Even job openings for data scientists are in deep decline

Working… or job hunting?
Working… or job hunting?
Image: REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie
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Harvard Business Review had deemed it “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.” But the demand for data scientists is rapidly cooling.

In the past week, the number of US job postings for data scientists was down 43% from last year, according to the job-postings site Indeed. That’s more than double the rate of decline this past week for job postings overall.

The disappearance of data-scientist job openings has been especially drastic outside of the US tech hubs, where postings were 51% below year-ago levels. In tech hubs, postings were down 37%.  According to Indeed, this pattern can be found across all tech jobs, and may be evidence that big tech companies, which generally are located in tech hubs like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, have more resources to ride out the crisis.

Postings for US tech jobs began to evaporate almost immediately after the first lockdowns began, but perhaps signaling that the tech industry’s transition to remote work was smoother than most, the slump was not as severe as the decline in job postings overall.

As the pandemic drags on, however, the market for tech-job seekers is not bouncing back as quickly as the market for job hunters in other sectors.

While overall job posting trends this week were down 21% from last year, tech jobs have been down 36% from last year for weeks.

IT operations and help desk jobs were down 32%, better than tech jobs overall. Software development jobs were down 35%. Even postings for jobs in artificial intelligence, a subgroup of software development, are down 29% since last year—more evidence that the pandemic has affected even the most cutting-edge tech jobs.