“Becoming a Data Scientist” Survey Results 1: Jobs & Education

Here is the 1st batch of results from the Becoming a Data Scientist Survey. Because of the sample size and unscientific casual nature of this survey, we can’t make any broad generalizations about the industry from these results, but you can see some general preliminary trends in the breakdowns that would be interesting to study more.

95% of the 158 respondents who gave answers about their jobs follow at least one of my twitter accounts, so you can think of these results as representing my twitter followers.

I’m mostly going to let the tables and graphs speak for themselves. There’s a lot to unpack in the survey (over 50 questions), and a ton of ways to slice and dice it. Because I wanted to show various breakdowns, I did this in simple Excel pivot tables and didn’t spend a ton of time formatting (I know they’re kinda ugly – sorry).

If any of the tables or charts below are particularly hard to understand, please let me know and I’ll annotate further or improve! Click to view full-size.

Educational Field
vs Job Title of Data Analyst or Data Scientist (yes/no)

educational field vs data scientist title (25% of those with numeric degrees have data scientist titles)


Computer Scientist or Data Sci / Statistics / Analytics Degree
vs Job Title of Data Analyst or Data Scientist (yes/no)

30 (19%) of respondents had CS degrees, which was the most common degree name, and 27% of them had a job title that I categorized under Data Analyst or Data Scientist.

8.3% of respondents had Data Science, Statistics, or Analytics degrees, and 38.5% of them had job titles that I categorized as Data Analyst/Scientist.

19% (30) CS degrees, 8.3% (13) had Stats or Analytics degrees


Educational Level
vs Considers Self Data Scientist (No/Not Yet or Yes)

educational level vs considers self data scientist (31% of PhD respondents consider themselves data scientists)

Considers Self Data Scientist by Educational Level and Field

Percentage of each educational field and level that consider themselves data scientists - 90% of the 20 respondents who completed a bachelors degree do not consider themselves data scientists

Educational Field by Considers Self Data Scientist

percent of those that consider themselves data scientists by educational level and field - 25% of those that do have a PhD in Science/Tech/Engineering


Respondent Breakdown by Job Industry

job industry pie chart - largest is Software/Technology at 24%

Visual of those with Science/Tech/Eng Degrees and Math/Stats/Acctg Degrees

largest category is science/tech/engineering with masters degree at 27 respondents


Percentage of Respondents by “Considers Self Data Scientist” with each Salary Range

About 20% (28) of those that do not consider themselves to be Data Scientists make $50-75K. About 17% (7) of those that do consider themselves to be Data Scientists make under $25K.

salary by data scientist or not


Because the numbers above looked surprising to me, I filtered the same table to those in North America (assuming that many of the low-salary data scientists might be outside of the U.S.).

In North America, about 21% (22) of those that do not consider themselves to be Data Scientists make $50-75K. But now 25% (5) of those that do consider themselves to be Data Scientists make $125-150K. This also shows that 22 of the 42 people above (52%) that considered themselves Data Scientists live outside of North America.

salary by data scientist or not - North America


Bar Charts of Above Data. Top = Data Scientists, Bottom = Not Data Scientists.

Data Scientists. Tallest bar is under-$25K, but 6/7 of those are not in North America. 12 people $125K and above.
Non-Data Scientists. Tallest bar is $50-75K. 22/28 of those are in North America. 12 above $125K.


I may release some of this data at the end of my analysis. If you’re interested in diving in yourself, let me know in the comments and I’ll work on it for a future post.

More results on the way in the near future! Next up, how many respondents follow each twitter account and whether more people watch or listen to the podcast!


1 Comment

  1. Renee
    Aug 22, 2016

    One thing I meant to mention in the post and didn’t… 28% of the respondents are either pursuing or have completed a PhD or terminal degree! I was surprised at this, since I figured my follower base would lean toward beginner since I focus on Data Science learning.

    However, I know a lot of PhDs are transitioning from academia into data science, so even though my followership is highly educated, they may be relatively new to data science-specific skills.

    Also, of course it could be a bias in the survey – those that are in academia may be more inclined to fill out a long questionnaire, may spend more time on twitter and more likely to see the tweets, or other underlying correlation that makes the data lean toward high education! :)