Why is Data Scientist Salary so High?

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Data Science Careers

8 Min Read. |

Data Scientist is one of the highest-paid jobs today. Let’s see why data scientist salary so high and how to become one.

Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America for 2019 released in January 2019 reveals that Data Scientist is the best job in America for the 4th consecutive year (4.7 job score, 4.3 job satisfaction rating) with 6,510 open positions paying a Data Scientist salary of $108,000 (median base salary).

The January 2019 report from Indeed, showed a whopping increase of 30% in demand for Data Scientists year over year and a 348% increase since 2013, that speaks for a dramatic upswing.

But while the demand for Data Scientists, in the form of job postings, is on the rise, job searches by job seekers skilled in Data Science grew at 15%, suggesting a gap between supply and demand. This also speaks of a skill shortage among Data Scientists.

More stats about Data Science Professional Salaries

Findings from technology job site Dice showed similar results, the number of Data Science job postings on its platform, as a proportion of total posted jobs, has increased about 33% year over year.

Dice further noted that the job postings are from companies in a wide variety of industries, which pay very high Data Scientist salary.

Another report published by TechRepublic in January 2019 shows that Data Scientists have a median base salary of $130,000.

The report also brought to light the fact that 2019 had 56% more job openings this year than last year. India has more than 4,000 Data Science job openings nationwide.

Their role jumped to no. 1 from no. 9 on last year’s list. Now, the most important question is: why is a Data Scientist salary so high? Why are they so much in demand?

In this discussion on Data Science professional salary, I intend to bring out the core skills of a Data Scientist, how a Data Scientist job role differs from that of a data analyst or Data Science engineer, career prospects of a Data Scientist and all that contributes to a high Data Scientist salary in India and elsewhere.

Who is a Data Scientist?

A Data Scientist’s work is to mine and analyze data from a wide variety of sources, including customer transactions, clickstreams, sensors, social media, log files and GPS plots.

He is expected to create useful insights from information derived from the available data, through mining, building correlation models, proving causality, and searching the data for signs of anything that can deliver business impact throughout.

His role is a combination of business understanding, data handling, programming, and data visualization skills to drive better business results.

A Data Science professional needs to possess multiple qualities such as business acumen, customer/user insights, analytics skills, statistical skills, programming skills, machine learning skills, and data visualization.

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What does it take to be a Data Scientist?

Data Scientists observe data privacy rights to ensure client satisfaction and avoid legal issues. They usually work in teams using collaborative filtering, k-nearest neighbors, market basket analysis and matrix factorization methods.

They deal with cutting edge technologies on a regular basis and often have the best tools available at their disposal.

One of their main work tools is usually an industrial computer with high processing power and proprietary software applications for research tasks.

Data Scientist must have advanced knowledge of different data mining techniques such as clustering, regression analysis, decision trees and support vector machines.

An advanced degree (such as a PhD) in computer science is preferred.

To be a Data Scientist one must have fluency in at least one programming language — Python and R being the top favorites.

Data Science professionals must also have strong experience in tools like Hive, BigQuery, AWS, Spark and Hadoop, as well as training in statistical modelling, machine learning, and programming.

Data Science Career

Data Science Career

Data Scientist Salary

Data Scientist Salary in India

Data Scientists are very much in demand.

According to 2019 Glassdoor survey, the national average salary for a Data Scientist is ₹9,50,000 in India. A senior Data Scientist may draw a salary of around ₹157,000.

Related job profiles like Data Analyst or Quantitative Analyst may draw a median salary of around ₹21,000 or ₹57,000, respectively.

Data Scientist Salary in India

Data Scientist Salary in India

The Data Scientist salary estimates are based on 622 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by these employees.

The PayScale survey for Data Scientist salary in India is ₹ 619,182. The report also brings out the difference in Data Scientist salary in India with that of other related job profiles.

