Data Science Skills To Boost Your Salary - InformationWeek

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11/17/2015
07:06 AM
Jessica Davis
Jessica Davis
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Data Science Skills To Boost Your Salary

Are you a data scientist wondering how your compensation stacks up to your peers? Or are you considering a career shift to data science? Here's a look at how much you can expect to earn.
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(Image: penguiiin/iStockphoto)

(Image: penguiiin/iStockphoto)

Data scientist may be the hottest job title in the IT and overall technology space right now. The number of data scientists has doubled in the last four years, according to a recent study of LinkedIn profiles performed by cloud analytics firm RJMetrics. Career site Glassdoor recently ranked data scientist as No. 1 on a list of top jobs that offer the best work-life balance. (You can see the rest of the list here.)  

On Oct. 20, Glassdoor reported that it had 1,315 listings for data scientist job openings. According to Glassdoor, data scientists can expect a salary of about $115,000.

[Looking for more on skills to boost your career? Read 10 Skills CIOs Need to Survive, Thrive in 2016.]

So, if you are considering adding data science or analytics skills to your resume, you may find your value in the IT jobs market increase. If you are thinking about making a full career switch, you will be joining a small but fast-growing profession.

O'Reilly, which runs the Strata+Hadoop events, recently provided some additional data points for those considering a career in data science. The company published its third annual Data Science Salary Survey. The report covers compensation and also looks at trends in tools and job tasks for those in the data science field.

To compile the O'Reilly report, the authors used an online survey to collect information from more than 600 respondents who ran the gamut of job titles. Only about one-quarter of the participants had a job title that explicitly identified them as data scientists.

Others went by titles that included analyst, engineer, developer, architect, business intelligence professional, and statistician. Executives and management were also represented in the survey. Other participants were students, consultants, and professors. About two-thirds of those who participated are based in the US.

O'Reilly's authors ran several different models, as data scientists do, to look at the results in different ways. What follows are the results from a few different models, but we mostly used the results from the final model. This model excludes those who self-identified as upper management from some of the analysis, and also controlled for other factors. We recommend reading the full version of the report for more information.

O'Reilly notes that understanding salary is tricky:

Statistics from an anonymous online survey based on a self-selected sample doesn't exactly put the "science" into "data science," but such research can still be valuable -- and let's face it, much of the other information that might inform one's understanding of industry trends is in the same assumption-violating category.

Want to make this survey better? O'Reilly encourages data scientists to take the current survey. You can find it here.

But before you do that, take a look at the compensation, tools, and trends for data scientists in 2015. Once you've reviewed these findings, tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Are you currently working in a data science role? Does your compensation stack up? If you're not currently working in a data science-related position, is it something you're considering adding to your skill set in the year ahead?

**New deadline of Dec. 18, 2015** Be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Time is running out to submit your company's application by Dec. 18, 2015. Go to our 2016 registration page: InformationWeek's Elite 100 list for 2016.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2015 | 12:23:25 PM
Demand
The reason why this has become a job so in demand with employers is the sheer amount of data available today for analysis. That coupled with the fact there were very few formal training programs for data science in the past has created a situation where the need for data scientists has become pretty high. Low supply mixed in with high demand will do that. 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 2:04:19 AM
Re: Demand
"The reason why this has become a job so in demand with employers is the sheer amount of data available today for analysis. That coupled with the fact there were very few formal training programs for data science in the past has created a situation where the need for data scientists has become pretty high. Low supply mixed in with high demand will do that. "

Daniel, the job opportunity may be same, but need for trained or talented manpower may be high. So far situations are handled by regular or other skilled manpower from companies on an ad-hock way. But if you really want to make use of the situation/available data, trained data scientist are very much required. Such training itself can create an ecco system
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 2:00:49 AM
Career opportunities with Big Data
"Data scientist may be the hottest job title in the IT and overall technology space right now. The number of data scientists has doubled in the last four years, according to a recent study of LinkedIn profiles performed by cloud analytics firm RJMetrics. Career site Glassdoor recently ranked data scientist as No. 1 on a list of top jobs that offer the best work-life balance. "

Jessica, are you mentioning about Big Data analytics. There is No wonder that in coming day's career opportunities with Big data domain may shoot up more than 2-4 folding. Since it's a new domain, more and more peoples has to be get trained for grabbing the opportunities 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 4:24:39 AM
Re: Career opportunities with Big Data
@gigi3 I agree with you. This is new domain for IT professionals. However,  I not sure whether we have categorized the correct skills and expertise that we should look for.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 2:15:53 AM
Re: Career opportunities with Big Data
"I agree with you. This is new domain for IT professionals. However,  I not sure whether we have categorized the correct skills and expertise that we should look for."

