Colorado School of Mines Graduate School Insights

Salary information and career prospects for data scientists

The Harvard Business Review called data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century,” all the way back in 2012.

Glassdoor has named data scientist the No. 2 best job in America for 2021, after holding the top spot four years running, from 2016 to 2019, and taking No. 3 in 2020. That’s all no surprise, given the median base salary of $107,801 and a job satisfaction rating of 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5.

LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, which spotlights jobs experiencing tremendous growth, ranked data scientist at No. 3, with 37 percent annual growth since 2015 and average pay of $143,000 per year.

The data science field has topped the report three years running, and LinkedIn says it’s a specialty that continues to grow across all industries. “Our data indicates some of this growth can likely be attributed to the evolution of previously existing jobs, like statisticians, and increased emphasis on data in academic research,” the report says.

Skills unique to the job include machine learning, data science, Python, R and Apache Spark, and the top industries hiring data scientists are information technology and services, computer software, internet, financial services and higher education.

Data engineer also made LinkedIn’s list at No. 8, with 33 percent annual growth since 2015. “Data has quickly become every company’s most valuable resource, and they need savvy engineers that can build infrastructure to keep it organized,” the report says. “Industries from retail to automotive are snapping up this hard-to-hire talent.”

Data specialists were among the tech positions in high demand across North America, according to human resources consulting company Robert Half, along with business intelligence analysts and machine learning specialists.

According to the company’s 2020 salary guide, data jobs were well compensated in the United States. Here’s a sampling of job titles and median annual salaries:

  • Big data engineer: $163,250
  • AI architect: $143,750
  • Data architect: $141,250
  • Data scientist: $125,250
  • Data modeler: $101,750
  • Business intelligence analyst: $110,250
  • Data analyst / report writer: $100,250
  • Data warehouse analyst: $99,250

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