Ms. Burtch: M.B.A.s have looked around and said 'I'm going to get passed by if I don't increase my quantitative ability,' so they're going back to school, [for analytics programs] like at North Carolina State University and University of Cincinnati. People at the 15-year point in their career are looking around saying, 'I don't have digital experience; I'm not working with streams of data.' These people are starting to get heavily involved in the Kaggle competitions [in which data scientists compete against one another to solve data problems], and they're taking MOOCs [Massive Open Online Courses]. It's not easy, and I tell my candidates, you can't do this casually.But if you do, there are rewards aplenty out there;
Ms. Burtch says, "it's a candidate's market right now." According to recent surveys of Burtch Works' contacts, analytics professionals—from entry-level data analysts to executives—earn a median base salary of $90,000 annually, rising to a median of $145,000 for managers. And the group's just-released study of data scientists, a subset of the larger group, found that nonmanagers earn a median base salary of $120,000.And, if you don't;
Ms. Burtch: In 15 years, if you don't have a solid quant background, you might have a permanent pink slip. So much of decision-making in corporations is going so quickly toward having a quant foundation. Everything is, 'What is the pattern in the data? Tell us a story about the math that is going on so we can point business in the right direction.' Companies want to understand data and how it affects their bottom line.Wonder if Barack Obama (and his 77%ism) will hear about this.