For years, companies have been chasing a limited supply of experienced advanced analytics talent. Now the global supply is about to explode. Thanks to a remarkably rapid shift in traditional and nontraditional education, the advanced analytics talent pool is expected to reach 1 million people by 2020, double what it was in 2018. The growth will occur primarily outside the US. The outlook is especially bright in India, where two trends are simultaneously expanding the talent pool. First, STEM undergraduate and graduate degree holders continue to join the workforce in increasing numbers. Augmenting that is India’s deep existing ecosystem in information technology, especially in programming and systems integration, which is populated with many ideal candidates for learning new advanced analytics skills.
The future is less clear for China. With its relatively supportive regulatory environment and access to consumer data, China is often described as winning the race to dominate artificial intelligence and advanced analytics. But the country may need to accelerate its efforts to enlarge the advanced analytics talent pool. Recent positive trends include a significant expansion in data science bachelor's degree programs and high levels of US recruiting and pay among Chinese companies. Without an expansion in supply, however, talent could become a bottleneck, slowing the country’s analytics progress.
Chris Brahm is a Bain & Company partner in San Francisco and leads the firm’s Global Advanced Analytics practice. Arpan Sheth is a Bain partner based in the Bangalore office and leads the firm’s Information Technology practice in Asia-Pacific. Velu Sinha is a Bain partner in Shanghai, and Jessica Dai is a principal based in San Francisco.
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