Some sectors of the economy grow so fast that industry-wide compensation data is practically outdated by the time it’s published. We see this occur most often in technical fields where demand outpaces supply by a wide margin.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science are prime examples. Companies from all corners of the business world are exploring ways to leverage these technologies to create efficiencies and add value.
Because of the competition for talent and the outsized returns from “A” players in these roles, salaries are rising exponentially. Below is what we’ve seen firsthand for jobs that we’ve placed in 2019 and 2020.
Data Science Graduates Earn Six Figures
College graduates with data science degrees and less than one year of professional experience – or perhaps only some project work – are being offered salaries starting at $120k per year.
Part of the constraint facing companies is that data science is a relatively new degree that colleges are offering. So there aren’t a lot of professionals with extensive data science pedigrees.
For data scientists with up to five years of experience, we see annual salaries range from $120k – $150k.
Meanwhile, PhDs with five years of professional experience earn around $150k per year, and PhDs with 15-20 years of work history usually earn between $180k – $250k per year. These people typically fill strategic roles to help companies consider how to best apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to their businesses.
On the high end of that range are people with stronger interpersonal skills who can serve as consultants and work closely with clients. We see on average a 20% premium for these candidates compared to their counterparts who stick to programming only.
Engineers With Machine Learning Expertise Command Higher Wages
While data scientists create complex algorithms to analyze large data sets, data engineers are responsible for enabling data to flow to the machines that analyze the data.
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a big shift occur with software developers migrating to data engineering roles. A starting salary for a data engineer could be near $120k per year, but if someone also has a lean toward machine learning, the annual compensation can rise to $140k. With eight years of professional experience, data engineers can earn $180k per year (or more). Common programming languages for data engineers include Python, R, MATLAB, SPARK, and Hive. Also, employers typically require advanced degrees for these positions.
Even during the 2020 downturn that began in March, companies posted these roles as frequently as they did pre-COVID. We fully expect this trend to continue as these technologies expand to touch all industries. Companies currently on the AI sideline will rush to keep up with their competitors. This FOMO will build an even larger demand for talent, and it will take years for the supply to catch up.
Are you looking for ways to add AI to your business? Are you currently searching for data scientists, data engineers, or machine learning experts? We can help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.