From being called “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” by Harvard Business Review 1 to “Best Job in America” by Glassdoor,2 the highly regarded data scientist seems to be the career to strive for these days. With a median base salary of $116,000 and more than 1,700 jobs available,2 data scientists are needed by many types of companies including those specializing in social networks, search engines, automotive, finance and engineering. Below are the top data science companies to work for, based on employee reviews.
If you are a Facebook user, you are a participant in Facebook’s data science exploration. Each time you interact on Facebook your data is being recorded and used to recognize patterns so responses can be delivered to you in a certain way.
Jeff Hammerbacher, who was hired in 2006, founded the Facebook data team. He saw an opportunity to build a complete data system and optimize it at every point. The team “builds scalable platforms for the collection, management and analysis of data.”3 They then leverage these platforms to drive informed decisions, enhance user experience and conduct social science research. Facebook’s data team also publishes research on its website.
The average salary for an in-demand data scientist at Facebook is $134,348, but salaries can range from $100,000 to $180,000.4 These figures can increase with the addition of bonuses.
According to a 2015 report by RJMetrics, Microsoft employs twice as many data scientists as Facebook5. Being a data scientist at Microsoft might entail machine learning techniques, user modeling, automatically enriching data sets with new features, experimenting with algorithms and/or improving user experiences.
A data scientist at Microsoft makes an average base salary of $119,459, but salaries can span from $94,000 to $140,000 and increase with bonuses.6
Data scientists at LinkedIn conduct applied research to fuel data-driven products that include search, social graph and machine learning systems. Being the largest professional online network in the world, with data coming from more than 380 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is able to collect enormous amounts of data. The data science team members work to improve the relevance of LinkedIn products, contribute to the open source community and actively pursue research.
Reported salaries for LinkedIn data scientists range from $110,000 to $269,645, with an average base salary of $138,798, which can increase with bonuses.7
The data science group at IBM creates transformative and impactful solutions for client problems that involve social good, human capital, healthcare or management. They also publish a fair amount of research, which can cover a wide range of areas including mathematical sciences, artificial intelligence, statistics as well as knowledge discovery and data mining.
IBM’s new Watson Health initiative is currently bringing together data scientists, researchers, designers and engineers to transform global healthcare. As a data scientist for Watson Health, you could develop analytics platforms or products for the Healthcare Cloud and contribute to this pioneering program.8 A typical data scientist at IBM can make anywhere from $75,000 to $165,000, with an average base salary of $110,823, which does not include bonuses.9
Whether you decide to work for one of the above organizations, or one of the many other data science companies, the need for data scientists is everywhere. If you are inquisitive with a strong math and statistical background, familiar with database design and implementation, and you have a baseline proficiency in scripting language, you might want to consider this career path and pursue a degree in data science.