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What skills should data scientists have in 2016?


It’s a brand new year and that means you’ll be seeing scads of trend pieces this week. As you can probably assume from the title, we’re not necessarily immune to that sort of thing ourselves. That said? Ours isn’t based on analysts and insider opinion. It’s based on real live data–in this case, thousands of LinkedIn job openings for data scientists.

What we were looking for is pretty apparent if you read this tremendously high-concept title: what are the most in-demand skills in the data science field?

The job itself was actually pretty simple. We first pulled about 3500 relevant job openings from LinkedIn. We looked at postings for data scientists and analysts at every level–from intern to associate to senior to VP–then asked our contributors to visit each posting and note which common skills were present in each. The results?


The answer to our question, then, is get your SQL on. Hadoop, Python, Java, and R round out our top five in-demand skills. It’s worth noting that we didn’t ask about Excel skills and that’s still something you see in myriad job listings. Old habits die hard.


Justin Tenuto

Justin Tenuto

Justin writes things at Figure Eight. He enjoys books about robots and aliens, baking bread, and is pretty sure he can beat you at pingpong.