03 July 2022 15:41:47 IST

Data science jobs are hot, but India ranks low on skills 

Indian learners’ data science proficiency has now dropped to 26 per cent, in contrast to 38 per cent in 2021. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

India has slipped four ranks from the last year to bag the 68 th position worldwide in the Coursera Global Skills Report 2022. The report was released in June and assessed the skills of its learners in three domains — data science, technology and business. 

While India has slipped 11 ranks in business and 12 in data science, it has improved its position to rank the 56 th globally, in terms of technology. The report says that 15.7 million Indians attend classes on Coursera, an online course provider platform. That is close to half the number of users the platform has in the entire Asia-Pacific region. 

Data on data 

“The number of open data science jobs in the country (India) rose by 47.1 per cent between 2020 and 2021,” the report notes. A June 2022 report by professional education firm Imarticus Learning and India and Analytics India Magazine noted that analytics and data science jobs have increased by 30 per cent in April 2022 as against April 2021.

Also, Coursera’s Campus Skills Report 2022 which was out in March said that most Indian students were looking forward to start a career as a software engineer, a data scientist or a data analyst. 

However, Indian learners’ data science proficiency has now dropped to 26 per cent, in contrast to 38 per cent in 2021. Globally, Indian data science learners rank 76 th, which is a drop of 12 ranks, compared to 2021. “With a data science proficiency level of 26 per cent, India’s companies may struggle to find the talent to fill those roles without more training. Education leaders should invest more resources in these areas,” the new report notes.

Graphics by V Visveswaran

In contrast to this, data science learners in a good number of European countries including Switzerland, Denmark, Belarus and Finland have a proficiency level above 95 per cent. 

However, Rajan Sethuraman, CEO of data analytics firm, LatentView, says that things will get better in the coming years, as far as skills are concerned.

“As with any niche skills that explodes, this (drop) is bound to happen. It takes a while for people to catch up with what may be expected from the industry,” he says. He also says that the ecosystem is improving and that educational institutions are collaborating with the industry to teach their students better. 

The bigger picture 

The report has classified countries based on their ranks into four categories — cutting edge (countries that rank in the top 25 per cent), competitive, emerging, and lagging. India falls under the emerging category, along with Canada, Pakistan and China. Canada ranks 75 th in the world, seven positions below India, while China and Pakistan bagged the 52 nd and 64 th ranks respectively. 

India’s best learners, according to the report are in five states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal, while the learners in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan fall in the bottom 25 per cent. 

“With rankings virtually unchanged year-over-year, India continues to need to develop skilled talent. Especially as multinational technology companies look to South Asia as a significant market, workforce development leaders must find ways to improve skill levels in data science,” the report says.