In the last few years, the popularity of Data Science as a career has increased multifold. It spiked up after Harvard defined it as the sexiest job.
For as long as we can remember, India has been outsourcing low-effort low-profit services to enterprises from developed countries. We were known to be the global capital of outsourcing. Now, after the technological growth, demand spike, and talent recognition, almost every major enterprise is setting up its development offices in India while they continue hiring from the top universities. Many of the companies which were earlier restricted to just Silicon Valley have now started setting up their Data Science divisions in India.
These companies include major software players like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, etc. Even Indian companies like TCS, Infosys are adapting data science in their operations and have dedicated research units for this. There’s also a rise of Indian startups who are building AI or Data Analysts based products or services.
It is spreading through all the major industries, including healthcare, finance, education.
Before we dive more into the pique in the scope of Data Science in India, let us know a little about what this field is and what the role of a Data Scientist is.
What is Data Science
It is no secret that we are currently surrounded by data, of all types. Using that data, both structured and unstructured, to make predictions and take decisions is Data Science, in simple words.
The art of uncovering data to form insights isn’t something new. It has been around since ancient times. The Egyptians used census data to increase efficiency in tax collection and to predict the flooding of the Nile River.
Often times, data science is confused with data analyst, machine learning, or data engineering. While all of them are fields related to data, they aren’t interchangeable with the term ‘data science’. In fact, for a person to be a data scientist, he/she has to excel in all of these three areas.
The role of a data scientist is in steps. It starts with structuring relevant questions and objectives. Then he/she goes on to collect data. This includes both, structured and unstructured data. The next step is to organize the data and take out what is significant. It is important to store the data for future purposes. The data scientist then analyzes the data and organizes the results. These insights help the companies to make predictions and make data-driven decisions.
Future of Data Science
As we have stated before, the scope of data science in India is really wide. Let’s look into the reasons as to why the demand is increasing.
The first major reason is the technological cusp India is going through. A few years back, the resources required to store and analyze data were available in India at a really high cost. This made it impossible for firms to integrate data-driven operations as the return on investment wasn’t worth it. But now, due to the technological growth, the resources are readily available and data is inherited at every level in the firms.
Another reason for the wider scope of data is the availability of data. India has recently come across as a wide customer base that all multinationals are targeting. This means that the consumer insights of Indians are a rather informational resource. The huge population just increases the volume of the data.
As we talked before, many companies are currently setting up their Data Science Divisions in India. This means that companies are now actively recruiting Indian human capital to perform these functions. The demand for data science has always been high but now, slowly still prominently, the supply side is trying to catch up.
An interesting aspect of this surge in Data Science is that it has also affected other professions regarding data. Now, selling data and dealing in it has become a real profession. Fields like data analysis and big data have come across as stronger separate and independent career paths.
Do you know that India ranks second after the US with the highest demand for analytics and big data professionals?
Let’s talk numbers now
According to Indeed, there are more than 2000 openings for the Data Science profile. This contributes to 6% of open job openings worldwide. The total number of job positions available are around 97,00, out of which 97% are full time while the remaining 3% are contractual. The average salary of a Data Scientist in India is ₹835,000 but it may increase depending on your years of experience. If a data scientist has 3 yrs or more work ex, the salary may exponentially increase till ₹18,50,000.
Job prospects and career opportunities in Data Science are mainly located in the IT Hub of India, Bengaluru which doesn’t come as a surprise. 24% of the analytics job profile belongs to this South Indian City. Delhi-NCR comes next. This is followed by Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
The trends suggest that the opportunities favor young talent as 21% of the jobs posted are for freshers.
Up until now, we’ve talked about how and why the scope of Data Science is widening in India. Most of the researchers say that this flow will be persistent, even in the future. However, one main hurdle for India in overtaking the US and becoming the state with the highest demand for data professionals can be the growing need for privacy. European Union has already laws guarding the citizens’ right to privacy. If India were to face a similar situation, the results might not be preferable.
Till then, as it is rightly said, as long as there is data, there will the demand for data scientists.