Data professionals are in such high demand that even trainee data science roles are now commanding salaries which exceed the pay of junior doctors, lawyers and dentists as more and more organisations wake up to the power of data insight.
According to the Mana Search 2020 Salary Report, demand continues to outstrip supply with data scientists, engineers and analytics professionals, in particular, being in high demand.
While a recent study from recruitment firm Aquent exposed a creative industry “junior job market crisis” fuelled by a Covid hiring freeze for industry newcomers, the data industry is seeing demand soar. And, as the volume of data collected increases exponentially, the number and variety of roles in data science are also increasing significantly.
The Mana report shows that despite some regional growth, London remains the data capital of the UK, with more than half of all jobs based in the capital. There are concentrations of data roles in larger cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford and Cambridge, while other notable cities include Guildford, Brighton and Milton Keynes. Some start-ups in smaller towns are willing to pay above market rate to attract talent but the number of job openings is limited.
London’s dominance is characterised by the highest average salaries for all data roles reaching £77,000, up from £66,000 the previous year.
Data analyst positions, typically considered to be the entry-level for careers in data and analytics, pay much less on average than data scientist and data engineer jobs. But the skills shortage is driving huge salary rises for all entry-level roles, with the average junior data scientist receiving £49,843 a year (up 27.7% from last year), while junior data engineers earn an average of £46,250 (up 12.7%) and junior data analysts get £38.732 (up 4.5%).
By comparison, a dentist with less than three years’ experience can expect to earn £45,000 a year, while a lawyer with similar experience gets £32,000 and a second year foundation (junior) doctor gets £34,000.
Further up the career ladder, chief data officer and lead data engineer roles offer salaries of up to £200,000.
The report also examines in-demand skills across data science. For entry-level data analysts, the most in-demand skill is Excel (demanded by 52% of job ads), followed by SQL (34%) and Python (16%). For data scientist roles, Python is becoming a must-have (66%), followed by Excel (35%) and SQL (30%), while for data engineers it is SQL (63%) followed by Python (55%) and AWS (39%).
The report states: “Our report shows a strong year for careers in the growing data sector undaunted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The central driving force behind the demand for data professionals is the continued growth of the fintech sector.
“Banking, credit and lending with the sector requires a high level of specialism in data insights which have enabled a number of high-profile firms to scale bespoke customer experiences.
“Significantly, while these skills have always been highly sought-after, until relatively recently only large, established enterprises and digital natives have been prepared to make the required investment. Now, companies are increasingly aware that they simply cannot compete without a data offering of their own.
“As demand continues to dramatically outstrip supply in the talent market, we fully expect salaries to climb further.”
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