Demand and Salaries for Data Scientists Continue to Climb

Data-science job openings are expanding faster than the number of technologists looking for them, says job-search firm Indeed

2 min read
Illustration of data scientists
Illustration: iStockphoto

Back in August, a LinkedIn analysis concluded that the United States is facing a significant shortage of data scientists, a big change from a surplus in 2015. This week, job-search firm Indeed reported that its data indicates the shortage is getting worse: While more job seekers are interested in data-science jobs, the number of job postings from employers has been rising faster than the number of interested applicants.

According to Indeed, job postings for data scientists as a share of all postings were up 29 percent in December 2018 compared with December 2017, while searches were only up around 14 percent.

“The bargaining power in data science remains with the job seekers,” Andrew Flowers, Indeed economist, stated in a press release.

What exactly are data scientists? Indeed indicated that people working as data scientists typically have degrees in computer science, statistics, or a quantitative social science, along with some training in statistical modeling, machine learning, and programming.

Salaries for data scientists are up as well. Average salary in the area surrounding Houston, which topped the 2018 list when adjusted for the cost of living, climbed 16.5 percent since 2017, while the average salary in the San Francisco Bay Area, No. 2 on the adjusted list, jumped 13.7 percent over Indeed’s 2017 numbers. Only the Washington, D.C., area saw a drop. The table below shows average salaries, both raw and adjusted, for the most active regions, and the percent change in raw salaries since a year ago.

Salaries for Data Scientists

Location Average salary (with cost of living adjustment), 2018 Average salary (no adjustment), 2018 Percent change since 2017
Houston-Woodlands-Sugarland, Texas $123,010 $137,648 16.5%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. $121,193 $166,519 13.7%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. $119,141 $146,088 13.7%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. $110,171 $117,002 12.7%
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. $109,668 $153,535 3.8%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. $109,179 $144,444 NA
New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y./N.J. $108,681 $146,067 7.5%
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass./N.H. $108,596 $132,922 6.3%
Austin-Round Rock, Texas $108,410 $119,359 5.8%
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Ill./Ind,/Wis. $108,141 $123,713 15.8%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif. $105,355 $136,645 3.0%
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Pa./N.J./Del./Md. $104,991 $122,524 3.6%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas $104,947 $115,862 17.2%
St Louis, Mo. $103,694 $103,798 3.8%
San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. $99,852 $127,910 NA
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria D.C./Va./Md./W.Va. $99,255 $130,222 -5.6%
Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa $98,021 $102,138 NA
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md. $95,751 $113,178 NA
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. $86,543 $95,111 NA
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Special Report: Top Tech 2021

After months of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, we can all expect a much better year

1 min read
Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro

Last January in this space we wrote that “technology doesn't really have bad years." But 2020 was like no other year in recent memory: Just about everything suffered, including technology. One shining exception was biotech, with the remarkably rapid development of vaccines capable of stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's roundup of anticipated tech advances includes an examination of the challenges in manufacturing these vaccines. And it describes how certain technologies used widely during the pandemic will likely have far-reaching effects on society, even after the threat subsides. You'll also find accounts of technical developments unrelated to the pandemic that the editors of IEEE Spectrum expect to generate news this year.

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