Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist – top US emerging jobs

Machine Learning Engineer jobs grew almost 10 fold since 2012, and Data Scientist jobs grew 6.5 times. However, finding qualified people to fill such jobs remains difficult.

Recent LinkedIn Economic Graph report had good news for KDnuggets readers and for all Machine Learning and Data Science professionals: Machine Learning Engineer and Data Scientist were the top emerging jobs in the US in 2017.

Linkedin Top 2017 Emerging Jobs
Fig. 1: Top 10 emerging jobs on LinkedIn and their growth from 2012 to 2017

Among 20 fastest growing jobs, we have 4 relevant to KDnuggets readers:
  • n. 1: Machine Learning Engineer, grew 9.8 times
  • n. 2: Data Scientist, 6.5 times
  • n. 5: Big Data Developer, 5.5 times,
  • n. 8: Director of Data Science, 4.9 times
Comparing with Indeed Job Trends, we see that while both jobs grew, there are a lot more Data Scientist jobs than Machine Learning Engineers - Fig. 2.

Indeed Data Scientist Machine Learning Job Trends 2017
Fig. 2: job trends for Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, 2014 to 2017

As of Dec 27, Indeed shows 3501 "Data Scientist" jobs and only 312 "Machine Learning Engineer" jobs in the USA.

For comparison, Glassdoor shows 23,270 "Data Scientist" jobs and 21,403 "Machine Learning Engineer" jobs in the USA.

LinkedIn itself reports there 1,600 open roles for Machine Learning Engineer in the US.

These discrepancies are probably due to difference in matching - perhaps exact job title match vs job description vs some more advanced graph matching. The correct number of MLE jobs is probably somewhere in the thousands, above Indeed number and below Glassdoor number.

LinkedIn also analyzed the career path of these jobs and here are the 5 most common previous roles for
Machine Learning Engineer
  1. Software Engineer
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Teaching Assistant
  4. Data Scientist
  5. System Engineer

and Data Scientist
  1. Research Assistant
  2. Teaching Assistant
  3. Software Engineer
  4. Data Scientist
  5. Business Analyst

We see that many of the people who took these roles were previously grad students (Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant titles).

While Universities are producing graduates for Data Science/Machine Learning positions, as we can see from above career paths, the talent remains hard to find.

LinkedIn reports that only 35,000 people in the US have data science skills, while hundreds of companies are hiring for those roles.

Finally, if you are looking to hire Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineer, consider posting a job ad on - for details see