What the Coming Downturn Means for Data Scientists and Data Engineers
All the indications are that we are heading for a prolonged economic contraction, but what does it mean for Data Scientists and Engineers?
The coming economic downturn will be the first of the Data Science era. All indications are that it will be a big one, and we are already feeling the start of it, with companies like Meta already making pronouncements that imply increasing constraints on hiring and higher performance bars for existing employees.
We have been in a period of exciting growth throughout the time that Data Science has been a ‘thing’, but now for the first time the rollercoaster is on the way down. Most data scientists and data engineers will be experiencing this kind of economic change for the first time, and no doubt will be concerned. Those who have been in the workforce for a while, like me, will know a little of what to expect.
In this article I want to both reassure Data Scientists but also provide advice for those who will be in the job market over the coming 12–24 months. Let me start with some reassurances and reasons to be positive.
Data Science is here to stay, and will be needed whether the economy is growing or shrinking
Unlike a few years ago, most companies are now convinced that Data Science is a valuable and important skill to have in their organizations. They have seen the increase in the efficiency and speed of insight, and the value of automation that data scientists bring to the table. They have now reached a point where they could not consider how to run their analytics without data scientist expertise.
In addition, the need for insight and analytics is has no dependency on the economic situation. The only difference in analytics between a growth period and a recession is that different questions are preoccupying company leaders, and so different analyses are necessary. While periods of economic growth involve issues of growth strategy, new markets and revenue optimization, periods of recession often focus on competitive strategy, cost optimization and ROI. Insight for decision-making is just as…