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Expand chart
Data: Glassdoor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Companies in every sector are ravenously hiring data scientists, hoping to eke out more sales or improve their efficiency. Pay is good for the average senior data scientist who makes nearly $140,000 a year and can pick from thousands of openings.

But for new entrants, just out of college or a tech bootcamp, the job market is rife with mislabeled job postings and stiff competition.

What's going on: Average wages for data scientists went down 1.4% in February compared to a year earlier, according to a Glassdoor report. There are a few factors behind the slip, according to the report's author, economist Daniel Zhao:

  • New supply of graduates has exploded, but entry-level job openings are few, and their pay is much lower.
  • Companies eager to bring in the best talent are mislabeling jobs as data science when they are really data analyst or statistician roles. Since such work is generally lower paid, it is dragging down data scientists' wages overall.

Data from ZipRecruiter, another job site, confirms the gap between junior and senior data scientist positions.

  • Between 2017 and 2018, senior data scientist positions grew about 3X, according to ZipRecruiter. But the more junior "data analyst" and "associate data scientist" positions only grew 22% and 39%, respectively.
  • Wages for senior job titles grew fast, ZipRecruiter tells Axios, while wages for junior roles grew slower than those for data science jobs overall.
  • But, but, but: ZipRecruiter, unlike Glassdoor, found a big overall jump in data science salaries, which in February 2019 matched the all-time high.

It's lucrative work — if you can get it.

  • Glassdoor pegs data science as the fourth-highest paying job out there, after pharmacists, solutions architects — a technical job that involves setting up new processes inside a company — and attorneys.
  • All of this is attracting top talent from other fields.
"If you’re a physics Ph.D. who has spent years using advanced machine learning techniques, the data science and artificial intelligence fields are more attractive than ever. As these more experienced and more educated workers pour in, students fresh out of bootcamps, undergrad or even master's programs will have a harder time competing."
— Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor economist

Go deeper

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A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.