Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mining Jobmine: Part 2. Demand and Supply


If you’re an Engineering or a Math student, you’re in luck. Despite not being to scale, the Venn diagram below shows that over 85% of jobs on Jobmine first round this term are targeted towards Math or Engineering students.

In fact, a third of the jobs on Jobmine target exclusively Math and Engineering students. Given that programming is a skill that many Math and Engineering students tend to have (or are forced to have), it’s tempting to suggest that these are programming jobs.

If you look at the list of most common words in job titles targeted towards Math and Engineering students, the words “Software”, “Developer” and “Engineering” top the list. To be fair though, if you look at the most common words in all job titles, you see the same three words in different order: “Engineering”, “Software” and “Developer”. Here are some of the other common words in job titles.

It's quite interesting that overall, employers like to refer to us most as a "student" -- then "coop" and "intern". Not so for employers targeting Math and Engineering students. They aren't as fond of referring to co-ops as "student" or "assistant".

My bias towards programmers should already be all too apparent (as I am often referred to one myself), so it shouldn't be surprising to ask this next question: What programming skills are in demand? A partial answer can be found by looking at the number of times each of the following programming related words appear in Jobmine job descriptions.

Okay, so the list of programming languages (and non-programming languages) I chose are quite arbitrary, but seriously? People are still looking for COBOL programmers?


Demand of co-op students is only half of the story. What about supply? To gage the supply of co-op students, we can look at the number of applications job postings targeting different faculties receive, shown below.

If you've never seen a box-whisker plot before: the thick line in the middle shows the median value, the box in the middle shows the middle 50% of the values, and the dotted line shows the range of values for number of applications per posting, excluding outliers. Note that outliers were omitted in order to keep the figure clean. Also, if a job posting targets both Arts and Math students for example, that job is taken into account in the plots of both categories.

So what do we see here? Job postings targeting Arts students get the highest number of applications, and applications targeting AHS (Applied Health Sciences) and ENV (Environment) students get the lowest number of applications.


You should be in Math or Engineering, Applied Health Sciences or Environment. You should pay attention in your programming courses. Learn programming. Knowing Java will help you too if you're desperate for jobs.

UPDATE: Fixed the programming language chart to fix over-counting of "R" (thanks Paul for noticing).

End of Entry