According to an industry report, 50,000 jobs in machine learning and data science are unoccupied because of lack of competent talent.

Currently, the marketplace has two times the number of jobs as job-hunters, showing a crucial demand for professionals to learn new skills, claimed the report by Great Learning – an online and hybrid education company.

“India lacks massively when it comes to talent in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder of Great Learning, claimed. “With more and more jobs increasingly becoming data-driven, the need of the hour is for professionals to up-skill themselves to stay relevant.”

The key reason for the supply-demand imbalance, according to Nair, is that the companies are deploying projects that need high level of non-existent data skills. “What people learn in colleges is not in sync with what is being used in industry,” he said. “Most of these individuals passed out a while back. Now a lot of things are getting automated; newer opportunities are coming up. That is where there is a dearth of talent.”

Market of financial and banking services is the largest for data science and analytics experts and in 2017, 44% of all the jobs developed were from these areas, said the report formed in collaboration with Analytics Vidhya – an online platform for analytics knowledge.

Another important market for analytics experts is Ecommerce, because of large use of recommendation engines throughout ecommerce websites. In 2017, 12% of all the jobs developed were from the ecommerce industry.

Energy and utilities (8%), Healthcare (12%), media (6%), telecom (6%), automobile, retail, and travel are the other areas which are demanding for more data science experts.

A survey on 28,000 people in 3,000 companies throughout the country revealed that expertise in big data analytics, cloud, AI and machine learning are going to play an important role for data science experts to get the vacant jobs.

75 % of the 10 lacs registered firms in India are going to invest or have invested in data science and machine learning, informs Gartner – research and advisory company.

Although SQL programming language jobs are among the most searched jobs, but Python is spreading rapidly because of more support for machine learning libraries, according to the Great Learning report. Nonetheless, scope of SAS jobs has decreased recently, it said.

Experts in these skills get a significant premium in wages. “The average jump one gets for a role like this is 45%, (and) in many cases it goes up much higher because of the demand-supply gap,” Nair said.

“New tech will continually evolve at a breakneck pace. Professionals need to up skill themselves, innovate and do newer things. Every four to five years, your competencies will have to change,” he said.

Great Learning report also underlines the rising scope of data science in unconventional areas. Opportunities in unconventional areas such as agriculture, healthcare, aviation, cyber security and driver-less transportation are all-ready to fly by 2020, according to the report.