The world is in dire need of data science professionals as experts ring alarm bells over the shortage of talent in a field that has become crucial to global business.
A recent note from McKinsey showed only 18 percent of companies believe they have the skills to gather and use data effectively while 19 percent are confident that their data-gathering processes contribute to sales effectiveness.
International Data Corporation (IDC) believes the shortage of skilled staff will persist next year.
"In the U.S. alone, there will be 181,000 deep analytics roles in 2018 and five times that many positions requiring related skills in data management and interpretation," the firm said in a report on its 'Big Data and Analytics Predictions for 2015' conference earlier this month.
The phenomenon of big data has taken the corporate world by storm in recent years, driving up the need for data professionals. Over 70 percent of Asia-Pacific senior executives view data & analytics (D&A) as a top priority, a December KPMG survey showed. Meanwhile, statistical analysis and data mining was ranked as LinkedIn's top professional skill in 2014.
Despite the overwhelming demand, the sector has experienced a dearth of talent. For example, recruitment agencies in the United Kingdom said that 77 percent of data positions were difficult to fill, according to research by business analytics firm SAS in November.