Companies all over the globe are dealing with data sets and projects that grow larger and less manageable each day, requiring more data management specialists.
These organizations are hiring data management professionals with the expectation they’ll improve overall data quality and optimize data operations, like data preparation, governance, and data storage.
The responsibilities of a data management professional are varied and specialized, requiring companies to find and hire candidates with the appropriate amount of data education, hands-on experience, and project management capabilities. The difficulty of finding a qualified candidate, combined with a growing data science talent shortage, translates to many companies struggling to fill a gap and refine what they need from their data management teams.
Whether you’re looking to hire data management talent or you’re a data management professional looking for the right career opportunity, the job market is changing quickly. Read on to find out some of the top trends experts are noticing in the data management job market today and how those trends could affect your hiring or job search strategies:
Trends to Watch in the Data Management Job Market
- Using supportive data technology to attract candidates
- A more globalized hiring perspective
- Cloud data management roles are growing in demand
- Governance and compliance skills requirement
- Skilled data professionals don’t need to settle
Also read: Data Science Job Market Trends
1. Using supportive data technology to attract candidates
One way many companies are working to attract data management talent is by providing them with better corporate knowledge and data management resources from the start.
These resources are intended to give employees the baseline knowledge they need to do their jobs, allowing them to focus their energies on more complex data management projects.
Bill Scudder, SVP and AIoT general manager at AspenTech, an asset optimization and performance software solutions company, explained the importance of knowledge automation technologies for retaining business intelligence (BI) during staffing shifts and offering advanced resources to new employees.
“Veteran employees are hitting retirement age, the Great Resignation is affecting workers across many industries, and just filling the labor gap with new recruits fresh out of school won’t do the trick — often, these new graduates come to the job having learned technologies and concepts in school that don’t match the reality of how many organizations’ workflows and systems on the plant floor actually operate,” Scudder said.
“All of this will prompt a major acceleration of knowledge automation technologies and processes in 2022. Automated knowledge sharing and intelligence-rich applications close the skills gap emerging between departing workers and brand new ones, by preserving historic domain knowledge and making it widely accessible across teams, regardless of silos.
“This has the dual benefit of serving as a recruiting tool as well. The more that knowledge automation makes work easier and gives employees the tools they need to succeed, the more appealing the job becomes to potential recruits.”
How the right resources support companies with talent shortages: How Companies are Dealing with the Talent Shortage in Data Science
2. A more globalized hiring perspective
This era of increased remote work has shifted the way tech companies source and hire their employees.
In the data management field, both companies and employees have had to modify their understanding of how data teams work in more global environments.
Ken Pickering, VP of engineering at Starburst, an open-source analytics company with a focus on data mesh, believes companies have benefited from the wider lens of global hiring, but this new strategy requires them to offer competitive benefits for different localized needs.
“Now, with remote work becoming the norm, companies can recruit candidates from anywhere,” Pickering said. “While that opens a lot of doors, it also means that companies have to do more to keep up, including offering higher salaries in markets that have not been as competitive in the past.”
From the candidate’s perspective, Pickering thinks less technical skills, like adaptability, are increasingly desired in a global data management job market.
“In addition to competency in data management, companies are also looking for candidates that can thrive in a global market while working remotely from their home,” Pickering said. “The typical 9-5 has shifted since the pandemic, and flexibility among candidates has become an extremely desirable trait.”
Find global companies hiring for data management roles: Top 20 Data Management Companies Hiring
3. Cloud data management roles are growing in demand
More companies are shifting at least some of their workloads to the cloud, and both cloud vendors and cloud clients need technologists who can support this digital transformation effort.
Many people might view cloud architects and engineers as the primary professionals needed in this space, but cloud data management is a crucial skill set for successful cloud infrastructure.
Lior Gavish, CTO and co-founder of Monte Carlo, a data reliability company, sees that data professionals of all kinds are increasingly being hired to work on cloud data stacks and new business projects in the cloud.
“The cloud data stack is on fire, in the best way possible, with new companies and solutions emerging to tackle some of the biggest problems facing the field and opening up data engineers, analysts, and analytics engineers to more innovative and interesting work tied to business impact,” Gavish said.
Other experts recognize this growing need for data management talent in cloud development, but some believe underlying trends are fueling the growing need for data-cloud professionals and an overall transformation of data management roles.
Jozef de Vries, SVP of product development at EDB, a database management company, said the real driving factor behind data management in the cloud is a growing need for hands-on, trained talent in complex data sets. These data sets inform more complicated business projects and goals. As a result of this expansion, data management professionals are frequently being hired for broader positions in big data.
“What’s continuing to trend on the surface are roles in the data science and cloud management space,” de Vries said. “Under the surface, what’s really trending are opportunities to work with ever-growing and increasingly complex data sets in faster-paced working environments.
“The business analyst is morphing into the data scientist. The DBA is morphing into the data operations engineer. But data management itself is also changing, putting higher demand on deeper insights, faster performance, and more self-service capabilities.”
Learn more about cloud and data careers: Cloud Computing Job Market
4. Governance and compliance skills requirement
Data compliance and governance expectations continue to grow, with examples like China’s PIPL recently going into effect.
Business technology must keep up with changing regulations, especially as they relate to the protection of sensitive personal data in corporate data sets. But not every company has the tools and resources to stay abreast of the latest compliance and governance changes.
Rex Ahlstrom, CTO at Syniti, a data transformation company, believes many companies are hiring data management professionals, and data architects in particular, with the skills to enforce data governance, so the company and its tools stay compliant.
“A recent survey from TDWI found that 66% of executives noted that their data governance programs were not ready for the challenges of the 2020s,” Ahlstrom said.
“While it isn’t typically the sexiest topic, there is a need for data governance or the sum total of an organization’s processes, roles, policies, standards, and metrics that result in the effective and efficient use of information.
“For this reason, demand is increasing for data architects to meet compliance requirements, especially in highly regulated industries. Data architects are a critical part of the data science team and will be one of the more important roles for an organization to get right.”
Improve your company’s data governance posture: Best Data Governance Tools & Software
5. Skilled data professionals don’t need to settle
The pool of qualified data talent continues to grow, but it’s not keeping pace with the number of companies moving toward digital transformation and new technologies that need specialized support.
As tech growth shows no signs of slowing down, experts are noticing data management professionals cater their job search to exactly what they want from a career.
Gavish from Monte Carlo shared why, even with upscaling current staff, companies cannot fill data roles quickly enough.
“Supply doesn’t meet demand,” Gavish said. “The data ecosystem is evolving fast — more and more companies are betting big on data. This means that data teams are either training existing analysts and scientists to build and scale infrastructure or looking externally to fill these critical roles. Either way you slice it, there aren’t enough of them.”
De Vries from EDB advises data management candidates with in-demand skill sets to take their time and find a career that’s a perfect fit for their professional and personal goals.
“The continued growth in the tech world has put the negotiating power into the hands of the tech worker,” de Vries said. “Any candidate in today’s market should be looking for an employer that can check all the boxes because right now, I think there are more open jobs than candidates. So if you have the right skills, why not pick the job that best delivers on your needs?”
Read next: Top Data Management Platforms & Software