simulating an environment where the candidates must find solutions to a given business case or problem. This method is followed by Employee Referrals, which 22% of the respondents identified as the preferred method of hiring. This is followed by common methods like online job sites and campus recruitment.

“The purpose of this study was to bring to light the key trends in the Data Science space that can help budding professionals plan their career path in line with the industry requirements and focus on the steps taken by organisations to address the underlying talent gap,” said Hari Krishnan Nair, Co-Founder, Great Learning, in a statement.

“With every industry undergoing digital transformation, the demand for Data Science functions like NLP, AIML, big data, and automation are at an all-time high. The need of the hour is to raise our education standards and upskill our workforce to grab these new opportunities,” he added.

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