European data science salaries revealed in new report

It’s no secret: the data science hiring market is extremely fast-paced, it’s candidate driven and is showing no sign of slowing down. As more investment is allocated towards leveraging machine learning and AI technologies to support business processes, the need for the right people increases dramatically. Data science salaries are reflective of these developments.

A recent report, focusing on mean and median data science salaries across Europe, from data science recruiting firm Big Cloud, has revealed new insights.  The report covers a breakdown of salaries of data science professionals, from students to C-Level, across Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

The highest data science salaries can be found in Switzerland, with an average annual data science salary of CHF.115,475 (approximately £91,986 at time of writing). The Netherlands, at €68,880 (£61,840 at time of writing), and the UK averaging £59,781, are next in the salary league table.

While acknowledging that the salaries are partially reflective of higher costs of living, relative to some of the other countries surveyed, Big Data said that in Switzerland, Netherlands the UK and Germany, data science professionals are working in a more mature technological market. In these countries, both start-ups and large corporations alike are carrying out advanced research. Investment in companies in these countries is extremely high too, as VC’s see higher return. Clearly, data science salaries in these countries reflect this.

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But this brings us to staff retention. Big Cloud said that many managers are unsure how to keep data scientists once they have hired them. The report found that 58% of experienced data scientists have been at their current place of work for one year or less. A mere 20 per cent have been in the current role two years or longer.  Big Cloud suggested that this high staff turnover rate is “typical of a new, exciting, and demand driven market”.  It explained that data science work is often project based, and requires constant learning of new skills and technologies, and that “this is something professionals seem keen to seek out by keeping their career options open.”

However, it isn’t all bad news for employers. There has been what Big Cloud calls “a remarkable” shift in the number of  people seeking roles working on meaningful projects in 2019. It says that this new trend has overtaken the desire to work more flexibly, as recorded in previous years. This could be due to more companies offering flexible working patterns, remote working, and also a growing interest in wanting to work on projects that have an impact on social good.

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71% of all respondents are currently working in established businesses. This is indicative of how European businesses have been quick to adopt and thrive within Data Science. However, all those questioned said they were open to working at a startup in the future, which is encouraging news for the blossoming start-up scenes in cities such as London, Paris and Berlin where there is need for these experienced workers.

There has also been a rise in people entering into the profession following the Big Data and AI boom. 21% of participants were recorded as having 10 years or more experience in the field, however, the majority are relatively new to the field. 30% of respondents stated they have two to three years’ experience.

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Big Cloud speculates that companies will begin to see an increased talent pool in coming years?

Big Cloud Founder and CEO Matt Reaney said: “We work in an extremely competitive market and companies need to stay ahead of the competition to attract and retain the best talent possible – to do that you need to understand the needs and desires of companies and candidates on a personable level.”

>See also: 2020 IT Salary Guide – what’s your position worth?

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Michael Baxter

.Michael Baxter is a tech, economic and investment journalist. He has written four books, including iDisrupted and Living in the age of the jerk. He is the editor of and the host of the ESG...

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