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Explore different Data Science career paths and how to get started

Data Scientist Job Market

[Webinar] Data Science Job Market

Let’s take a look at the Data Science Job Market. This post will give the insight you need to make a decision on whether you want to consider Data Scientist as a career path. We will cover the following topics:

  • Skills
  • Demand by Geo
  • Requirement of years of Experience
  • Salary
  • Competition
  • Growth Opportunities

Job Market: Skills Required

We’ve introduced the data science learning path in the previous chapter (link). The chart below shows the top skills required for data scientists in the job market. Here’re a couple observations:

  • Python and SQL are very important skills
  • Big Data skills are important for data scientists (e.g., Spark, Hadoop, AWS)
  • Data Scientists need to know popular ML frameworks such as Tensorflow and PyTorch
  • Data Scientists also need to be familiar with different databases and storage systems

Job Market: Demand by Geolocation

If you do a quick google or linkedin search, you will find lots of Data Scientist job opportunities. At the time of writing this article, there were 12,909 DS jobs in U.S. alone on LinkedIn. The Canadian DS job market is usually 1/10 of the U.S market which is proportional to the population size.

This is how data science jobs are distributed in Canada:

  • Greater Toronto Area has most amount of data science jobs
  • Vancouver area and Montreal hold the 2nd and 3rd position

Job Market: Demand by Years of Experience

Many job applicants may have concerns about the experience requirements. As they read more job postings they realize that many jobs ask for 3+ years of work experience in the data field. WeCloudData did some thorough analysis on the job market data and discovered some good news for junior data scientists.

  • First of all, about 1/3 of the data science jobs require less than 2 years of experience which is great news for begineers
  • Secondly, 1/3 of the data science jobs require intermediate level of experience between 2 and 4 years. WeCloudData suggest job applicants to also apply for this type of jobs because often times hiring managers could find the best candidates that meet all the requirements so they may as well consider junior talents who can present strong potential.
  • Lastly, there are about 1/3 of the DS jobs out there that require 4-5 minimum experience. Those are senior data scientist jobs that require lots of experience and track record. Those will be the best paying DS jobs and should be your goal for future growth.

Job Market: Salary

In this study, WeCloudData leveraged data points from many data sources such as Indeed, Glassdoor, scraped data, as well as our internal student success database. In the chart below, we compare average salary and salary range among different type of jobs including:

  • Data Scientist
  • Software Engineer
  • Data Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Data/Business Analyst
  • Database Administrator
  • Web Developer
  • Finaical Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Financial Services Representative

As you can see, Data Scientist earns highest salary on average in Canada. A close second is Software Engineer that has a wider ranges. Data Engineer jobs also get paid very close to Data Scientist but the range is even wider.

The conclusion is that it could be a pretty good ROI for those who want to switch from Finance, Accounting, Financial Services, or Web Development, and other professions to data science as you will usually notice a significant pay raise.

Of course, salary should be NOT the only consideration. Working a job that’s the right fit for you is even more important.

Salary range information for different jobs (Canada)

The good news for data scientist to-be is that there seem to be a lot of growth opportunities. Jr. Data Scientists earn an average salary of $100k in the U.S. and $87k in Canada. Seniors Data Scientist get compensated a lot more: $101k in Canada and $135k in the U.S.. Hope that gives you enough motivation!

WeCloudData’s graduates earn an average salary of $78k in 2020 and $83k in 2021 (as the job market picked up from the Pandemic). Keep in mind that these are the 1st data jobs so most of them are junior level data scientist jobs and in that regard the students are doing extremely well. The numbers reported on Glassdoor and Indeed usually don’t contain first job salary and contain senior data scientists as well so they are inflated.

Job Market: Competitions

The Data Science job market is heated. It’s becoming more and more competitive and that raised the bar of entry as well. The reality today is that the market is saturated with junior level data scientists who have taken online certification courses or graduated from bootcamps and universities who usually don’t have relevant experience. But 60-70% of the time businesses are looking for intermediate to senior level data scientists. We’d definitely recommend anyone who wants to get the foot in the door to spend effort on building portfolio projects in order to stand out. If you want to know how WeCloudData can help by offering real company project experience, go check out our portfolio project course offerings.

In a recent survey WeCloudData did, we found that many people we surveyed struggle to get noticed by employers due to lack of the right skills, lack of experience, as well as projects that they could demo. Very few people (4%) had received more than 5 interviews in 2020 (it’s getting better in 2021). That tells you how tough the job market could be.

Compared the hundreds of sample data points we collected, WeCloudData’s graduates are performing significantly better with an average number of 5.4 interviews compared to an average of 2.38 from the sample data. Our graduates also landed significantly more interviews. For example, 42% of our graudates who have worked on real projects received more than 5 interviews on their own compared to a low 4%. That tells us how important real project experience should be.

Job Market: Growth Opportunities

As said in the Data Science Career Path chapter, Data Scientists have many paths to go down in the future. From a compensation perspective, WeCloudData also has some statistics they it can share.

Students in our experienced category (who have past work experience before joining the Data Science Bootcamp) see a 67% increase in salary after landing their first data scientist job. In 18 months after starting their first data jobs, they also receive an average of 33% salary increase. This is very encouraging news for career switchers.

Within 18 months after landing their first data jobs, 58% received salary increase with an average of 18% raise (including new graduates) and 25% of them got promoted.

Here are some real examples and hopefully that help you understand what your first few years as a data scientist might look like compensation wise.

I hope this post gives you useful insight about the Data Science job market and growth opportunities. An advice we would like to give is:

  • Don’t get too excited yet. Do your research to decide which is a better path for you. Not everyone is going to be become a data scientist. There’re many different data roles. So talk to many people and learn from their experiences and decide which path is a good fit for you.

Can’t wait to get started? Read the next chapter to learn how to get started with data science.

Check out other career guides

Our Career Guide provides all the resources you will need to help you get started in navigating data careers. We include free resources, guides, and tools to help you get started.

WeCloudData

WeCloudData is the leading data science and AI academy. Our blended learning courses have helped thousands of learners and many enterprises make successful leaps in their data journeys.

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