Where oh where can I find data scientists?


475967869After attending the SAS Day at Texas A&M University on Oct. 2, I came away with a new perspective on some of the different educational offerings to help fill the analytic talent gap (which according to studies and research  continues to grow). In essence, there is a yin and yang of where to find your data scientists. While your company may need to hire new employees, you may also find that you have employees right under your nose who want to grow their careers while benefiting the company at the same time.

Universities from across the world are developing new programs and degrees to help meet this demand on both sides of the equation.  While many programs like North Carolina State University's (NC State) Master of Science in Analytics, provide graduate level education in a full-time 10-month program, Texas A&M's program offers a part-time, five semester Master of Science in Analytics open to working professionals.

Programs like NC State’s help develop new data scientists to enter the workforce, while Texas A&M's program is geared toward helping companies develop employees already within their workforce who possess a foundation of skills that can be further developed to fill these data scientist roles. And there you have it – the yin and the yang of where to find your data scientists!

Both types of programs are essential to help companies invest in the analytic talent they need to remain competitive, whether that means hiring new employees or investing in your existing workforce.  This is why SAS is actively involved in providing support for programs like these at many universities, as well as providing teachers and students with free access to SAS Analytics via our Analytics U program. With these kinds of investments across the board in analytics education, I am optimistic the skills gap will continue to narrow.


About Author

David Pope

Technical Leader, Senior Manager US Energy

David leads the pre-sales technical team for SAS US Energy which solves business problems in the Oil & Gas and Utilities industries using advanced analytics. He is a lifetime learner who enjoys sharing information and helping others to grow their careers. He earned a BS in Industry Engineering and a Computer Programming Certificate from North Carolina State University. Furthermore, he has over 29 years of business experience working with SAS across R&D, IT, Sales and Marketing in the Americas and Europe. He is an expert in working with data and producing insights through the use of analytics. David has presented at SAS Global Forum, the 2012 SAS Government Leadership Summit, IBM’s Information on Demand(IOD), EMC World, CTO Summit Conferences, is the author of the book: "Big Data Analytics with SAS", and he currently holds 14 patents for SAS in several countries: US, CA, Norway, UK, China, Mexico, and Hong Kong.


  1. Great post to highlight how the demand will be met and SAS' investment in achieving this for their customers.

    Geordie Tait, SAS Academic Manager in Australia has worked with many universities in Australia and New Zealand to develop similar programs and train lecturers. For instance: http://www.sas.com/offices/asiapacific/sp/news/releases/new-degree-comes-to-grips-with-big-data.html

    As a thought, perhaps people could add to the comments of other programs around the world they are aware of, to build a list? Or maybe an idea for a future blog post? 😉

    • David Pope

      I like your idea and encourage anyone involved or enrolled in similar programs from around the world to add their comments and mention their school.

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