learning analytics job market

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A giant is awakening in the world of learning analytics and data science. As technology like machine learning matures, and the organizational demand for big data skills continues to flourish, learning analytics professionals with skills in big data and data science will be a needed-asset to any data-driven learning & development function.

Learning analytics and xAPI are becoming increasingly adopted and popular education engines such as UdemyCourseraUdacity, and others, have been promoting their data science and machine learning/AI courses heavily. The learning community is now heading in the direction of becoming data-driven, and therefore needing new resources and skill-sets not seen in the past. What does this new demand mean for the job market and ultimately, for L&D?

The learning community is now heading in the direction of becoming data-driven.

Popularity of the Data Scientist Role Has Grown by 650%

LinkedIn has done some great analysis to help us get our heads wrapped around how important these data scientist-type roles will be. From the LinkedIn 2017 US Emerging Jobs Report,Machine Learning Engineer and Data Scientist made it into the top 1 and 2 spots for their top 10 emerging positions list. If you do a quick search on the LinkedIn job tool, there are currently over 16,000 Data Scientist positions open in the United States alone and the popularity of the data scientist role has grown by 650% since 2012.That’s insanely impressive and easy to see why course providers are heavily promoting their data scientist education tracks. The demand is strong, it’s arrived in 2018, and growing.

Emerging Jobs in Learning Analytics


The Number of Data Scientist Positions Will Grow by 364,000 by 2020

If the numbers from LinkedIn weren’t impressive enough, IBM conducted a study and write-up around the data analytics job market as well. They project that by 2020 the number of positions for data and analytics talent in the United States will increase by 364,000 openings, to 2,720,000. This doesn’t give us long to get our workforce ready. 2020 is waiting on our front doorstep and due to this explosive demand, companies will need to evaluate (or re-evaluate) their workforce needs, which also means re-thinking hiring, training, and potential partnerships. The Higher Education industry will need to rise up (quickly) to prepare the data scientist troops that meet the industry’s needs (which is what we see Udacity and others currently doing).

Types of data scientists

What type(s) of data analytics jobs do you see needed in your company?


Data Scientists Will Be Needed By Learning and Development

So what does this mean for learning and development? Here’s what we know: Learning analytics and xAPI technology are undoubtedly here. We’re working with global companies that have already started implementing learning analytics strategies and using our learning record store to do so. Many have data scientists on their teams and these data scientists come in a variety of forms and job titles including: “Learning Analytics Manager,” “Director of Learning Analytics,” and many more.

So does this mean a company absolutely has to have a data scientist to take advantage of learning analytics? Not necessarily. Some companies we’ve worked with have a learning analytics strategy but don’t have a data scientist and are doing basic analytics on their own (and they’re doing a mighty-fine job at it). This is the world we’re currently in and it’s only growing. Large, enterprise companies partnered with learning analytics technology providers are beginning to lay the foundation and framework for other companies to follow.


We’d love to hear from you! Do you have a learning analytics strategy? And if so, what does it look like?


If you’re interested Learning Analytics and want to start small, we’re offering an on-site (we’ll come to you) 1 or 2 day xAPI and Big Data for Learning Workshop that will help you and your team get started and lay the foundation for your organization!

xAPI Workshop

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