How many data scientists are there?

We examine the famous McKinsey prediction from 2011 and look into whether there a shortage of people with analytical expertise and estimate how many comments

(this blog was jointly written with Preet Gandhi, NYU)

Data Scientist

The 2011 McKinsey report on Big

Fig. 1: Top 10 emerging jobs on LinkedIn and their growth from 2012 to 2017.

Job growth in the next decade is expected to outstrip growth during the previous decade, creating 11.5M jobs in the data Science/Analytics area by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data Science Analytics Landscape

IBM recently claimed that by 2020 the number of data Science and Analytics job listings is projected to grow by nearly 364,000 listings to approximately 2,720,000. No matter what the true number of data professionals out there currently, their number is likely to grow in the near future.

Long-term, however, automation will be replacing many jobs in the industry, and data Scientist job will not be an exception.  Already today companies like DataRobot and H2O offer automated solutions to data Science problems.

Respondents to KDnuggets  2015 Poll  expected that most expert-level Predictive Analytics/Data Science tasks  will be automated by 2025.  To stay employed, data Scientists should focus on developing skills that are harder to automate, like business understanding, explanation, and story telling.


  • Machine Learning Engineer, data Scientist – top US emerging jobs
  • Top LinkedIn Groups for Analytics, Big Data, data Mining, and data Science in 2016
  • Data Mining (and Statistical Analysis) is LinkedIn Hottest Skill in 2014
  • How Many data Scientists are out there?
  • Data Scientists Automated and Unemployed by 2025?