The first recorded experiment in statistical data analysis was conducted in the mid 1600’s to create an early-warning system for the bubonic plague. Fast forward to 1974 and the term ‘data science’ was first used, to describe the convergence of data and computers to process large volumes of data to solve complex problems that couldn’t be done manually.
Since then, every industry has come to realize the importance of data.
We're in a world where by 2025, the estimated volume of global data is expected to reach 180 zettabytes (one zettabyte is equal to a trillion gigabytes).
According to LinkedIn, data science is ranked as the fastest-growing field globally with a 650 per cent increase since 2012. In Canada, the data-driven job market has never been better. In fact, there is such an abundance of career opportunities on the horizon, some predict there may be a shortage in data experts available to Canadian businesses.
With that in mind, here are the top-5 data jobs Canada should be investing in:
1. Data Scientists – Data scientists collect, analyze and interpret large amounts of complex information to find patterns that help drive strategic business decisions. The University of British Columbia offers one of the country’s leading Master of Data Science programs where students learn and apply technical skills and practical experience to identify and solve complex problems across a wide variety of industries.
2. Machine Learning Engineers – A machine learning engineer is a blend of two roles - data scientist and software engineer - and these highly skilled workers are in high-demand. In a 2019 report by Indeed, Machine Learning Engineer is the top job in terms of salary, growth of postings, and general demand in Canada. Postings for Machine Learning Engineer have increased 344 per cent over the past seven years, with a base salary reaching $146,085.
3. Business Intelligence (BI) Developer - BI developers design and develop tools (software) and strategies to interpret and display data for the key decision makers in an organization. This role requires someone with strong data mining skills as well as knowledge of data warehouse design and Structured Query Language (SQL) used to build and maintain software tools, like dashboards, that help guide business decisions.
4. Data Analyst – According to Grow with Google, there are more than 337,000 job openings in the field of data analytics. Data analysts prepare, process, and analyze data to help inform business decisions. They create visualizations to share their findings with stakeholders and provide recommendations driven by data.
5. Data Engineer – Date Engineers perform batch processing or real-time processing on gathered and stored data. Data engineers are also responsible for building and maintaining data pipelines that create a robust and interconnected data ecosystem within an organization and making information accessible to analysts. Companies as diverse as Deloitte, RBC, and Restaurant Brands International (Tim Horton’s) are just a few of the organizations hiring for this highly valued function.
As we look to the future, data scientists will be central to developing new and innovative products and services touching every industry and institution in Canada and around the world. Is Canada on the right track or do we have more work to do to keep up with the local and global demand of data experts?