As they say, money isn’t everything, but I’d rather be unhappy in a Ferrari. The big boys and gals of the Enormous Pay Check Club have traditionally been doctors and lawyers. Of late, a whole new type of professional has started to make room for themselves in this exclusive collective: data scientists! We’ve come a long way indeed from making business decisions on the basis of just revenues. Numbers (of all kinds, not just dollar figures) don’t lie; and in the data age, they come from a dizzying array of sources that reveal more to companies about their markets than they could have ever dreamed of.

Right from consumer behaviour, market trends and predictions to product design and delivery, every major executive-level decision is data-dependent.

Data Scientists need to master the complicated art of understanding what the data is saying, listen closely and derive the insights that propel smart business decisions. Given the preposterous volumes of data generated every Nano second, Data scientists have their job cut out for them. Sounds like quite a task doesn’t it? But hey, you don’t get paid big bucks for a chump job!

Data science = Big Fat Wallets

The median salary for a data scientist was $123,000 in 2013. The average pay check was north of $150,000 in 2015, with data scientists in managerial roles making a staggering median salary of $250,000. While experience and skill levels are key factors, the numbers are enough to make anyone swoon!

On average, data science professionals get paid $15,000 more than their analyst counterparts. Quite a good reason to jump ship isn’t it?

Data scientists are information-age superheroes

Like any superhero, the gifted data scientist is truly hard to find, as being one requires a very specific skill that is often quite challenging to acquire.

This dearth of experienced, versatile data scientists puts them in great demand; and the few that make the cut are well above the rest. In other words–if it is hard to do, then it’s probably equally hard to find someone who can do it, making such individuals very expensive to acquire indeed.

It is not enough to just be Batman, however, but be Batman of the future as pure numbers will never trump the human aspect of gut emotions in any boardroom. Data science acumen is a delicate blend of statistics, math and programming and should complement decision makers’ experience and gut instincts. Whoever can come up with this perfect mixture, will truly be the superhero we need.

Why do data scientists in India get paid so much?

Global demand

Globally, India is one of two major analytics hubs, the other being the U.S. India has the highest number of analytics positions after the U.S., with multinationals–from banks like  HSBC and Citibank to retailers like Walmart and Target—choosing to set up their analytics centres where there is a high concentration of data science talent.

 Analytics as the next growth driver for Indian IT companies

Indian IT companies have identified analytics and big data as the next major growth drivers. Faced with a saturated global IT services market, Indian companies have started expanding their analytics service offerings. This has led to a huge demand for trained data scientists among IT companies.

Rise of e-commerce in India                 

E-commerce by its very nature of being an online industry with millions of users and tens of parameters to gauge generates a huge amount of data, which is a lot more than a comparable brick-and-mortar business. This industry’s astonishing pace of growth over the last five years has resulted in a need for people who can make monetizable sense of all the data that is generated.

In their eagerness to snap them up, today’s e-commerce companies are ready and willing to pay top dollar  for skilled data scientists, enfeebling supply and driving demand ever higher.

Now you know why data scientists are sitting at the top of the salary pyramid!

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