It is common knowledge that the data scientist role is one of the most sought-after jobs in the country. Naturally, the salary reflects this demand. Studies find that data scientists earn 2-3 times the remuneration earned by a software programmer for the same level of experience. What’s more! There is enough demand in the market that a data scientist can command a 60-100% salary jump when they change jobs! 

Important Things To Know About Data Scientist Salary

In an earlier blog post, we had written about salary trends for data scientists in India. From research, it is clear that data scientists far out-earn their counterparts in various other IT and non-IT roles. In this blog post, we’ll focus on which industry pays data scientists best, and how you can find a job in such a high-paying industry.

What Is The Average Data Scientist Salary?

According to the LinkedIn community of over 3500 members, the average data scientist salary is Rs. 950,000. The range is between Rs. 330,000 to Rs. 20,00,000. This number somewhat agrees with the findings of PayScale as well, which says the median salary is Rs. 813,531.

Source: LinkedIn

What Is The Industry-wise Break Up Of Data Scientist Salary?

As the field of data science is maturing, organisations across industries are hiring for these roles. A quick Google search will reveal that there are data scientist roles in almost every industry — from IT services major Accenture, oil and gas multinational Shell, Big Four tech company Apple, home-grown fin-tech startup Paytm, to indigenous newcomers like Bewakoof and Urban Company. But not all industries pay equally.

According to the LinkedIn community, the top three industries for data science jobs are Retail, consumer goods, and finance. In retail, salaries can go up to Rs. 31,00,000 per annum. For senior roles between 6-14 years of experience, finance, IT services and corporate services industries also pay over Rs. 30,00,000.

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Source: LinkedIn
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Source: LinkedIn
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Source: LinkedIn

Studies show that startups and e-commerce firms are more serious about hiring data scientists and therefore willing to pay more. For instance, In spite of already having strong data science teams, both Swiggy and Big Basket say they are looking to hire more data scientists in the next couple of years. 

How Does Work Experience Impact Data Science Salary?

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Source: PayScale

The interesting insight from the data on PayScale is that nearly 75% of all data scientists surveyed are either freshers or early career professionals. While this is natural for an emerging field like data science, it is also indicative of the fact that there will be greater demand for specialists and highly qualified experts in the years to come. 

  • If you are a fresher, you can build a career in data science from the ground up, becoming a specialist in a programming language, tool or technology. For example, you can be an industry-agnostic Python programming specialist.
  • If you are an experienced professional, you can leverage your industry/domain expertise and pivot to a data science career as a specialist in your business area. For example, you can be a technology agnostic credit scoring expert.

How to Command the Best Data Science Salary?

From our experience helping Springboard’s data science students find jobs — as part of our job guarantee program — we have noticed that three key elements shape the salary you are likely to command.

1. Skillset and domain expertise

Having a clear understanding of data science applications, hands-on experience with tools, and real-world projects in your portfolio will boost your salary. If you have experience and in-depth understanding of any industry such as retail or finance, you will be able to command higher pay in that industry.

2. Ability to compete

Even though there are thousands of open positions, the data scientist job is not easy to get. It tends to be a challenging and high-performing role, with organisations looking only for serious candidates. Professionals who can demonstrate that they have the technical and behavioural skills to shine in data science tend to command better pay. 

3. Being at the right place

Fortunately or unfortunately, the highest paying data science jobs are still in Bangalore and Gurgaon. While Chennai, Pune, Mumbai offer competitive salaries, if you’re in any other city, you might be disadvantaged. Consider moving to either of the data science hubs for better prospects. Remember that your career doesn’t end with your first job. One of the biggest mistakes young professionals make is worrying about the present and losing the vision of the future. As an emerging field, data science is just gaining foot in India. As the hype settles, newer trends will emerge, and everyone will get better clarity about what a data science career means. For that, you must prepare now.

Upskill yourself with online courses in data science and related areas. Consider Springboard’s 1:1 mentoring-led project-driven online learning program in data science. We not only help you learn data science but also coach and mentor you to get the best jobs and command top salary!