Among the critical skills in today’s job market, data science expertise is perhaps the most coveted in terms of high demand and short supply. As businesses in a wide variety of industries find new applications for data analytics, the limited pool of specialized data scientists can work pretty much anywhere they want and command a highly competitive salary. This September, New York University is launching a new PhD program in data science both to address this skills shortage, particularly in New York’s financial sector, and shape the field of data science as an independent academic discipline, Ivan Levingston and Taylor Hall report at SF Gate:
It’s one of the first such programs in the nation and builds on master’s degrees at NYU and other schools. MIT is gearing up a doctoral degree that includes data science, and Harvard plans to jump into the field with a master’s program in 2018. In the near absence of degree programs, investment firms must sort through the wannabes and find skilled data scientists from fields like physics and math.
“The term is a fairly loose term, and it can mean anything from somebody who’s an extreme expert in machine learning all the way down to someone who’s really more of a data analyst, preparing and cleaning data and producing charts, and it can mean everything in between,” said Matthew Granade, who oversees Point72 Asset Management’s data science unit, Aperio.
Everyone knows that investment banking is a stressful, high-pressure field with high rates of burnout, which is why some major Wall Street firms are growing more sensitive to their employees’ work-life balance needs, encouraging them to take weekends off or introducing parental leave benefits. An obvious motivation for these changes is retention: These banks stand to make more money if they can avoid burning their young analysts out in a matter of two or three years.
Wall Street may have another new attrition problem on its hands, though, this time regarding star talent at higher levels. “Investment bankers are increasingly leaving Wall Street to work for the companies they advise,” Portia Crowe writes at Business Insider, “and it’s starting to hurt the banking industry in more ways that one”:
JPMorgan’s Alejandro Vicente, a managing director in consumer goods, is the latest to make the jump. … But he’s not the only one. Earlier this year, former Morgan Stanley banker Alban de La Sabliere joined the French drug maker Sanofi, which is now bidding to buy the pharmaceutical company Medivation. …
The departures are a double-edged sword for banks. Not only are they losing top talent, but they could begin to miss out on deals as companies turn to in-house experts rather than hire on teams of bankers.
US regulators proposed new rules on Thursday regarding how bonuses should be paid to finance executives, in an effort to prevent Wall Street from rewarding excessive risk-taking. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The proposal on pay is the toughest since 2008, and many on Wall Street say it threatens to exacerbate a flight of talent from the banking sector to other fields such as hedge-fund firms and technology companies that have few limits on what they can pay employees.
The rules would require the biggest financial firms to defer payment of at least half of executives’ bonuses for four years, a year longer than what is common industry practice. The plan also would require a minimum period of seven years for the biggest firms to “claw back” bonuses if it turns out an executive’s actions hurt the institution or if a firm has to restate financial results. Hedge funds and asset managers generally were excluded from the most stringent parts of the plan.
The National Credit Union Administration, the agency that put out the proposal for public comment on Thursday, is not the only agency that must adopt the new rules for them to become effective, but the Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission are expected to approve the proposal. Bloomberg‘s Jesse Hamilton and Elizabeth Dexheimer examine the complexities of the new rules, and why they were challenging for regulators to write: