Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a report titled “The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy.”
It’s a fascinating read. The report shows the key role that data plays in the majority of positions. The report found that data plays a central role in 7.8 percent of all employment (That’s 10.3 million jobs)—and more than 50 percent of all jobs involve working with data as a central component of the position.
And there’s a premium in those data-centric jobs. On average, private sector data occupations pay $40.30 per hour—fully 68 percent higher than the rate paid for all occupations. Only two data job categories—data-entry keyers and lab technicians—fall below the national average. Where data is in demand, wages command!
Data Demands Education
Two-thirds of those in data occupations have a college degree—twice the national average for all employment. Data-related occupations account for 31 percent of total job growth in the private sector, and that growth is four times faster than private industry job growth overall.
Perhaps such statistics are not surprising to those of us steeped in the data-driven marketing field, as we seek qualified new hires.
With the report findings, we start to see the intensity of competition for data-driven expertise. Data occupations in “sales and related” fields capture 3.8 percent of all data jobs—while “business and financial operations” (34 percent) and “computer and mathematical” (31 percent) lead the pack. No doubt some jobs in our field could fall into any of these buckets—but you get a sense of which industries are attracting the most with data skills and education.
Higher education, of course, is a prerequisite for highly competitive jobs. More than 70 percent of successful market research analyst candidates, overall, have attained a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. That’s significantly higher than chief executives, by the way! Among all U.S. data-related employees, 36 percent have degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). This seems to indicate that advanced degrees in the sciences are not required for mastering data-related creative problem-solving. Twenty percent of these problem solvers have college degrees in social sciences and humanities.
Geographically, California (13.7 percent of all U.S. data occupations), Texas (7.7 percent) and New York (7.0 percent) sit atop the employment ranks, but in measure of concentration of such employment, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland and Connecticut top the list. By the latter measure, California, New Jersey, Colorado, Washington, Delaware and Minnesota are not far behind.
Kudos, the economist authors cited in this report the Data-Driven Marketing Institute’s 2013 report, “The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation & Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.”
The point of all this blog is not just to say, hey, we’re here—and we’re moving the economy (an important point in itself), but also to set the stage for finding creative ways to work more closely with the higher education community. More to say on that in a future post!