Data Scientist Shortage Creates Competitive Job Market for Analytics, Informatics

It’s a pretty safe bet that practicing health information management (HIM) professionals and HIM students who are adding data analysis skills to their toolboxes are doing themselves a favor in terms of job security.

According to a Bloomberg analysis, job postings for data scientists rose 75 percent from January 2015 to January 2018 at the popular job search website Indeed.com, while job searches for data scientist roles rose 65 percent.

Bloomberg’s analysis includes a snapshot of a college student who pursued statistics in graduate school and graduated with four competing job offers. He eventually chose a job with a six-figure salary, working for an analytics firm that targets healthcare companies and hospitals. He continues to be inundated with job offers from recruiters in the data science space.

Employment analysts interviewed by Bloomberg see a shortage of professionals in a number of industries with data science skills, making those that do have experience in computer science, mathematics, and statistics in demand. Despite high profile data privacy breaches at Facebook and other tech companies, this shortage persists.

“A lot of people are transitioning from other fields like economics, psychology, mathematics, because they see the field is exploding and there’s money to be made,” Daniel Gutierrez, managing editor of the news outlet insideBIGDATA, told Bloomberg.

AHIMA has been encouraging HIM professionals and students to expand their skills into data analytics and informatics to better take advantage of the career opportunities like the ones experts are seeing. AHIMA’s HIM Reimagined initiative, as well as its certified health data analyst (CHDA) and certified professional in health informatics (CPHI) credentials, were created to help meet the demand for jobs in healthcare data science.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.

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