Where the Jobs Are: AR/VR, AI and Blockchain are Hot for Data Scientists

Where the Jobs Are: AR/VR, AI and Blockchain are Hot for Data Scientists

While lockdowns ease, the economy and tech sector are sorting themselves out in new and different ways. Demand for technologies suddenly must match new consumer habits. And data is more important than ever. What does this mean for data scientists? Lots of opportunity. As big data continues to play a central role across most sectors, demand for expertise with data will only grow, even as a shortage of data scientists persists.

In 2020 and beyond, the most exciting places for data scientists are in “frontier technologies” like AI, VR and blockchain. A look at employment opportunities in these areas yields some interesting results.

Artificial Intelligence 

The field of AI companies expands by the day. CB Insights says venture capital investment in artificial intelligence and machine learning hit $26.6 billion worldwide, up from $22.1 million the prior year.


Hiring is always a priority at early stage startups but especially so when specific, advanced, in-demand expertise is needed, like these data scientist positions at AI startups:

AI adoption is also a priority for global corporations. A 2019 KPMG study of Global 500 companies estimated 17 percent of enterprises have adopted AI at scale, a that figure will grow to 50 percent in three years.  

Specific data science needs will grow as well. KPMG’s sample of companies with mature deployments average 375 full-timers working on AI today — including data scientists, engineers, and analysts — and they expect to have 500 to 600 AI employees in three years. Consider these recent postings: 

Virtual/Augmented Reality

Crunchbase tracks more than 4,600 VR companies, and so far, just 1 percent of them are public, which means the rest are waiting in the wings. That points to a robust field of startups in the VR/AR space:  Venture capitalists backed a record 600 deals with more than $8.5 billion in 2019 according to Pitchbook.


Even though it took a hit during the early part of the year, VR is still a healthy sector for two reasons: Cooped-up quarantiners looking for entertainment increasingly embraced the latest consumer headsets; and enterprise VR applications continue to gain traction. 

The intersection of VR and data science can hit in the visualization space but can be found in a variety of places in VR/AR companies, large companies and even defense contractors looking for simulation interpreters like these recent listings from Glassdoor:


After a ridiculous leap, blockchain followed bitcoin’s price back to Earth last year. The good news? Analyst CB Insights says most VC deals are still with early stage blockchain firms, which is a great sign that there’s still plenty of runway for growth in the sector.  


It’s no secret that data science could greatly benefit from the use of blockchain technology. And the combination of these two rare and in-demand skill sets makes job openings in this space tough to fill. 

And for those data scientists who’ve dreamt of striking it rich in cryptocurrency, blockchain startups are gold! Check out these jobs:

Despite the economic downturn, data scientist jobs in these frontier technologies are still easy to find!

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