By Katherine Olowookere

Jun 19, 2022

Companies in a variety of industries have begun to embrace and acknowledge data science as a method of obtaining and leveraging smarter business decisions. Industries that do not keep up will be unable to compete in the future. It is such an exciting time to be a data scientist, or an aspiring data scientist, as intriguing and lucrative new opportunities continue to emerge at a rapid pace.

What Exactly Is Data Science?

Data science is a discipline that involves the application of programming skills, scientific methods, and the knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and even AI to extract meaningful insights buried in data.

Data science mainly involves preparing data for analysis and processing, conducting advanced data analysis, and presenting the results to uncover patterns that enlighten stakeholders to make informed decisions and conclusions.

Who Is a Data Scientist?

Data science practitioners are referred to as data scientists and they are individuals with the responsibility and technical know-how of extracting, analyzing, and interpreting data using certain tools and statistics.

In simple terms, a data scientist's job is to examine data in order to find useful information. Organizations in every sector are now discovering the value of big data and want to leverage its power to drive smart business decisions, which is driving up the wages of data scientists across almost every industry.

Data science creates an intersection between statistics, software engineering, and domain or business knowledge. Therefore as a job seeker or an individual transitioning career into data science, you must be creative, possess a little bit of coding skills and statistics skills to begin.

How Much Do a Data Scientist Earn in Average?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a data scientist is $100,560 as of May 2021.

Among data scientists, 20.4% of them are women compared to 79.6% obtained from an analysis by Zippa in 2019. Interestingly, the average age of data scientists is 40+ years, which represents 41% of the population.

The most common ethnicity among data scientists are the Whites, this makes up about 66.1% of all Data Scientists. Comparatively, there are 25.0% of the Asian ethnicity and 5.2% of the Hispanic/ Latino ethnicity.

What Truths and Facts Exist Today in the Data Science Job Market for Immigrants?

Data science is a lucrative and a continuously growing field. Companies are constantly looking to dramatically improve their operations by boosting their use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data.

Now that there has been a shortage of data scientists in the American workforce, many companies now look to hire overseas to help ease the domestic talent shortfall. A robust source of data science skills now lies in unlikely places including the US immigrants and refugee communities. This opens up a new career chance in the tech industry for immigrants and refugees in the United States.

How Many New Immigrants Are in The US?

An analysis of the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) from November 2021 shows that the total immigrant population (legal and illegal) in the U.S. hit 46.2 million.

Also, a report by Forbes has revealed that one in three data scientists are born outside the US. This report also revealed that the immigrant and refugee communities have immense hidden data skills and with targeted training, creativity, and an open mind, these skills can emerge to the surface and form a strong foundation for building new data science analytics, engineering, and AI skills.

Number of Immigrants in the STEM Workforce

In 2015 the American Community Survey reported that foreign-born workers comprised one-fifth to one-quarter of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workforce.

What Value Do the Immigrants Bring to the STEM Workforce?

Over the years, immigrants have brought about incredible change to the US economy in terms of productivity and new innovations. As the demand for STEM workers continues to increase, foreign-born STEM workers will likely continue to complement U.S. workers and play a key role in U.S. productivity and innovation.

What Are The Top Obstacles Immigrants with Higher Education Encounter in Getting Their First Job in Data Science? 

Here are major obstacles that immigrants new to the job market or new in the tech industry face in getting their first job in Data Science.

  1. Immigrants face numerous cultural and systemic barriers that inhibit their full participation in the US workforce and economy.
  2. Most immigrants fall into the "hidden workers" category in the workforce. Hidden workers are people who are eager to work --- but can't. Hence, hidden. They possess the skills or could develop—many of the skills that current employers seek.
  3. Lack of guidance: This is one of the major obstacles immigrant with higher education encounter in getting their first job in data science. Many employers have a data-related requirement that needs candidates to have a thorough understanding of various parts of data science. In the competitive data science industry, having a mentor is vital for shaping your career.

Talent Gap and Opportunities Today

How Many Open Positions are in Data Science in the US?

The demand for data science specialists is high and it continues to rise, but the talent supply does not maintain this pace. This supply imbalance/talent gap is mostly caused by a lack of major educational focus in graduate programs and insufficient college courses. Only around a third of the top 100 global universities offer data science degrees, and the majority of them are only offered at the graduate or doctoral level.

QuantHub estimates a shortage of 250,000 data scientists in 2020. Data science and analytics skills were at the top of the hiring list for 31% of the CIOs responding to the 2021 State of the CIO survey, but 20% expected to have trouble sourcing AI and machine learning experts and 19% anticipated challenges finding and hiring Data Scientists.

What Opportunities Exists Today?

Employers in the Technology, Healthcare, Cyber-security, Telecommunications, and automotive industries are increasingly recognizing the impact of data scientists professionals and the value they can bring into the company.

LinkedIn ranked data science as one of its top jobs of 2021, noting that hiring for roles like data scientist and data visualization expert has grown nearly 46% since 2019. Similarly, the hiring of machine learning engineers and AI specialists has surged 32% between 2019 and 2020.

As of 2020, it was reported that there were about 2.7 million open jobs in data analysis, data science, and other related careers (source — IBM). It has been estimated that 11.5 million new jobs will be open by 2026. The demand for skilled and knowledgeable data scientists will boost, leading to a 27.9% rise in employment.

The below data shows the highest growth jobs with high paying salaries (their average salary according to Payscale) related to data science and data analysis

  • Machine Learning Engineer: 8X job growth. Average salary: $100k.
  • Data Scientist: 5X job growth. Average salary according to Glassdoor: $120k.
  • Customer Success Manager: 6X job growth. Average salary according to Glassdoor: $78k.
  • Big Data Developer: 5X job growth. Average salary: $85k.
  • Director of Data Science: 9X job growth. Average salary: $158k

Here is a list of top companies hiring Data Scientists with their respective locations and average salaries.

What Are the Required Skills in Data Science?

Certain technical skill sets are required for a data scientists. They include:

The Future Solutions and Opportunities in Data Science

The continued growth in the applications of data science has led to increasing numbers of highly skilled and specialized employment areas that require skills in data analytics, machine learning, decision science, data engineering, and other related areas, as well as in foundational tools such as Python, SQL, and TensorFlow.

Research has disclosed just how strong this demand is and how big the gap is between companies’ needs and the supply of data science skills.

Custom solutions are now available to help people new to the tech business or transitioning into data science start a successful career without having to go through college. These are solutions that have been demonstrated to work. They include:

  • 1-on-1 Mentoring programs
  • Training Programs
  • and Online Courses

You can start here. Saeed Mirshekari's Firm can help.

If you want to start on a new career path in the rewarding and in-demand field of data science, Saeed  Mirshekari - O' Fallon Labs is ready and can help you make that dream a reality. You can change your future by learning how to do a data science project from scratch with little to no coding background. Becoming Data Scientist Fast offers a 5-week hands-on learning experience transforming you from zero to a hero by walking you through the end-to-end process of a real-world data science problem.

Kick start your journey now at

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About O'Fallon Labs

In O'Fallon Labs we help recent graduates and professionals to get started and thrive in their Data Science careers via 1:1 mentoring and more.

Katherine Olowookere

Katherine is a content manager at O'Fallon Labs. She is interested in writing about a varioty of topics including careers in technology. Katherine holds a B.Sc. in E. Physics. She is passionate about personal growth and making young people become better versions of themselves through personal self development

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