The job market and the search for KNIME professionals
Over the past months, frequent feedback we hear from hiring managers is that it’s still hard to find KNIME experts on the job market. This often comes with the remark that we aren’t educating enough professionals in the KNIME Software. What we have heard loud and clear is that we need to teach more people how to use the KNIME tools.
Dennis Ganzaroli, from a telco company in Switzerland, for example, has often lamented the shortage of candidates with a sufficient background in using KNIME.
“It is easy enough to find data analysts willing to pick up some KNIME skills and I know that learning KNIME is usually not a complex task. However, I really do not have the time to train more data scientists on the job. I need professionals who are ready to work from day one!"
His ideal candidate is a data analyst who is an expert in both KNIME and Tableau. The candidate should know KNIME enough to massage the data into the right shape for the subsequent Tableau reports. Even though the position has now been filled, the discomfort of the search is still quite vivid.
The situation is similar at the European Commission:
“We still need to fill open positions and are struggling to find the right mixture of data and KNIME expertise all together in a single candidate.”
Which countries are hiring KNIME experts the most? A quick search on LinkedIn for job postings that require - or at least recommend - KNIME expertise, as of the writing of this article, we get the map distribution in Figure 1, above. The highest number of job postings is found in the United States, followed closely by Germany, and then India, the United Kingdom, and China.
Within the United States, the states that have published the highest number of job posts - at least on LinkedIn - are California, Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, New York, and New Jersey (see Figure 2).
Supposing it’s perfectly OK with you to move to California, how can you quickly learn more about KNIME Software?
Online, Instructor-led, Self-paced KNIME Courses
The traditional option is to attend one of the many KNIME courses. KNIME offers courses within a few professional education paths for data scientists, data engineers, or data analysts, with instructors (and paid) or self-paced (and free), and with different levels of complexity from the basic level (L1) for novices to the most advanced level (L4) for experts.
In the past year(s) we have dedicated effort and time to set up a full program of online courses - with instructor and self-paced - for data professionals and data scientists (Fig. 3) using KNIME Software. This includes courses on basic and advanced KNIME features, deployment and productionization, deep learning, machine learning algorithms, time series analysis, data engineering, data visualization and reports, text processing, or cheminformatics. Most steps in each learning path can be tested and verified through a capillary system of certification exams and digital badges.
Universities and E-learning Platforms Offer Courses
The other option is to attend a course at a local university or at one of the many e-learning platforms available on the web. Udemy for example offers a number of highly ranked courses around KNIME Analytics Platform. Also many universities all over the world offer courses for data professionals based on KNIME Analytics Platform: Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome, Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, Oklahoma State University in USA, University of Münster in Germany, and so on.
And yet, that is not enough. We need more academic courses teaching how to use KNIME Analytics Platform among other tools. We are convinced that in order to address the demands of the job market, the next generation of data professionals must be equipped with a set of coding and low coding tools for data science.
Today’s Analytics Professionals Need a Wider Tool Portfolio
We are not alone in calling for a deeper integration of visual programming into business analytics programs (among a variety of other data science tools and techniques): Dursun Delen, Regents' Professor of Analytics (Oklahoma, USA) and author of the book, "Predictive Analytics: Data Mining, Machine Learning and Data Science for Practitioners (2nd Ed.)", recently published the article Better Practices for teaching Business Analytics in ORMS Today, calling for a wider tool portfolio in the students’ curriculum.
When talking with Professor Dursun Delen, he confirmed our belief, commenting:
"Today’s analytics professionals (either you call them “data scientists” or some other names) are required to use a combination of programming (e.g. Python) and visual data science tools (e.g. KNIME) to take on the data challenges of complex real-world problems effectively and efficiently."
We have also reached out to Francisco Villaroel Ordenes Professor at Luiss Guido Carli University (Italy) about the role of KNIME in his teaching, who says:
“I have been using the KNIME Analytics Platform to teach marketing analytics in undergraduate and graduate programs for six years. It has been an excellent experience as it allows me to use a single platform to teach marketing applications of descriptive, explanatory, and predictive analytics. For me, the main assets of KNIME are twofold. First, its ability to make data science projects easy to explain and understand through visual workflows. Second, its ability to orchestrate projects using native functionalities and a wide range of integrations with other environments within KNIME such as R, Python, Amazon AWS, or Google Cloud. Feedback from students has been positive highlighting the simplicity of KNIME together with its power to handle any complex data science projects.”
Contact Us for Teaching Resources for Your Courses
The demand for KNIME expertise on the job market is high for all data related professional roles: data analysts, data engineers, and data scientists. We are looking to complement our own educational program with university curricula, custom on-site and online courses, and recurring seasonal bootcamps.
KNIME Analytics Platform is free and open source and covers most of the data analytics techniques a data professional will need, such as deep learning, machine learning, data connectors, data visualization, and data transformation techniques.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in introducing elements of KNIME software into your courses. We can support you with teaching material, i.e. slides, exercises, and data science projects, as well as guest lectures to make your teaching a smooth and impactful experience.
Do not hesitate to also reach out to us if you are not directly affiliated with a university but are interested in offering KNIME training.