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Data Science Careers Outlook

UW Online Collaboratives August 1, 2013
A photo of a woman using a computer alongside her colleagues.

A shortage of data scientists means the employment outlook for professionals with the required knowledge and technical skills is extremely positive. In the article “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century,” Harvard Business Review noted that “the shortage of data scientists is becoming a serious constraint in some sectors.”

IBM agrees. It predicts that between now and 2020, demand for data scientists and data engineers will grow by 39 percent. We’re already seeing this trend play out in the number of jobs being posted. Around 2,000 data science jobs were posted in March 2014; in February 2016, that number swelled to nearly 10,000 postings, according to CEB TalentNeuron.

Data science careers are growing in virtually every sector: manufacturing, construction, transportation, warehousing, communication, science, health care, computer science, information technology, retail, sales, marketing, finance, insurance, education, government, security, law enforcement, and more.

Data Science Job Titles and Salaries

Job titles in this field vary widely—but salaries are consistently high. According to Glassdoor, the annual median salary for a data scientist is $121,353.

In his article, Big Data Salaries: An Inside Look, founder Frank Lo conducted extensive research to identify the following job titles and salary ranges:

  • Data analyst—entry level | Annual salary: $50,000–$75,000
  • Data analyst—experienced | Annual salary: $65,000–$110,000
  • Data science/analytics manager—1 to 3 direct reports | Annual salary: $90,000–$140,000
  • Database administrator—entry level | Annual salary: $50,000–$70,000
  • Database administrator—experienced | Annual salary: $70,000–$120,000
  • Data engineer—junior/generalist | Annual salary: $70,000–$115,000
  • Data engineer—domain expert | Annual salary: $100,000–$165,000

Additional job titles related to data scientist include:

  • Data mining engineer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data architect
  • Hadoop engineer
  • Data warehouse architect
  • Commercial intelligence manager
  • Competitive intelligence analyst
  • Consultant, strategic business and technology intelligence
  • Manager of market intelligence
  • Director of enterprise strategy
  • Director of global intelligence

See our Data Science Salaries page for more information on income and how it is affected by experience, region, company size, and other factors.

Advance Your Data Science Career

Big data presents big opportunities—for you and for your potential employers. With a University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Data Science or Graduate Certificate in Data Science, you can open new doors to professional advancement and personal satisfaction. As a student in the UW Data Science online programs, you will be able to use the skills you learn immediately to solve real-world challenges in your own organization. Upon graduation, you will enjoy expanded career opportunities in this emerging field.


What’s Next?

Thinking more and more about a University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Data Science or a Graduate Certificate in Data Science?

Start your journey.

Curious about what you’d learn in UW Data Science courses? See the curriculum.

Have questions about University of Wisconsin Data Science? Contact an adviser at 608-800-6762 or

Programs: Data Science