Shamika, as of now it's taken care by normal data/analytical peoples. But if we need to use it efficiently, specially skilled peoples are very much required. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 4:21:21 AM
Working long hours:
Will this an incentive given for working long hours? In that case what will be the normal working hours for them?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 10:14:47 AM
Re: Working long hours:
Much like the fact that good negotiation skills help drive higher salaries in any industry or specialty, I'm thinking that working more hours helps in any position as well. Salary is driven by a number of factors, one of the key factors being the value the employer places on you. Up to a point, working more hours (productive hours actually delivering value) will increase that part of your personal value proposition.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 4:36:22 AM
Negotiation Skills
It is important to have good Negotiation Skills irrespective of the industry. It will help you in working with people as to move up on the corporate ladder.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 12:27:58 PM
Re: Negotiation Skills

@Shamika the tech is very dynamic in nature and is changing every instant. I am sure that by the time someone is skilled in the job of Data science, it must have opened a new venture or new skill. I think we need to initially get ourself accustomed to the basic requirement of the job and then we can have specialized fields. I think this way it will be far easier to adopt or change with the changing envirnoment. I field of IT being stagnant means yu are dead. What do you say?

shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 9:45:02 PM
Re: Negotiation Skills
@nomii. I agree with you. It is always important to get the basic concept right. Having the basic knowledge will definitely help in improving and increasing the efficiency.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 4:36:54 AM
Excel: 59% of respondents
It is interesting to know that Excel is one of the top tools that is used by the data scientists. It is a great tool for data analysis and reporting.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 12:37:53 PM
Re: Excel: 59% of respondents
I must be missing something here on this job title? Why is working with data in Excel considered an IT job and not just a business user job? We've always had Business Analysts or Programmer/Analysts but that historically meant you focused on the business requirements needed in an IT application to be developed.

What you are describing sounds like something that belongs in the Marketing realm? Or engineering if the data collected is related to machine health.

That doesn't change basic point here that it seems to be a hot job now. Just wouldn't necessarily think it would take a degree in Computer Science to do this. Math, definitely. Statistics, definitely. Traditional Comp Sci, not sure about that.
jyalai
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jyalai,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2015 | 12:50:19 PM
Re: Excel: 59% of respondents
I assume the term data science refers to the highly technical nature of data manipulation that, many times, falls into the business analyst's role.  When it comes to data manipulation, my experience is that Excel is still the most predominant tool used among non-IT business analysts, while more IT focused roles using data science use SQL.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 12:57:41 PM
Re: Excel: 59% of respondents
You mean just the sheer skills needed to mine terabytes and terabytes of raw data? I guess that makes sense as an IT type job, you won't learn that in Calculus or studying probability theory. Thanks for clarifying.
julesagomes
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julesagomes,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/20/2015 | 4:15:19 AM
Valuable Insights on the Skills
Agree that data science is hot in the technology space right now.  I enjoyed learning Spark & Scala myself this year.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 2:19:37 AM
Re: Valuable Insights on the Skills
"Agree that data science is hot in the technology space right now.  I enjoyed learning Spark & Scala myself this year."

Jules, so you are already equipped with necessary skills. Did you find anything (job/career) in a useful way with this new skills/tools.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 10:10:20 AM
More Meetings = More Money
Interesting about the correlation between meetings and salary. Data science is still probably a lot more art that science, so it's critical to be seen doing the role and contributing to the company's success. It makes sense that if you are seen doing that role, if you are making a noticable difference to the bottom line through data science, your salary will grow as you are recognized for those contributions.
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 6:08:33 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
Another possibility is that as one acquires supervisory responsibilities, he finds himself in more meetings whether he wants them or not; and as he gains more seniority, he finds himself more frequently in direct contact with consulting clients.  I doubt that participation in meetings per se increases one's earning capacity.

In short, More Money = More Meetings, not the other way around (the commutative property doesn't work in this case).
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 7:15:09 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
I agree that it isn't causal. But I'm not sure the supervisory issue exists in the specific case of a data scientist. In general, a supervisor is going to make more. In a highly specialized field, not necessarily so.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 9:48:28 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
Valid point. However don't you think more meetings will lead towards more money? Having more meetings will enable you to sell or market your product/service better. What is your idea?
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 10:26:51 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
We're talking about data analysts and statisticians (now fashionably grouped together as data scientists) here, not salespeople.  Admittedly, every self-employed person is also a salesman and the boss is always salesman in chief, but I was under the impression that the article was discussing meetings with managers and colleagues (the usual sort that employers insist on to make sure that the work stays coordinated).  Meetings with customers are in a different category and most analysts (other than independent consultants) don't make sales calls.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 10:00:22 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
@Jries "I doubt that participation in meetings per se increases one's earning capacity".

I agree that in my opinion these kind of meetings have anything to do with increase in your financial status. Its a job years and your experience that will get it high. With seniority responsibility increases and you are paid according to your seniority or service structure. Initially in job you are an operator/ worker and later supervisor and than manager and hierchy goes up. With the seniority your pay also goes with it. What is your opinion. I hope I have got your point right?

jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2015 | 10:31:46 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
I think that was my point.  Senior professionals, especially those with supervisory responsibilities (not all senior analysts have them), tend to both make more money and spend more time in meetings.  But attending meetings does not cause data scientists or most other professionals to earn more money.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2015 | 2:52:00 AM
Re: More Meetings = More Money

@Jries very true. But the hunger of making more money never ends in an individual. We have witnessed many individuals switch their jobs to earm more money. And many firms try to get a good supervisor out of other firms by offering him good package then what he was already earning. I think in one sense its good for individual but what about company and its loyality. What is your opinion?

jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
11/27/2015 | 12:38:51 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
Such would be the nature of the free market (which is not entirely free, but...).  Loyalty and stability are good things, but as Chesty Puller said long ago, loyalty up never exceeds loyalty down; and the latter appears to be seen as not in keeping with the currently fashionable investor-centric business model,.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 8:57:07 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
@nomii true. With the experience you will know how to handle a meeting in an effective way. The success of the meeting always depends on what you talk and how you convince them towards your product/service. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2015 | 8:59:22 PM
Re: More Meetings = More Money
However I have also seen failures even when the higher management conducts meetings. I think the success depends on your personality and soft skills too. What do you say?
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