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What Is Web Scraping and 5 Findings about Web Scraping

5 min read

What is Web Scraping?

Web Scraping (also called Web Crawling, Data Extraction, Screen Scraping) is the process of extracting data from multiple websites and saving it into local databases, in formats of Excel, txt, CSV and JSON. With the overwhelming amount of data available on the internet, web scraping has become an essential approach to aggregating Big Data.

Tips: Read What Is Web Scraping – Basics & Practical Uses to get a more comprehensive understanding of web scraping and its pros and cons.

Who is using web scraping?

We are going to address this question by looking into different industries and jobs that require web scraping skills. To do this, we’ve compiled and analyzed job information extracted from job sites, including Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. 

To see exactly which jobs are using web scraping skills, we use a tech giant (Google) as an example in this research. We scraped and analyzed job postings from Google to find out which and how many jobs require web scraping skills. 

Our findings are shown below. After reading them, you might be just as surprised as we were. If you are interested in the scraping process, you may want to check GitHub Repositories to download the crawlers (running on a free web scraping tool Octoparse) to get the data you want.

Findings 1: 54 Industries Are Requiring Web Scraping Skills

We scraped and analyzed job postings in different industries that require web scraping skills from LinkedIn. In total, there are jobs in 54 industries requiring web scraping skills. The top 10 industries with the highest demand for web scraping skills are Computer Software (22%), Information Technology and Services (21%), Financial Services (12%), Internet (11%), Marketing and Advertising (5%) Computer & Network Security (3%), Insurance (2%), Banking (2%), Management Consulting (2%) and Online Media(2%).

Other industries include Oil & Energy, Construction, Consumer Goods, Defense & Space, Staffing and Recruiting, Hospital & Health Care, Education Management, Nonprofit Organization Management, Pharmaceuticals, Publishing, Research, Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing, Government Administration…etc.

Findings 2:  Non-tech Jobs Are Requiring Web Scraping Skills

Also, based on the information extracted from LinkedIn, we found that non-tech jobs also include web scraping in their job requirements.

Traditional wisdom has it that most jobs requiring web scraping are tech-relevant ones, like Information Technology and Engineering. There are, however, surprisingly many other kinds of jobs that require web scraping skills as well, such as sales, business development, marketing, human resources, writing/editing, and consulting.   

Findings 3: Web Scraping Skills in Tech Company (Google as an example)

Since it’s pretty obvious that software and information technology companies have the highest demand for web scraping experts, we decided to dig into the job postings of Google. The job categories that need web scraping skills the most are Software Engineering, Sales & Account Management, and Program Management, followed by Technical Solutions and Marketing & Communications. 

For those who are curious about other skill requirements for Software Engineer and Sales & Account Management in Google, we made the job requirements into word clouds to give you a better idea.

Requirements on Sales & Account Management in Google

Besides analyzing job postings requiring web scraping skills, we also managed to look at the greater picture of all the jobs available across industries. Here is some additional information we have.  

Findings 4: Top 10 Best-Paying Jobs

Based on the information aggregated from Glassdoor, there are huge differences in salaries for different jobs, which range from $25K to $203K. Of all the best paying jobs, senior data engineers and data scientists are the best paying jobs.  

(The above data is based on Glassdoor’s estimate of the base salaries of the jobs, which is not necessarily endorsed by the employers. )

Among all the job information we collected, the lowest paying jobs are Political Reporter and Junior Recruiter, starting from $25K and $29K.

Findings 5: Top 10 Best Paying Industries

We also explored average pay across different industries, based on the same dataset extracted from Glassdoor. The industries with the highest salaries are Oil & Gas Services, Biotech & Pharmaceuticals, and General Merchandise & Superstore. Much to our surprise, Information Technology only ranks No.5 on the list.

Conclusion

It is safe to say that web scraping has become an essential skill to acquire in today’s digital world, not only for tech companies and tech positions, but also for non-tech jobs. The ability to compile large datasets is fundamental to Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.

Thankfully, Big Data is becoming easier to access than ever. With automated web scraping tools getting smarter and more popular, even people with no programming background can easily apply web scraping for aggregating all sorts of data, empowering their business & work with the insights from Big Data.

That being said, if you wish to learn about web scraping but do not want to deal with Python or other programming languages, a web scraping tool is a great option. I’ve profiled a list of web scraping tools below for your reference. Of all the options on the market, Octoparse stands out as the best FREE automatic web scraper as a solution for data extraction at scale. 

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