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January 24, 2017

Demand, Salaries Grow for Data Scientists

(Mini bear/Shutterstock)

Big data continues to dominate the U.S. job market with data scientists again heading a list of the top 50 jobs in American during 2017.

The employment site Glassdoor reported that data scientists are again the most sought after candidates followed by DevOps engineers and data technicians. The annual rankings weigh factors such as earning potential, job satisfaction and the number of job openings. The survey released on Tuesday (Jan. 24) also highlights the continuing skills gap as companies scramble to find qualified data science candidates and university graduate programs in data science ramp up.

Glassdoor, Mill Valley, Calif., reported that data scientists are commanding a median base salary of $110,000, the same average compensation as DevOps specialists that are proving critical to enterprise digital transformations. Based on earning potential, overall job satisfaction and job openings, data scientist recorded the survey’s highest overall job score: 4.8 on a five-point scale.

Data scientists also registered the highest job satisfaction rating, 4.4 on the five-point scale. Meanwhile, data engineers currently averaging about $106,000 came in with a job satisfaction rating of 4.3.

Indeed, four of the top five spots in the Glassdoor rankings were data or technology related. Only “tax manager” cracked the top five, followed by “analytics manager” in the fifth spot. Analytics specialists also came in with the highest median base salary of $112,000, the jobs site reported.

“Any organization today with a mobile app, web presence or digitized data are struggling to fill jobs like data scientists, software engineers and mobile developers,” noted Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist.

Database administrator’s ranked seventh on the 2017 best jobs list, with more than 2,800 current vacancies and median base salary for new hires estimated at $93,000.

While human resources managers topped this list of job openings (4,339), data scientist job openings are estimated to be approaching 4,200 positions.

While demand and salaries for software engineers remain relatively high, with more than 17,000 job openings paying more than $100,000 to start, median base salaries for electrical engineers have dropped to median base of just $78,000. (Base salaries for other engineering positions are even lower.) That decline reflects the wholesale shift of the global electronics industry to Asia.

Meanwhile, data science and software development continue to drive U.S. technology hiring as virtualization software penetrates computing, storage and networking in data-driven organizations.

Glassdoor’s Chamberlain added that this year’s job rankings also reflect the “growing trend toward workplace automation,” meaning the highest paying jobs increasingly require big data and analytics skills. Along with the U.S. technology sector, demand for those skills is soaring in sectors such as financial services and health care, the job site noted.

As demand for data scientists and analytics experts continues to outpace supply, technology companies have joined with top U.S. universities to establish graduate programs in data science. The latest example comes from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), which last week introduced a data and analytics tracks to its big data-training portfolio.


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