Data Scientist is one of the top job profiles in India, with Glassdoor citing the average base salary in the 7 figures. A recent survey found that analytics professionals earn 26% more than software engineers in India. And a quick search on LinkedIn yields over 4,000 current job openings for those seeking a Data Science career. The projected demand for those with data and analytics skills is only expected to rise, exponentially, as data continues to become more valuable and the backbone of actionable insights.

Clearly, a Data Science career is one that offers great scope in the next few years, as more industries start to harness data to engage with customers. But, there’s also a growing skill gap – there are close to 100,000 job vacancies in the data science and analytics fields in India. So, what should you be doing to stay relevant?

Trends for a Data Science career to look forward to in 2020.

Here are some key trends to look forward to in 2020 and the near future.

1.  Data Scientists are becoming increasingly important to the organization

Organisations are becoming increasingly data-driven, recognising the need to analyse and use data to create targeted products and services for their customers. No longer is harnessing data for actionable insights only for those in tech — the value that data-driven analytics provides a business is universal.

The International Institute for Analytics has projected that by 2020, businesses using data will see $430 billion in productivity benefits when compared to those not making use of data[2]. This just goes to show that the Data Scientist will be an increasingly important member of the organization.

2. The specialization will soon be key for those pursuing a career as a Data Scientist

Data Scientists are amongst the top earners in India, but as more people choose data scientist careers, salaries will start to plateau in the coming years. Rather than having general skills, the key will be to become a specialist and work towards acquiring specialized skills, and this will allow you to demand a higher salary too. Having programming skills, for example, will give you an edge in Data Science, which makes learning Python, SQL important.

Data Scientists need to start improving their business understanding so that they can put the analytics to use to add value to the business’ offerings. There is no question that a plethora of new industries will want to hire Data Scientists and bring their analysis to bear on newer and different kinds of businesses.

3.  NLP, XAI will be important areas for Data Scientists

Data Scientists will need to be aware of the expected tech trends that will be top of mind in 2020. One such is the advance in Natural Language Processing (NLP). With vast amounts of audio data forming part of the data available to organizations, as more people use voice searches and voice assistants, NLP will offer Data Scientists the ability to provide stronger insights and efficiency for the business.

Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) is a rising tech trend that Data Scientists will want to employ for their work. By increasing understanding of the AI models and how they provide insights (which at present is lacking), Data Scientists can give the business the ability to offer tighter, more trustworthy insights to users. This will have significance especially in fields like security, medicine, and fraud detection.

4.  Data Science courses will become popular and a formalized part of the curriculum in educational institutions

Currently a relatively young career path, there are not many colleges and universities that offer specialized Data Scientist training/courses. We expect to see this change in 2020, with educational institutes creating a curriculum that includes the study of Data Science. We also expect professional courses will be offered for those wanting to upskill and already working as Data Scientists. Down the line, a Data Science career will be the result of a focused, specialized field of study, but in the meantime, a Data Scientist can keep up with the latest trends and tech, by enrolling in such courses.

Those who have been in the field, working as Data Scientists, will be able to bring their experiences to the classroom and have yet another option in terms of career — as faculty teaching the next generation about being a Data Scientist.

We will also see a distinction between those new to the field and those who are seen as senior Data Scientists, with the latter being in demand for their experience and ability to innovate. There is already a high regard for well versed Data Scientists. Did you know that there is an annual list published, of the top ten Data Scientists in India?

5.  Regulations and regulatory factors will colour a Data Scientist’s work and understanding as well as require upskilling

No longer is it going to be enough for a Data Scientist to analyze and make sense of data, which is, of course, the core job. Those pursuing careers as Data Scientists will need to be aware of and able to interpret laws around data governance, to help their enterprises do business and succeed. GDPR in the EU, the proposed Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 in India and other regulatory frameworks will affect what a Data Scientist does, and how.

The growth of data science as a field and its increasing impact across every type of business and industry mean that those working in adjacent fields must be aware of data contextually (Example: lawyers, security operations officers).  

So, whether you are just starting out in your career in Data Science or are an experienced practitioner, there is no doubt that a Data Science career will be a rewarding one in the years to come, as long as you keep abreast of the latest trends and tech. If you are still not sure how to be a part of this new revolution, join the exclusive Data Science certification course offered by Springboard that comes with a 1:1 mentoring-led and project-driven approach along with a job guarantee and start your journey right away. Enroll in this course right now and create a wonderful career in Data Science for yourself.