The Quest for Unicorns

Will there be enough data scientists in the future? The question sounds like a subplot for a science fiction film, but it has received much attention over the past few years due to the forecast of a substantial shortfall in the industry. A McKinsey study has projected that “by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills.” This deficit is making it increasingly challenging to hire data analysts; because of their rarity, they are now beginning to be described as unicorns. A recent article even magnifies the issue by calling them purple unicorns, and another argues that we are looking for a data science platypus because we do not know what we want. Predictions are difficult to make, especially about…


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