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Does India Have Enough Data Scientists? How Can We Bridge The Gap?

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By Nikhil Barshikar, founder and Managing Director of Imarticus Learning

Data science is an industry purely driven by technology, and has gained inexplicable traction across the globe in recent times. The data science sector’s market size is expected to reach a whopping USD 140.9 billion by 2024. Businesses are looking at leveraging data to increase efficiency. Data science and analytics have flourished into crucial aspects of business functions for all types of companies, regardless of their backgrounds. 

 India is also quickly catching up and progressing on the data science front. According to a report by IBM, there will be a major increase in demand for data scientists in the country this year. However, the supply does not match the demand. The advent of data analytics and Big Data has created a heightened demand for data scientists and there is a significant shortage of them in the country. Why? And, how can we bridge this gap? Let us take a look.

The need for rapid upskilling and sufficient guidance

 With technology progressing at a breakneck pace, there is an immediate need for upskilling and reskilling of professionals in the industry. Companies are looking to hire highly skilled and qualified professionals who will be able to navigate through everyday issues with innovative and appropriate solutions. Alongside this, professionals also need to be skilled communicators to be able to share ideas and work as a team. Apart from possessing the technical skills, soft skills are also essential to thrive in the industry. If professionals do not skill themselves, the current pandemic and the recession looming over the world will render them unemployed, further bringing down the industry and increasing the shortage of skilled professionals.

 Another key reason for this shortage in data scientists is due to sufficient lack of guidance. Being a vast subject, professionals need systematic and meticulous guidance from experts in this field to progress further in the industry. Newcomers and even professionals in some cases see and learn a broad overview of the subject rather than the intricate details and techniques. Data science aspirants and professionals need to build solid foundations and fortify their basics in the subject before they move ahead.   

A recent nationwide survey by Simplilearn found that one of the major challenges that organizations face is identifying and employing highly skilled data science professionals. To meet their demand of data scientists, they are turning to collaborations with tech start-ups, incubation firms, and even educational institutions in some cases.

 In today’s highly competitive market, data science offers a plethora of opportunities for professionals to learn and grow. To achieve this progress, however, both the government and private organizations need to join hands and create major reforms/developments in terms of infrastructure and nurturing of talent. These will undoubtedly pave the way for a bright and promising future of data science in the country.

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