A new species of tech is being demanded at the main headquarters of a company. “Data scientists are the new superheroes,” says Pascal Clement, the head of Amadeus Travel Intelligence in Madrid. The qualifications for the job include the potency to explore the enormous information and the vision to apprehend patterns where others see none. A study by McKinsey projects that “by 2018, the U.S. alone may face a 50 percent to 60 percent gap between supply and requisite demand of deep analytic talent.” The deficit is already being felt across a broad spectrum of industries, including aerospace, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and finance.
Marco Bressan, president for data and analytics at BBVA, a Spanish bank said that they have a team of more than 20 data scientists who are nanotechnologists, physicists, mathematicians, specialists in robotics. The unstructured data includes e-mails, videos, photos, social media, and other user-generated content. Data scientists write algorithms to extract insights from the bundle of information.
Telefónica, Europe’s second-largest phone company employs more than 200 data scientist. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow said that Data scientist in the real estate company need a great developer and a great researcher who has a background in statistics and a great problem solver, but to find that in the same person is hard.”
The University of Virginia STANFORD began offering a master’s in 2014. Many of the students are tempted to drop out before collecting their degree as the second- and third-year students are offered salaries much higher than what I get said Margot Gerritsen, director of Stanford’s Institute for Computational & Mathematical Engineering. Starting pay for some full-time jobs is above $200,000, she reports while summer internships pay from $6,000 to $10,000 a month. To make these stints memorable, many employers offer perks such as free meals, complimentary gym memberships, and occasionally temporary housing. “Sometimes you read about students getting abused in internships and working like slaves,” Gerritsen says. “We don’t see that.”