The top 25 cities for data science jobs show how widespread the demand for data skills has become, branching out from major tech hubs into cities around the country.
In fact, the highest concentration of big data job openings to the employed population isn’t in Silicon Valley but in Trenton, N.J., better known as a state capitol, the place George Washington was headed when he was crossing the Delaware, and for an iconic bridge sign: “Trenton Makes, the World Takes.”
A Burning Glass analysis found the Trenton-Mercer Metropolitan Statistical Area boasted a higher concentration of data science workers—193 per every 10,000 employed people, than any other MSA in the country.
In raw numbers, it’s a different story. Trenton had 4,544 data science job postings in the 12 months we examined (May 2017-April 2018). That’s relatively few compared to the MSAs covering New York (87,554), Washington D.C. (51,958), or Chicago (36,881).
Why the concentration in Trenton? The answer becomes clearer when you look at the major employers in the region. The big story around big data in the last few years is how the technique has spread throughout the business world as more organizations try to become more efficient and glean insights into their customers. The list in Trenton ranges from pharmaceuticals and health insurance to manufacturing and higher education.
|Metro Area||Job Postings||Job Postings per 10,000 people employed, last 12 months|
|California-Lexington Park, MD||769||179|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||17978||175|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||33974||152|
|Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA||4845||140|
|Lansing-East Lansing, MI||2763||137|
|Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT (Metropolitan NECTA)||5458||126|
|Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH (Metropolitan NECTA)||29783||121|
|Carson City, NV||330||118|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||24033||100|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||87554||99|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT (Metropolitan NECTA)||5551||98|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||17430||96|
|Durham-Chapel Hill, NC||2653||94|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||8538||93|
In some of the MSAs on the list, the number of job postings is fairly small (California-Lexington Park, MD, for example, had 769 data science postings in the 12-month period, but that still works out to 179 postings for every 10,000 employed). Since this region is close to Washington, jobs are heavily tilted toward government and defense contracting, and the big data employers reflect that. The major big data employers include Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, and the U.S. Navy.
If anything, this may underestimate the impact of big data. This analysis includes jobs that are primarily about data science, such as Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Data Mining Analysts. But our research has also shown that two-thirds of the jobs that demand data science skills aren’t primarily data jobs. The ability to analyze data is increasingly demanded in jobs such as Marketing Managers and Business Analysts—occupations that have existed for years but that are now being reshaped as companies become more data-driven. This trend toward hybrid jobs is going to reshape how companies acquire talent and how higher education trains workers.
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