2023 Data Scientist Employment Report

2023 Data Scientist Employment Report

The breakfast of data scientists might be data, algorithms, and problem-solving, but the meal they serve up is invaluable to businesses. Just look at Netflix, which saves about $1 billion annually on user retention due to data-driven decisions. Data scientists are value creators, transforming raw data into strategic assets, and directly contributing to a business's bottom line. 

But we don’t all have the resources, reach, and reputation of Netflix. For many organizations, finding and retaining skilled data scientists is challenging. Demand exceeds supply for these professionals, sparking fierce competition. Moreover, understanding what they look for in a role, what motivates them and what factors keep them in a company isn’t always straightforward.  

This report delves into these critical questions. We surveyed our data scientist network to provide insights that can help businesses attract and retain the talent they need to thrive in the data-driven economy. 

We cover: 

  • How do data scientists search for a new role? 

  • What matters most to data scientists when applying for a new role? 

  • How important is company culture to data scientists?  

  • What career goals do data scientists have, and how vital is employer support in reaching them? 

  • What technical skills do data scientists want to learn?  

Let’s dive in.  

How do data scientists search for a new role?  

62% of data scientists usually dive into their job hunt on LinkedIn. However, a quarter prefers to kickstart their search at face-to-face networking events. 

What's the takeaway here? Data scientists still use recruitment agencies, social media and online job boards to search for roles. But LinkedIn is your golden ticket to connect with data science talent. So, it's time to polish up your LinkedIn profile, make it compelling for the data-savvy, and keep those job postings coming. Remember, your team can be great brand ambassadors - they're 14 times more likely to share your content on LinkedIn.  

But don't stop at the digital world. Traditional, face-to-face networking is still a hot ticket. Participate in, or better yet, host your own industry events and workshops. This will give you the chance to mingle with potential candidates and create meaningful relationships that could open the door to new hires.  

What matters most to data scientists when applying for a new role? 

Our research unveils that nearly one-third (29%) of data scientists are making career choices that align with their personal values and goals. This trend is surging across all professional sectors, with 60% of global employees actively questing for workplaces that mirror their personal convictions. 

Digging deeper, we discovered that, while pay and benefits still hold the key for 27% of respondents, the spotlight is increasingly shifting towards life outside office confines. 21% of data scientists place a high premium on flexibility when mulling over job opportunities. In the aftermath of the pandemic, a work-life balance revolution has been sparked - 63% of participants in a recent FlexJobs survey are ready to trade a portion of their income for a more balanced existence. 

What can we learn from this? The job market is experiencing a significant transformation: data scientists are re-calibrating their career trajectories to sync with their personal values. For employers looking to rope in top-tier talent, it's not enough to simply echo these values - they must be lived and breathed within the organization. 

Moreover, it's clear that while lucrative pay and benefits continue to be significant, data professionals are being drawn to organizations that place a high value on their team's health and well-being through flexible work arrangements. The time has come for employers to rethink their strategies, make their workplace a haven for work-life balance, and let their actions speak louder than their words.  

How important is company culture to data scientists?  

Our findings reveal that 95% of data professionals scrutinize a company's culture during their job search - a clear nod to the importance of value alignment. But let's dive deeper. What aspects of culture are they spotlighting?

Drawing from the above trends, it's no surprise that work-life balance is a key focus. In fact, 40% of respondents identified it as a central aspect of a company's culture, reinforcing the need for organizations to foster a balanced environment. Other honorable mentions include: 

  • Innovation and creativity (23%) 

  • Effective and transparent communication (18%) 

  • Employee recognition and development (15%) 

Here’s some good news: nearly half of the data scientists we surveyed applaud their work-life balance. With a mere 3% expressing dissatisfaction, it seems many employers are acing the creation of environments that nurture healthy work-life harmony. 

Want to join their ranks or even outdo them? Try flexible work hours, remote options, and wellness programs, as well as encouraging employees to disconnect after work. For an extra edge, provide childcare or elder care support, regular breaks, and advocate for full vacation usage.  

Don't forget to showcase these work-life balance initiatives as part of your company culture. Simultaneously, highlight other key culture aspects like innovation, transparency, and employee recognition. By clearly communicating these attributes, you're painting a compelling picture of your workplace for prospective data scientists. 

What career goals do data scientists have, and how vital is employer support in reaching them? 

Data scientists show clear ambition: 50% aim to ascend the ranks, striving for leadership roles in their organizations. Meanwhile, 30% are eager to keep pace with the latest in data science

Does it really make a difference if a company helps employees achieve their goals? Yes! 36% of data scientists say it’s very important, while a mere 2% shrug it off.  

With more than half of data professionals eyeing leadership roles, it's clear that offering career progression paths is essential. This not only fuels their ambition but also fosters long-term loyalty and engagement within your organization. Offering career progression isn't just about creating opportunities, it's about shaping them into stepping stones. Think career development programs, regular performance reviews, and internal job postings, to name a few. 

If you don’t facilitate career development, your data scientists might hedge their bets elsewhere: 26% of those we surveyed say a lack of growth opportunities would make them leave a role.  

What technical skills do data scientists want to learn?  

Given recent advancements in the tech world, it's no surprise that AI and deep learning top the list, intriguing 21% of data scientists in our survey. Plus, 20% find machine learning exciting, while 18% are eager to master Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Despite the inherent desire for learning, many data scientists find their needs unmet. One in three emphasizes the importance of employer-facilitated skill development, yet, 40% find their current roles lacking in this aspect

For employers, this underscores a golden opportunity wrapped in a challenge. With the dynamism of data science, fostering a culture of continuous learning is paramount. Bridging the skills gap might entail regular in-house training, sponsoring courses, or offering access to online learning platforms.  

Of course, we understand that offering learning and development opportunities can be costly. But consider it a strategic investment. A culture of learning not only quenches the knowledge thirst of your team but also fuels your business's innovative edge. By investing in your talent, you're making sure your company remains a magnet for top data scientists and a fierce competitor in the relentless tech race. 

What have we learnt? Key data scientist employment takeaways   

We’ve shed light on the evolving landscape of data science employment, uncovering how: 

  • LinkedIn and face-to-face networking events are some of the most effective channels to reach data scientists  

  • Data scientists prioritize personal values, compensation and flexibility when applying for new roles 

  • Work-life balance, innovation and good communication are key aspects of a company culture that attracts data scientists 

  • Supporting data scientists in achieving their career goals, especially towards leadership roles, is vital for retaining talent 

  • Fostering a culture of continuous learning and providing opportunities for skill development are critical for employee satisfaction 

These insights can help you formulate a more robust data scientist recruitment and retention strategy, and Data Logic is here to elevate your approach.  

Leverage our expansive network of data scientists to counterbalance talent demand. Our easy-going, dynamic networking events, both online and in-person, can also connect you to talent and spotlight your company culture. 

Moreover, our use of advanced recruitment technology allows us to delve into both active and passive talent pools, significantly broadening your scope. We also customize our sourcing strategies to your specific needs, creating a seamless alignment between potential candidates and your company's core values and objectives. This targeted approach not only fills your strategic roles quickly, unburdening your internal teams but also maintains your business's rhythm within the fast-paced tech industry. 

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