Their salary, of course, varies from company to company. The larger MNCs are ready to spend wisely on an entire team of Data Science experts led by Data Science influencer. Most companies in India are ready to pay well.

Data Scientist Salary in Abroad

A comparative study of Data Science professional’s salaries across continents shows a steady rise in the compensation package. Data Scientist salary is high both in the US and UK.

According to an annual Dice Salary Survey, the role of Data Scientist carries an average salary of $106,000 a year and over $120,000 in large tech-based cities.

Data Scientist Salary in the US

Data Scientist Salary in the US

According to Glassdoor 2019 study, the national average salary for a Data Scientist is $1,17,345 in the United States.

Salary estimates are based on 4,354 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Data Scientist employees. Their salary figures in the UK follow in close quarters.

Data Scientist Salary in the UK

Data Scientist Salary in the UK

In the UK, the average pay for a Data Scientist is £35,201 per year, according to PayScale. A Data Scientist salary in the UK may start with £25000 and go up to £61,000.

Taking a look at the South East Asian market, the average salary for a Data Scientist is $72,822 in Singapore, according to a survey conducted by Glassdoor over Data Scientist employees in Singapore.

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Data Scientist Fresher Salary

Data Scientist joining as a fresher candidate in India have a decent starting. Data Scientist fresher salary in India may range between ₹ 304,918 – ₹ 1,728,919.

A recent report by recruitmentresult.com showed that the national average salary for a Data Scientist is ₹. 6, 50,000 in India.

Data Scientist fresher salary depends largely on the hiring company and your background and skill sets. With about 3–4 years of relevant work experience, Data Scientists are in very much in demand.

Most Data Scientists start as a data analyst or as a Data Science Engineer, gain some years of experience, and then move up to higher roles.

Their salary growth is dependent largely on skill enhancement and learning capabilities. The faster you learn, the better are your chances of growth.

Data Scientist Fresher Salary

Data Scientist Fresher Salary

Need for more Data Scientists

In August 2018, in a LinkedIn report, we saw that there is a shortage of at least 151,717 people, currently, with Data Science skills in the U.S., based on data from its platform.

If we add these numbers to the 16% discrepancy between job postings and job searches on Indeed, the demand for Data Scientists becomes obvious.

Data Science professionals are becoming a necessity for data companies to capture data into action. But we also see a skill shortage for meeting the high demand for Data Science professionals.

Most colleges and universities are having a tough time revising their current curriculum to fit in more advanced modules of computer science or MIS programs.

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Assumptions and Analysis

Assuming there are at least 200 graduate programs, graduate students within one to one and half years, with each graduating 500 to 1,000 students per year, that adds to the workforce around 100,000 to 200,000 new data analytics and Data Science graduates.

These data analysts will require at least one to two years to gain the experience. If you add another 500,000 students coming from the adjacent majors, computer science, statistics, and Data Science boot camps, which vary dramatically in their quality and outcomes, there is a major gap between demand and supply of Data Scientists.

Getting quality faculty to facilitate their programs’ growth is another major challenge. Quite often, Data Science professionals are recruited on a part-time basis as guest lecturers.

These are some of the reasons that largely contribute to high Data Scientist Salary. It is needless to say Data Scientist Salary in the industry is much higher than those in academia.

Final Thoughts

Does a career in Data Scientist interest you? Do not be taken away the Data Scientist Salary figures. You must create a killer Data Scientist resume before you apply anywhere. The same applies to Data Analyst.

You might be a programmer, a mathematics graduate, or simply a bachelor of Computer Science.

Taking up a good Data Science or Data Analytics course teaches you the key Data Science skills and prepares you for the Data Scientist, Data Scientist role (that you aspire for) in the near future. Do not forget to include all your skills in your Data Scientist resume.

You may also enroll in a Data Analytics Course for more lucrative career options in Data Science.  industry-relevant curriculum, pragmatic market-ready approach, hands-on Capstone Project are some of the best reasons for choosing Digital Vidya.

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