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Junior data roles paying more than doctors, dentists and lawyers

The latest research on data salaries shows that demand continues to outweigh supply for data scientists, engineers and analytics professionals.

The demand for is so high that even junior and trainee data roles are exceeding the pay of junior doctors, lawyers and dentists.

Whilst job market data has exposed a “trainee job market crisis” fuelled by hiring freezes and uncertainty amidst the Covid pandemic, the data industry is seeing demand soar. As the quantity of data collected by organisations increases, the variety of roles are also expanding, offering a growing number of opportunities to those with data skills.

London remains the data capital of the UK, characterised by the highest average salaries for all data roles reaching £77,000 in 2020, up from £66,000 in 2019. There are concentrations of data roles in larger cities such as Birmingham and Manchester, while other notable cities include Guildford, Brighton and Milton Keynes. And, although the number of job opening are limited, some start-ups in smaller towns are willing to pay above market rate to attract the best talent.

Data analyst positions are typically considered to be the entry-level for data careers and pay considerably less on average than data scientist and data engineer roles. But the skills shortage is driving huge salary rises for all entry-level roles, with the average junior data scientist receiving £49,843 in 2020 (up 27.7% from 2019), while junior data engineers earnt on average £46,250 (up 12.7%) and junior data analysts receiving £38.732 (up 4.5%).

In 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 officers and lead data engineer roles offer salaries of up to £200,000.

A 2020 report by Mana Search examined in-demand skills across data roles. 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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