The first year of the Da.Re. project has been dedicated to the study of the Data Science training offer and market needs. The main analysis has been focused in countries such as United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Serbia, as part of the project consortium partners. Hereafter is reported a summary of the analysis performed, deeply described in the first Da.Re. Intellectual Output, published in September 2017.
This first intellectual output is completed by the Annex1, where you can find the entire list of training offers per each Country (UK, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Serbia).
The market needs
The general scenario that comes out from our analysis is very heterogeneous among the involved Countries. It is worth noticing the big gap between the two extremely different situations of UK, where the figure of data scientist is highly defined and economically recognised, and of Serbia, where the awareness about data science itself is still limited. Italy and Portugal have a similar situation with a fair number of requests for data scientists. Finally, the situation in Slovenia can be considered intermediate between Serbia and Italy/Portugal.
The job offers are mostly located in big city areas such as Milan, Rome, Torino, Bologna and Trieste in Italy, Lisbon, Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra and São João da Madeira in Portugal. In the UK the panorama is different and the number of jobs is well distributed across the Country.
Despite of these scenario, a high increasing of attention, jobs and educational opportunities in all the Countries it is in progress, expecially in the ICT and insurance sectors.
The desirable skills of a Data scientist
Soft skills: from our research emerged a request of communicational and relational aspects, followed by problem solving attitude and the ability to work in teams, especially in Italy. In the UK the situation is similar, but the teamworking capability is on top of the requirements.
Hard skills: from generic skills such as computer programming, in Python, R or Java, and using open source tools to highly specific skills such as designing distributed databases using specific industry standard software such as Hadoop, Mapreduce or Sparks. The wide range of tools available and their rapid evolution means that data scientist must be willing and able to learn them rapidly at their own initiative.
Some of the hard skills of data scientists require a high level of theoretical and technical knowledge in mathematics, statistics and computation, e.g., machine learning, natural language processing.
The offer of training courses
The majority of British universities run programs explicitly addressing Data Science and/or Big Data Analytics. They are also geographically well distributed as well as the job offering, showing maturity on this field.
UK is certainly the Country with the mostly advanced offer, not only with respect to classical university programmes, but also to new paradigms of teaching such as e-Learning, MOOCs and Boot Camps. On the contrary in Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Serbia only classically taught programmes exist: Bachelor and Master programs explicitly addressing Data Science and/or Big Data Analytics are very rare, while most of the collected entries are sub-tracks of courses such as Computer Science, Informatics, Mathematics, Economics or Engineering. Computer Science, Informatics, Mathematics and Engineering are the prominent area that provides hard technical skills on software and hardware tools as well as the algorithmic techniques on which the analytics tools are based. The contribution from Economics and Business lead analytics in supporting decisions for business, in creating added value from data and, in general, as investigation mean for financial and economic phenomena.
Italy showed a difference with respect to the other Countries with its peculiar post-Bachelor and post-Master specialization courses, for which there is a fair offer of education in Data Science.
Regarding the geographical distribution of the courses, it is clear the location of the offered courses mostly coincides with the locations of the offered jobs in Data Science.
Training paths by costs
The cost for the education of a data scientist is basically high (with variation across Countries) but this is balanced by the fact that the average level of salaries for data scientists is generally higher than other positions.
Slovenia is the only country (among the 5 included in this analysis) where bachelor and master education at state universities is free, while in Italy and in Portugal the cost ranges from 1,000 € to 14,000 € per year. In UK the cost is more homogeneous, on average higher being around 10,000 £ per year at all levels.