Show Me the Data! Mapping World Talent Pools

This first year of operations here at BrainGain has been a fantastically exciting one. In our first batch of placements we received over 1800 inquries from 40+ countries and the resume’s keep piling in for our fall batch of placements as well.

So what was the most interesting thing that we have seen from all of these inbound applications from different countries?….THE DATA! 😀

In honor of our first year of operations, we decided to run an in-depth data analysis of the applicants we have received based on everything from what country they were from, what school they went to, what type of major that they had, and what type of job they were looking for…and then map it all out visually!

And here’s what we found throughout that analysis….

Number of Applicants from Each Country

In the above map, the larger the circle there is, the more applicants we received from that country. Leading the way with nearly 50% of all of of our inbound inquiries….the USA! (my home country, and where we focused a lot of our time and energy, so yeah we’re pretty happy about this one). Out of all of these applications, we ended up successfully placing three people who were born and raised in the US.

Coming in second by a large margin, was India. No surprise here, as US Universities have huge Indian populations and our operations are primarily based in Bangalore, India, which generated a lot of local interest as well. Indians have a fiery desire to find international opportunities, and their work ethic matches this desire. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Indians working all around the world, and we’ll be happy campers to be the ones facilitating this movement. Six of our initial placements were Indian — 4 people from local talent pools, and 2 people of Indian origin who were living in the US and wanted to return to India.

In third we have China, once again due to a very large population of students at US Universities. Similar to Indians, the Chinese want to work abroad just as much as everyone else, and they too have the skill set to match that desire. We happily made one placement of a Chinese girl who had a fabulous time here and traveled every opportunity she got!

And the others? From here the rest of the top 10 were

4) UK

5) UAE

6) South Korea — (one placement made)

7) Spain — (one placement made)

8) France — (one placement made)

9) Russia

10) Germany (one placement on the way in the next batch!)

Our biggest surprise from this data? WHERE’S CANADA!? Canadians love to travel and are some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet. Many of my best friends in Korea were Canadian as well. Canada, wheres the love?!

What about the Universities?! Where were these students coming from?!

Leading the way with slightly over 10% of all of our applications, NYU was our most popular school this year. Many of these students came from international backgrounds, had previously studied abroad, and/or came from globally oriented families. We also saw many students who came from NYU Shanghai/UAE, which I believe contributed significantly to this number. Bravo NYU, you truly attract some of the worlds best global talent!

Coming in close second was Columbia University with slightly under 7% of all our applications. Once again very global demographic of students, and many of them were actually Masters students looking for positions in data science and international relations.

In third we had one of my favorite schools I had the opportunity to interact with, Carnegie Mellon University (~6% of all applications). Many of these students simply blew our minds, coming from backgrounds that we never initially anticipated. We spoke to so many electrical, mechanical, chemical engineers who were working on some of the coolest things I have ever heard of. We look forwards to being able to make placements for them the next time around when we have a better infrastructure of companies for people of these backgrounds.

Outside of Georgia Tech, we are proud to say that we made placements from all of our top schools


And now onto my favorite part of the data analysis — what type of job you were looking for based on the country that you are from. A year before this visualization was created, I had a vision to represent exactly this. Much of why we started BrainGain is to map out and better understand world labor markets, and how these applied to talent surpluses and deficiencies in developed vs. emerging economies. I had a hunch that there would be strong statistical correlations between what country you were from, what major you pursued in college, and what type of job that meant you wanted when you graduated….and we now have that data!

Type of Job Desired Based on Country of Origin

In the above data visualization, the color of the outermost circle in each country represents the most popular desired profession in that given country. If the outside color was dark blue, this meant the majority of candidates wanted a position in sales + marketing, or if the outside color was orange, that meant computer science was the desired profession, and so on. The total worldwide percentage breakdown of these positions are on the top and bottom, agnostic of country of origin.

Unsurprisingly, we found very strong statistical correlations between what country you were from, and what type of job you were looking for. In the USA the most popular professions were Sales/Marketing and other; this shows what we anticipated…what we call the “American Generalist Hustlers”. Young professionals who had a degree in things like Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, and business school students. When I look at my friends back home, this also makes sense because the majority of them ended up in positions like these.

In India? The predominant professions were Engineering, followed by other and then Computer Science Close by. Considering the emphasis on Engineering in India, this once again comes as no surprise. India is producing some of the worlds best engineering and computer science talent, and many of these graduates want to get outside of their home country and work abroad to widen their horizons.

What about China? The predominant majors were Finance and Data Science — aka statistics and math. China is producing some seriously incredible mathematically oriented minds, and some of the most impressive resumes we saw were from these majors. Many of these students wanted positions in things like investment banking, which unfortunately wasn’t as popular in a place like Bangalore. If only the VC firms listened and jumped at this talent!…smh… 😛

Now let’s look at this a little bit deeper, because I honestly believe that while this data might seem obvious to some, this shows some really beautiful things. Here we have three of the largest economic giants of the world, ALL with complimentary skill sets; American/Euro sales and marketing talent, Indian engineers, and Chinese statisticians. Take this one step further and think about this in the context of building a team in today’s world — One well spoken salesperson/marketer, a hacker to build the tech, and a statisticianmagician (yes I just made that word up) to handle the data science. Throw a designer in there (wait until we have more data!) and you are looking at different countries all around the world providing complimentary skill sets to build truly global teams. I don’t know if I’m the only one who gets excited when looking at this, but this is some truly powerful data!

Now let’s also think about the current obsession of Millenials, given that the overwhelming majority of our applicants were aged between 20–25. This data right here is directly showing the youth of the world, what type of skill sets they have, what type of jobs they want….and they all want to work outside of their home country!!! Considering that this is also basically only 6–8 months of data, I am truly excited to see what these next few years have in store as we continue to map this information out!

This is how we envision the work we are just getting started on here at BrainGain. Mapping out world labor talent pools, understanding talent surpluses and deficiencies, and moving people around the world to help fill the deficiencies of one country with the surpluses of another. We couldn’t be happier to be working on this, and we’re truly grateful for all of the young professionals who have enthusiastically reached out to us throughout the course of this last year to help us get started on our ambitious mission. We’re excited for what the future has in store.

Interested in seeing the full infographic? Here ya go!

BIG BIG BIG THANKS to our designer Marianne, and my Co-Founder/data science magician Matthew for putting all of this together 😀

Originally published at