Rise in Data Scientists

At Smith Hanley Associates our clients continue to prioritize filling Data Scientist openings. With the wealth of digital data in the marketplace we project that Data Scientist openings will continue to increase exponentially in 2018.

What do employers want Data Scientists to do?

Data Scientists are hired to uncover patterns in unstructured data that will be used in problem solving. Some applications being sought are component failure prediction (from sensor data), voice recognition and image and handwriting interpretation.

What are required skills for Data Scientists?

Data Scientists must adapt to new technologies such as Python, Spark and R and have enough computer science background to do advanced programming. They must have a college degree in math, statistics or similar quantitative discipline in order to understand how to model and analyze data. Domain knowledge will make the Data Scientist truly valuable in problem solving within their industry.

The Data Scientist Tool Box

According to a 2017 survey by Rexer Analytics, over 70% of Data Scientists used R in the past year, over 50% used Python and approximately 30% used Hadoop, Hive and Pig. This survey also revealed that only about 20-25% of Data Scientists used SAS in 2017. What does this mean? The Data Science space has dramatically moved towards using open sourced technologies. SAS, a once ubiquitous tool in all analytics, is being slowly phased out,. But for 2018 about a quarter of Data Scientists still use SAS and our clients still seek out this skill set. Although “Big Data” technologies such as Hadoop, Hive and Pig are becoming commonplace on position requirements, only around 20-25% of the talent pool actually had experience utilizing these technologies in 2017. For current Data Scientists and people aspiring to call themselves one, emphasis should be placed on learning and mastering R, Python and Big Data technologies to make themselves marketable in this competitive landscape.

The Data Scientist Salary

Data Scientist salaries have a broad range. According to Glassdoor a Data Scientist yearly salary is anywhere between $ 92,000 and $168,000 with an average across the country of $128,549. Some of the factors for the broadness of this  range are: qualifications, computer tool box, years of experience, depth of industry experience, level of responsibilities, market conditions, and company locations.  Yes, cost of living does mean Silicon Valley Data Scientists make more money. Once candidates become more specialized and have more years of experience, their base salary can rise very quickly to the $185,000 to $200,000 level.  Great compensation and great job satisfaction. Glassdoor reported that Data scientists earned 4.4 out of 5 on job satisfaction and 4.8 out of 5 on overall job score.


Interested in pursing this career path?  Contact one of the Data Scientist recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

Paul Chatlos,, 203.319-4304

Nancy Darian,, 312.589-7582

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