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Data scientists in hot demand in ICT market Featured

Mobile in all its forms is the place to be if you are seeking a job and career in an industry sector which is growing rapidly and needs employees with the appropriate tech skills to drive that growth.

Data scientists – described as having “The sexiest job of the 21st century” – are reportedly in high demand, particularly those who freelance, in Australia and around the world.

According to the latest survey of the tech jobs market by Australian-based freelancing and crowdsourcing employment marketplace, Freelancer.com, mobile is a core focus for businesses with Android taking the lead over Apple; social media monetisation is evolving towards video content and eCommerce, and eCommerce on the whole is surging, with data science being recognised as a core capability for businesses that want to grow.

Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie says the effect of Google's ‘Mobilegeddon’, and social monetisation on the online world, can be seen in the company’s latest quarterly Fast50, with data science becoming ubiquitous among tech and traditional organisations alike.

Barrie says Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ and wearable applications is driving strong mobile development growth across the market.

Barrie cites the fact that on 21 April this year, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly update – dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ – “a significant change to Google’s algorithm”.

“Simply put, businesses that did not have mobile-friendly websites lost search traffic and did not show in mobile search results. This sent many companies into a frenzy of fixing their websites to ensure they showed up in Google’s mobile search results.

“In reaction to these changes, we have seen strong growth in mobile phone related jobs posted this quarter (up 25.6% to 22,290 jobs).

According to Barrie, Google’s increasing emphasis on mobile web also led to a surge in native app adoption and engagement, as it is common practice for mobile websites to encourage the viewer to download an app for a superior experience.

“This, along with the gathering market for wearables, has seen substantial jobs growth across both the iOS and Android ecosystems. In Q1, 2015, Android had more jobs than Apple but Apple jobs were growing more quickly. This quarter, Android leapt ahead with its number of jobs and growth (up 24.2% to 18,431 jobs). Apple iOS, including iPad apps and the newly-released Apple Watch, fell behind but still grew nicely quarter-by-quarter (up 16.4% to 17,378 jobs).

This latest report by freelancer for Q2 2015 looked at the ICT employment market and concluded:

•    Social Media evolves into Social Commerce

The relentless drive towards monetisation of social media is starting to hit a wall, forcing an evolution towards social commerce. Advertisers are fed up with bait-and-switch tactics like the organic reach debacle, and it shows, with Facebook Advertising declining for yet another quarter (down 11.9% to 7,459 jobs).

In the light of this, Facebook are looking towards other methods of monetisation, including a recent announcement that they are moving towards a YouTube-like revenue share model to stimulate more native video sharing.

Facebook are recognising that video is the content distribution medium of the future, and it reflects in this quarter’s Fast 50, with both Video Services (up 22.8% to 3,634 jobs) and Videography (up 18.5% to 1,122 jobs) growing strongly.

Meanwhile, companies were focusing a lot more efforts on Twitter this past quarter (up 21.9% to 4,597 jobs), and the visual media powerhouse Pinterest continued its stellar growth (up 22.0% to 2,126 jobs). The momentum Pinterest have built is showing no signs of slowing down. Their newly launched buyable pins (trialling in the United States) added an eCommerce element to their platform.

This evolution towards social commerce as a monetisation model is leading the way forward for other social networks. Social commerce sales are expected to represent 5% of US online retail revenue in 2015 and the effects are becoming more and more evident.

•    eCommerce

eCommerce as a whole is surging (up 14.7% to 9,128 jobs), with the standout performer being WooCommerce.

A popular Wordpress eCommerce solution, WooCommerce is inherently mobile friendly, and in light of Q2’s ‘Mobilegeddon’, WooCommerce jobs have skyrocketed (up 750% to 1,097 jobs). Shopify implementations also grew very strongly (up 31.4% to 732 jobs). We expect more and more companies implementing these responsive technologies to optimise their user experience, improve customer satisfaction, and increase site traffic and conversion rates - ultimately boosting online sales.

•    Rise of the Data Scientists

HBR has declared the Data Scientist to be “The sexiest job of the 21st century”. They make sense of oceans of structured and unstructured data, and suggest actions and strategies to help optimise and grow businesses. These are highly-qualified people with the strength and patience to tunnel through mountains of information with algorithms in search of gold within. Modern businesses are scrambling to hire them into their organisations.

Many data science jobs seen posted on Freelancer included Data Warehousing, Big Data, Scraping, Data Mining, Data Processing, Excel, Machine Learning, and Data Entry. These are all essential for data-rich businesses to survive and thrive in the modern world.

Data Scientists spend a great deal of time preparing data and they have turned to Freelancer.com for help with this time consuming task. As a result, Data Entry (up 47.3% to 23,242 jobs), Excel (up 61.2% to 19,948 jobs), and Data Processing (up 67.4% to 13,179 jobs) all displayed rapid growth.

Companies with limited or no in-house data science capability sought out freelancers to perform Statistical Analysis (up 46.9% to 1,196 jobs), and consequently demand for expertise in statistical tools R Programming, SAS, and SPSS also grew substantially (up a combined 47.3% to 713 jobs). Free open-source database MySQL (up 14.7% to 17,503 jobs) saw significant growth, along with mathematical manipulation programs Matlab and Mathematica (up 36.5% to 2,901 jobs).

The data for the Freelancer Fast 50 for Q2, 2015 was taken from a total of 356,876 good jobs (up 9.3% from 326,545 jobs in Q1, 2015):

Job

Q1, 2015

Q2, 2015

Change %

WooCommerce

129

1097

750.4

Data Processing

7872

13179

67.4

Report Writing

4042

6717

66.2

Excel

12371

19948

61.2

Data Entry

15776

23242

47.3

Statistics

814

1196

46.9

Technical Writing

5248

7205

37.3

Data Science

86

118

37.2

Shopify

557

732

31.4

Matlab & Mathematica

2125

2901

36.5

Photoshop

16158

21119

30.7

Logo Design

18075

23018

27.3

Mobile Phone

17751

22290

25.6

Android

14834

18431

24.2

Video Services

2959

3634

22.8

Pinterest

1743

2126

22.0

Twitter

3770

4597

21.9

C Programming

5188

6262

20.7

3D Rendering

4362

5219

19.6

Videography

947

1122

18.5

3D Animation

4760

5635

18.4

Ghostwriting

8534

10101

18.4

Translation

7237

8522

17.8

Graphic Design

66624

78223

17.4

Google Plus

1934

2270

17.4

Copywriting

10443

12220

17.0

iPhone

12261

14337

16.9

Software Architecture

18600

21451

15.3

3D Modelling

4969

5727

15.3

Website Design

57028

65590

15.0

MySQL

15260

17503

14.7

eCommerce

7961

9128

14.7

Javascript

11504

12976

12.8

HTML

53733

60554

12.7

Video Editing

1238

1389

12.2

iPad

2639

2954

11.9

PHP

74658

83206

11.4

YouTube

1059

1161

9.6

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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