Industry Insights

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Survey Results: What Motivates Analytics Pros & Data Scientists to Change Jobs?

June 18, 2018

At Burtch Works, we like to run periodic “flash surveys” on our network of thousands of analytics professionals and data scientists, since it’s a great way to gauge changes in the market!After seeing a few surveys about why business professionals change jobs, we were curious to see what would motivate analytics and data science professionals, and how those motivations might vary by demographic factors like region, years of work experience, and gender.

So we asked: What are the top two factors that would motivate you to change jobs?
  1. Salary/compensation
  2. Career growth/advancement opportunities
  3. Challenging work/ability to learn new things
  4. Switching industry
  5. Work/life balance and/or flexible/remote work options
  6. Benefits (401k, insurance, etc.) and/or perks (on-site gym, free snacks, etc.)

Unsurprisingly, salary or compensation is the top motivator (59%), but career growth and advancement is not far behind (53%).With a sample size of over 450 respondents, we were able to further examine how motivations vary depending on years’ experience, region, and gender.

There is a lot to go through here, but here are some of the insights that stuck out to us:

  1. Compensation is most important to analytics professionals in their early-mid career stages, between 6-15 years’ experience.
  2. Growth and advancement opportunities were the most important to those with 6-10 and 16-20 years’ experience.
  3. Learning opportunities and challenging work were most important to those at the early career (0-5 years’ experience) and later career stages (26+ years’ experience).
  4. Work life balance and flexible/remote options were noticeably most important for those with 21-25 years’ experience.
  5. Benefits and/or perks were the most likely to be important for those with 26+ years’ experience.

Next, we examined how these motivations vary depending on the region that a professional is living in.

Again there’s a lot to look at! So here are a few highlights that we noticed:

  1. Compensation was the most important to analytics professionals on the West Coast, which is could be related to the high cost of living there.
  2. West Coast professionals are the least motivated by learning opportunities or challenging work, while those in the Northeast were the most motivated by it. It would be interesting to ask if this is because West Coast professionals already feel satisfied by this in their current roles and therefore would only be motivated to change jobs for more compensation or a promotion!
  3. Professionals on the West Coast and in the Northeast are the least likely to choose work/life balance or flexible work options. This could be because they’re workaholics, or perhaps they already live where there are many opportunities, so remote options are not as enticing!
  4. Remote options and work life balance were most likely to be appealing to those in the Southeast region. Again, this might be due to the placement of opportunities.

Lastly, we also split the sample by gender to see if there were any differences in how men and women evaluated opportunities.

What we found was interesting, although not entirely surprising. Women were far more likely to be motivated by work/life balance and flexible work options, likely due to family responsibilities, and men were more motivated by salary/compensation and growth/advancement opportunities.If you’re interested in learning about more of our flash surveys on the data science and analytics hiring market, we recently posted the results of our 2018 Machine Learning Flash Survey as well as our survey of hiring managers that evaluates hiring demand this year.Want to suggest a survey topic or have thoughts on the results? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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