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Linda Burtch, Managing Director at Burtch Works | 30+ years’ experience in quantitative recruiting

Salary negotiation is always a hot topic (our salary negotiation tips piece is one of our most popular posts), especially in fields like data science and analytics where the demand for talent is so high.

To provide some numbers to illustrate how salary negotiation varies among different groups, and what quantitative professionals typically receive, we decided to do some research within our network of data scientists and analytics professionals to see what we could find.

First, we surveyed our network to determine two things:

  1. Did quantitative professionals attempt to negotiate their starting salary at their current job?
  2. What was the outcome of this negotiation?

 

Next, we examined the results from 696 respondents to see how negotiation attempts and results varied based on a few demographic factors like gender, years’ experience, industry, and region.

 

Salary Negotiation in Data Science & Analytics

Examining the overall sample, we found that nearly three-quarters of data scientists and analytics professionals attempted to negotiate their starting salary with their current employer.

Of those that attempted to negotiate, 69% reported that the salary offer was increased as a result and 22% reported that while the salary did not increase, they received other compensation or benefits (such as a bonus, additional vacation time, etc.). Only a small percentage of negotiators, 9%, reported that they didn’t receive a salary increase or any other benefits.

 

Salary Negotiation Examined by Gender

Examining the survey results by gender, we found that women attempted to negotiate their salary nearly as much as men.

Interestingly, when we looked at what women and men said they received as a result of negotiating, 73% of women said they received a salary increase vs. 68% of men. 19% of women that negotiated said they received other benefits (bonus, vacation time, etc.) instead of a salary increase vs. 23% of men. Slightly more men (9%) reported receiving nothing, vs. 7% of women who reported no additional benefits from negotiating.

As a side note, our 2018 research showed that, in predictive analytics, women’s median salaries were within 95-100% of men’s median salaries, depending on job level. For more information on salaries in data science and analytics and how they vary by years’ experience, industry, region, and more, you can download the full reports for free here.

 

Salary Negotiation Examined by Industry, Region, and Years’ Experience

We also examined the survey results by several other factors, including years of quantitative work experience, industry, and region, to see what other insights we could pull out.

Here is what we found:

Negotiation by Years of Quantitative Work Experience
1. Data scientists and analytics professionals with 6-10 years’ experience were the most likely to negotiate, and the most likely to receive a salary increase

We found that 83% of quantitative professionals with 6-10 years’ experience attempted to negotiate (10 points higher than average) and 79% reported that they received an increase (10 points higher than average). This reflects our findings from our survey on what motivates professionals to change jobs, where we found that this group is highly motivated by compensation. At this career stage, professionals are often at their most marketable because they have some industry experience, are more able to pivot to another industry, and usually are more open to relocation, which can give them additional leverage when negotiating.

2. Professionals with 21-25 years’ experience were the least likely to negotiate

Only 64% of data scientists and analytics professionals with 21-25 years’ experience attempted to negotiate their salary (9 points lower than average). In our motivation survey, we found that they are the group least likely to be motivated by compensation, and the most motivated by work/life balance by quite a wide margin.

3. Professionals with 0-5 years’ experience were the most likely to receive nothing when negotiating

We found that 70% of professionals with 0-5 years’ experience attempted to negotiate their starting salary. 62% of those negotiating received an increase in base salary and another 16% received some other benefit. However, this early career group has the highest percentage of negotiators that received nothing as a result of their negotiation – 22% (13 points higher than the average).

Our theory is that, for roles at the junior end, companies may be more set in their salary targets (let’s hire someone at $XX,XXX, rather than a range) since among early career professionals there may be less variation in industry experience to base compensation on. Without industry experience, professionals starting in their first quantitative positions may have less negotiating leverage than other groups.

Negotiation by Industry
1. Tech workers are the most likely to attempt negotiation, and are the most likely to receive a pay increase as a result

81% of respondents employed by Tech firms reported that they attempted to negotiate (8 points higher than average), and 75% of negotiators reported receiving a pay increase. An additional 19% of tech negotiators said they received “other benefits/compensation”, and only 6% said they received nothing.

 

Negotiation by Region
1. West Coast is the region most likely to negotiate

79% of data scientists and analytics professionals on the West Coast said they attempted to negotiate their salary. This again lines up with our motivation survey results, where we found that the West Coast region is highly motivated by compensation.

 

2. Mountain is the region least likely to negotiate

70% of those in the Mountain region said they attempted to negotiate their salary. This also lines up with our job change motivations survey, where we found that the Mountain region is the least motivated by compensation.

 

3. Midwest is the region most likely to receive a salary increase, Mountain is the least likely

73% of negotiators in the Midwest reported receiving a salary increase, whereas only 63% of negotiators in the Mountain region reported a salary increase.

 

 

Across all groups, the lesson here is that negotiation usually pays off for data scientists and analytics professionals, even if it’s not necessarily a salary bump that you’re receiving. Keep your eye out in the upcoming weeks, when we’ll be posting the results from our research on how much of a salary increase data scientists and analytics professionals typically receive when changing jobs!

 

Wondering if it’s time for a job change? Our data science and analytics recruiting team shares ten situations where it might be time to consider a career move, plus other factors to consider when timing your search.

 

I hope this information was helpful! If you’re looking to explore opportunities or hire professionals in data science or analytics, be sure to connect with me (Linda Burtch) on LinkedIn.

Interested in our salary research on data scientists and predictive analytics professionals? Download our studies using the button below.

Click to download our free salary reports

Want to learn more about data science and analytics salaries and hiring market trends? Watch the video below for insights from our 2019 salary study!

3 Responses to “2019 Survey Results: Salary Negotiation in Data Science & Analytics”

  1. Paul

    Hi, thanks for the post! One thing you really, really should consider doing is including the sample sizes you’re working with. I saw no mention of it in the article, but maybe I missed it.

    Looking at the results, there’s no way for your audience to know if the differences represented, say between men and women, are at all meaningful without knowing how big the sample is. If your sample was like 100 or something, then the differences are probably meaningless. If it’s 1000, less so. Worse, without any idea of sample size, the results shown could actually be misleading.

    Thanks for the post in any case!

    My guess is there’s a fair number of statisticians in your audience, and I’d bet almost every one of them is thinking the same thing (and if not, they should be).

    Reply
  2. Van

    Hey Paul,

    Sorry to get you off the high horse there, but maybe you missed this: “Next, we examined the results from 696 respondents to see how negotiation attempts and results varied based on a few demographic factors like gender, years’ experience, industry, and region.”

    Reply

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