To help keep your finger on the pulse of data science and how it impacts your business, we often cover the human side of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) here on the APEX of Innovation. That includes the important role citizen data scientists play in your business and how new technologies are opening up data analytics to more job roles.

Below we look at the latest job requirements and skillsets for data scientists while revealing some benchmarks on salaries across a range of levels for the position. For reference, recruiting site Glassdoor describes the role of the data scientist as follows:

Data scientists utilize their analytical, statistical, and programming skills to collect, analyze, and interpret large data sets. They then use this information to develop data-driven solutions to difficult business challenges. Data scientists commonly have a bachelor’s degree in statistics, math, computer science, or economics. Data scientists have a wide range of technical competencies including: statistics and machine learning, coding languages, databases, machine learning, and reporting technologies.

Some common data scientist responsibilities noted by Glassdoor include:

  • Working with stakeholders throughout the organization to identify opportunities for leveraging company data to drive business solutions.
  • Mining and analyzing data from company databases to drive optimization and improvement of product development, marketing techniques, and business strategies.
  • Assessing the effectiveness and accuracy of new data sources and gathering techniques.
  • Developing custom data models and algorithms to apply to data sets.

Glassdoor also cites the latest qualifications that companies are seeking for data scientist positions, including strong problem-solving skills, experience using statistical computer languages and creating data architectures, as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills for coordinating across teams. You can find the complete list, as well as other critical requirements for the role, on Glassdoor.

Higher Demand, Higher Pay

If you think the market for hiring good data scientists isn’t competitive, think again. There’s more competition than ever for landing the best and brightest data scientists. According to a recent eFinancial Careers article, the pool of companies seeking to fill data scientist positions is expanding beyond technology, finance, and larger corporations to include strategy consulting firms, such as McKinsey and Bain.

The article points to the opening in 2014 of McKinsey Solutions, the firm’s technology, data, and analytics unit, as an example. Today, the unit represents one of the firm’s “biggest recruitment areas” for 2019, according to the article. Similar efforts include Bain Analytics and Boston Consulting’s BCG Gamma.

From a salary perspective, the numbers can vary. The eFinancial Careers article includes a chart with examples of data scientist salaries paid by McKinsey based on recent H1B visa data. Depending on the level of experience and the position, salaries can easily exceed $100,000 USD per year. For example, a data analyst position has an average salary of $72,000 USD annually, while a Principal Data Scientist can earn as much as $200,000 USD per year.

As the data scientist role becomes pervasive at companies across all industries, it’s critical for executives and business leaders to keep up with this fast-moving position.

For another view, check out this recent KDnuggets post on the Top 13 Skills for a Rockstar Data Scientist.