“Data Science skills is the electricity that powers industries across verticals”Shekar Murthy, Yellow.ai
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted a resolution in December 2014 to mark July 15 every year as World Youth Skills Day. The theme for this year is “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”.
Data has become key to businesses across all industries as companies recognise its value in strategic decision-making and process automation. Of late, data science and analytics fields have seen substantial growth. Around 1,400 data science professionals draw salaries of more than INR 1 crore in India.
Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder, Great Learning, said: “More and more businesses depend on data to better their business outcomes. Data science is not only about technology. From the pharma sector to retail, manufacturing to aviation, every single sector today captures user data that needs to be analysed for making the right decisions. Data science is a large umbrella term and not a specific skill-set. It’s a career line just like we have engineering or management.”
“What’s important for the youth is when you start, you want to know everything. But the important thing is to get your career started and then as you progress you will learn and unlearn many things. New tools will come up, and technology will keep evolving, so you need to keep on upskilling. But, what will not change is the requirement to have knowledgeable experts to work with large amounts of data and make vital business decisions based on those data,” Hari added.
“Harvard Business Review hailed Data Scientist as the sexiest job of the 21st century. LinkedIn and Glassdoor continue to rank data science as one of the top professions. The median experience of people in the profession is probably less than two years, but the power it wields over the industry is huge. An average data scientist salary in the US is roughly $117 – 120K, much higher than what an experienced software developer might have. So these are two powerful metrics in terms of data science as a lucrative career from a youth’s perspective,” said Shekar Murthy, Senior VP, Presales, Solution & Professional Services, Yellow.ai.
Talking about what made data science so relevant today, Shekar said: “It’s basically the four elements: convergence of massive and exponential increase in data and 3Cs – cost, compute power and the capability.”
Abhishek Agarwal, President, JI, Global Delivery, The Judge Group, said, “Data is the new oil and everything is going to revolve around data. Data science is nothing but an interpretation of data to get insights. Data is the driving force for all the activities that humanity is going to undertake. The time of data has come, and eventually knowingly or unknowingly, we all are going to be roped into the data sciences and data information practices.”
The overall adoption of Analytics & Data Science at large Indian firms is around 74.5% – a healthy adoption rate considering the fact that most of these large Indian firms are into legacy businesses such as power, steel, energy, etc. However, the demand-supply gap is a cause for concern. During 2018-2021, job opportunities surged by more than 64%, while the supply gap widened by about 125 percent.
“Without Mathematics and without basic Statistics, there is no data science”Hari Krishnan
Acquiring relevant skills is the foremost requirement. “There are a hundred thousand jobs in data science in India, and at least 60-70 percent of them are entry-level jobs. However, the company’s hiring process is rigorous, and you need to clear that process. Job openings don’t mean one will get the same through walk-ins, one needs to have certain skill-sets, and you need to demonstrate those skill-sets,” said Hari.
“Understand the field; you cannot become a data scientist overnight. It takes time and experience. You will start as a data analyst, business analyst, or data engineer – understand the role, and if that role excites you, then absolutely acquire those skill-sets. This will make you market-ready, and then you will gain exposure. What one has to make peace with is the fact that one has to build on existing skill-sets and continue learning,” Hari added.
Shekar Murthy stressed the need for youth to have the right set of skills and the college curriculums to be future-oriented. “That’s an effort towards getting the youth to learn the right skills while in college. Post that, what we really look for in our employees is people who have the problem-solving attitude,” said Shekar.
“If you really want to go into the specifics, Big Data is a good field. The youth should look for their career in big data. Maybe R programming, Adobe Spark, or maybe SaaS- all these are different technologies where data can be converted into valuable purposes. So I would recommend the youth to undergo some training oriented towards data,” said Abhishek.
“One doesn’t have to be a computer science engineer to pursue a career in data science. Every year we get and place thousands of students from non-CS backgrounds, they can be mechanical engineers, or they may not be engineers at all. They can be graduates in commerce, in computer applications. You don’t need to be a mathematician or a statistician, but at the same time, you can’t be someone who hates math because without maths and without basic statistics, there is no data science,” Hari concluded.