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The skills to understand and work with data — and make educated decisions based on it — are in demand and they are not going away anytime soon. Let’s take a look at some new directions we’ve seen in the workforce over the last few years, as well as how executives are treating upskilling their teams as a top priority.

 

Today’s Workforce is More About Skills, Less About Titles

One trend in the workforce in the last few years is hybrid skill sets. In other words, don’t just look to job titles for data analysis. Check the responsibilities and skills.

Labor market data firm Burning Glass reported that the specialist roles gaining value are quite complex in that they require skills from fields ranging from data science to product management to design, and they are growing at twice the rate of the overall job market.

As far back as 2016, Fortune magazine noted there were half as many jobs for business development managers as there were just five years earlier. But the skill requirement didn’t go away. It started showing up in descriptions of 68% more marketing jobs and 29% more IT listings. Likewise, when asking what’s next for the data science and analytics job market, professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers advises “you’ll look mostly for business people with analytics skills, not just analysts” and “you’ll do best to recruit from your own ranks.”

Minitab recently conducted a survey of more than 500 Continuous Improvement professionals globally. Our research echoed similar sentiments, with executives relying less on external support to address challenges or solve problems. Instead they are actually using external resources to upskill or train internal resources for most business challenges.

 

Analysis. It’s Not Just for the Analysts Anymore

Even here at Minitab, most of the people that attend our public training courses or our annual Insights Conference don’t have Analyst as their job title. Regardless of changing job market conditions, one thing is for sure: instilling the value of being able to work with data and make sensible decisions from it is vital for companies to thrive.

“Everyone has data!” says Scott Kowalski, Minitab advisory technical training specialist. “To turn the data into information that has direct meaning to the organization, you need to have people who organize, analyze and interpret it.”