We reviewed February’s numbers to analyze the current job market, the industries hiring the most data scientists, and the most in-demand positions at the moment.
In February, job postings for data positions had a 6.8% monthly drop across the board.
Compared to December, they’ve still grown 9%, fueled by the 13% monthly rise we saw in January. There are 32% more data science job postings compared to a year ago, fueled by last year’s immense growth in business-oriented roles like data engineering and data analytics.
Data scientist roles had a monthly increase of 16% in February. This position was fiercely hit last year in the recession, but now it’s the only position that has been growing every month in 2023.
In the past year, there’s been a consistent downward trend in the share of data scientist jobs offered by Big Tech. February had the first increase in FAANG data job openings after bottoming out in January.
On the other hand, the number of non-FAANG jobs has decreased from January.
Looking at the evolution of the market over the last year, this is a small deviation from the global trend of data science jobs shifting away from FAANG & Big Tech toward smaller companies and other industries.
In February, the top five industries hiring for data positions included information technology, financial services, healthcare, education, and pharmaceutical companies.
1) Tech is still on top for data jobs, but other industries are closing in. FAANG & Big Tech have slowed hiring the most, but startups and smaller companies are still seeking data scientists for growth analytics & product sense.
2) Finance was hit by the recession, but companies still need data professionals for fraud analytics, risk management modeling, and regulatory compliance.
3) Healthcare is recession-resilient because of its inelastic demand. Data science hiring stayed stable during 2022 and has been increasing since December. Data science is particularly useful for telemedicine - such as natural language processing for online consults or computer vision.
4) Higher education surprisingly made the top five. One potential factor at play could be the increased demand for higher education to better employment prospects with the recession. Data science positions in the sector have doubled year-over-year.
5) Pharmaceuticals is also recession-resilient, and it’s one of the few industries hiring more data scientists compared to a year ago.
Before the recession, tech companies employed the most data scientists by far – offering almost double the number of data science jobs compared to the health and finance industries combined. Today, this trend has drastically changed.
Compared to just a year ago, the number of data science job openings coming from tech has halved to comprise only 25% of the market.
The industries hit the hardest by the recession were also the three that hold the greatest share of data jobs: tech, finance, and health. Insurance suffered the fourth highest impact among industries. It’s no longer in the top 5 employers for data scientists, falling to number 6 last year as growing sectors like pharmaceuticals and education have taken its place.
Meanwhile, education, pharmaceuticals, and defense grew the most compared to last year as data science employers, providing a good entry point for those seeking to enter the workforce during the current recession.
February had 60% fewer layoffs compared to January but still had the third most layoffs in the past year.
Most of the layoffs came from publicly-traded companies, but the share of startup layoffs has grown by 10% since January.
Layoffs decreased in public tech companies (from 93% of the total layoffs in January to 82% in February). Startup layoffs remained consistent, as venture funding is still down year over year (Crunchbase).
Data analytics is the only specialty that has grown in the last year, driving the overall yearly growth of data jobs.
The share of data jobs held by data analysts peaked in February. Data analytics have greater business impacts in the short term, so this trend makes sense, given the recession.
The share of data jobs in data engineering grew consistently throughout 2022 but saw a slight fall recently due to the growth in data science and data analytics in 2023.
The only specialty with a monthly growth last February was data science.
Tech, finance, healthcare, and education hire a similar number of data analysts, but tech companies hire twice as many data scientists compared to other industries.
Tech and Pharma take in the highest percentage of data scientists, while healthcare and education hire more data analysts and fewer data engineers.