Data ‘Hot Career Field’ for Students

Izenda Tech Blog logoIf anyone still has any doubts that the movement toward data-driven business is accelerating, take a look at the nation’s campuses.

Bachelor’s degrees in statistics have jumped 95% since 2010, according to Fortune magazine, citing new data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and reported by the American Statistical Association (ASA).

Computer science remains a leading STEM major (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), with a 92% increase in degrees over the same period. Programming and software development are not far behind.

Demand Not Likely to Drop

Students are learning that “statistics is a hot career field,” ASA President David Morganstein told Fortune. A LinkedIn ranking of the 25 most in-demand job skills in 2014 listed statistical analysis and data mining at No. 1.

That demand is not likely to drop. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for statisticians will grow 27% by 2022, compared to 11% for all other fields.

Matt Nueller of CBIG Recruiting and Staffing writes on Tech Target that business intelligence is booming. “Big data, real-time reporting and advanced analytics, too. Demand for people with BI and analytics skills is very strong, and I predict it will only increase.”

Closing the Graduate Gap

However, there may not be enough graduates to fill those jobs. The McKinsey Global Institute predicts a shortage of up to 190,000 people to work in the data and business intelligence fields.

Fortune notes that colleges and universities are trying to close the gap, expanding existing statistics programs or offering statistics majors for the first time.

The magazine also notes that women are more attracted to statistics than other STEM degrees. Women in recent years earned slightly more than 45% of bachelor’s degrees in statistics, compared to 23% of engineering, and 18% of computer science degrees, according to NCES data.

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