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Top Careers Demand Data Science Proficiency But Educational Institutions are Lagging



Data science isn’t just for techies anymore. It’s a skill set that’s becoming essential across various industries, offering better pay and job security. Yet, our schools are lagging behind in providing these crucial skills.


Why Data Science Skills Matter

When you think of data science, you might imagine coders and tech giants. But today, nearly 1 in 4 job postings require some level of data science proficiency. Employers are willing to pay up to 14% more for candidates who have these skills. This demand isn’t limited to tech jobs; even roles like agricultural inspectors and production clerks now require data-related skills.


The Stats Don’t Lie

A report from ExcelinEd and the Burning Glass Institute highlights that data-intensive jobs are the fastest-growing careers since 2011. An interactive map from the report shows the current demand for data science skills in each state. The bottom line? The need for data science skills is growing and will continue to do so.


Schools Are Falling Short

Despite the surge in demand, schools aren’t keeping up. Student scores in data analysis, statistics, and probability have been declining over the past decade. To meet the job market’s needs, we must refocus educational efforts.


The Role of K-12 Education

Data science relies on tools and methods taught in math, statistics, and computer science classes. These basic skills—like problem-solving and data interpretation—should be introduced in K-8. High school curriculums should then build on these basics, combining lessons in math, statistics, computer science, and technology.


States Leading the Way

Some states are already making strides. In Utah, 25% of school districts are ready to teach high school data science courses. West Virginia is adopting new high school math standards that include data science skills. These states offer a blueprint for how others can improve their data science education.


The Economic Impact

Providing students with data science skills can help them meet local job market demands, thereby spurring economic growth. Policymakers and educators should consider engaging in dialogue about integrating data science into the curriculum.



The demand for data science skills is undeniable and growing. Schools have got to adapt to provide students with the tools they need for these lucrative, fast-growing careers. States leading in this educational shift show promising results, setting examples for others to follow. Preparing students with data science skills not only benefits them but also boosts the local economy, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.


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