The Supply And Demand Of Data Scientists: What The Surveys Say
The results of two surveys about data scientists were released this week, covering both the supply and demand sides of this hot new profession, “the sexiest job of the 21st Century.”
On the demand side—the challenges of recruiting, training, and integrating data scientists—we have the MIT Sloan Management Review and SAS fifth annual survey of 2,719 business executives, managers and analytics professionals worldwide. On the supply side—the talent available and what salaries it commands—we have the second annual Burtch Works Study, surveying 371 data scientists in the U.S.
The median salary of a junior level data scientist is $91,000 but those managing a team of ten or more data scientists earn base salaries of well over $250,000, according to Burtch Works. Supply is still tight and top managers enjoyed over the last year an eight percent increase in base salary and median bonuses over $56,000. When changing jobs, data scientists see a 16 percent increase in their median base salary.
Who are these data scientists that are so much in demand? The vast majority have at least a master’s degree and probably a Ph.D., and one in three are foreign born. But with a younger generation of data scientists, freshly minted from more than 100 graduate programs worldwide, the median years of experience dropped from 9 in 2014 to 6 in 2015.
As data science is increasingly adopted by all companies in all industries, the proportion of data scientists employed by startups—the firms that have dominated the application of big data analytics— declined from 29 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2015.
It is the mainstreaming of data science and the specific challenges of acquiring and benefiting from this still-scarce talent pool that is the focus of the MIT Sloan Management Review survey. Four in ten (43%) companies report their lack of appropriate analytical skills as a key challenge but only one in five organizations has changed its approach to attracting and retaining analytics talent.
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The Supply And Demand Of Data Scientists: What The Surveys Say – Gil Press @FORBES