Industry Insights

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Salaries and Bonuses for Entry-Level Candidates: What is Normal?

March 15, 2013

Earlier this month I took a look at what kind of salary increases quantitative workers could expect at different points in their careers. While this is helpful information for seasoned workers and certainly interesting for entry-level candidates to keep in mind as they look at the market value of careers in Big Data, I wanted to take a closer look at salary and bonuses specifically for analytic professionals coming out of school.Based on a sample of almost one hundred recent graduates, I found that the average base salary for entry-level candidates was $63k. Candidates with PhDs saw higher salaries averaging around $73k, and the average for those with a Bachelor’s degree was $52k. Most of our respondents held a Master’s degree and these candidates were making around $63k in their roles with no prior work experience.

entry level salaries

Most of the candidates in this sample (61%) were also eligible for an annual performance bonus, however those entering the work force right out of their Bachelor’s program should not necessarily expect one, as less than a quarter of these candidates were bonus eligible. These bonuses also varied quite a bit from 3-20%.It is interesting to note that most entry-level candidates do not receive a sign-on bonus. This is sometimes common with more senior level workers, but as I expected, only 17% of all the candidates reported receiving a sign-on. For those who did receive one, the average was almost $5,000.An education with a quantitative focus continues to give students strong job prospects as Big Data careers promise to stay in-demand. The level of degree attained is something to keep in mind for entry-level candidates who are unsure of what salary to expect in their first position. While further in one’s career experience may eventually trump educational background, having a solid foundation and at least a Master’s degree sets you on a path to success.

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