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Become A Senior Data Scientist

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Working As A Senior Data Scientist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $110,957

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Data Scientist Do

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other fields.

Duties

Computer and information research scientists typically do the following:

  • Explore fundamental issues in computing and develop theories and models to address those issues
  • Help scientists and engineers solve complex computing problems
  • Invent new computing languages, tools, and methods to improve the way in which people work with computers
  • Develop and improve the software systems that form the basis of the modern computing experience
  • Design experiments to test the operation of these software systems 
  • Analyze the results of their experiments
  • Publish their findings in academic journals and present their findings at conferences

Computer and information research scientists create and improve computer software and hardware.

Creating and improving software involves working with algorithms, which are sets of instructions that tell a computer what to do. Some computer tasks are very difficult and require complex algorithms. Computer and information research scientists try to simplify these algorithms to make computer systems as efficient as possible. The algorithms allow advancements in many types of technology, such as machine learning systems and cloud computing.

Computer and information research scientists design new computer architecture that improves the performance and efficiency of computer hardware. Their work often leads to technological advancements and efficiencies, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds, and improved information security. In general, computer and information research scientists work at a more theoretical level than do other computer professionals.  

Many people with a computer and information research science background become postsecondary teachers. In general, researchers in an academic setting focus on computer theory, although those working for businesses or scientific organizations usually focus on projects that may produce profits.

Some computer scientists work with electrical engineers, computer hardware engineers, and other specialists on multidisciplinary projects. The following are examples of types of specialties for computer and information research scientists:

Data mining. Computer and information research scientists write algorithms that are used to detect and analyze patterns in very large datasets. They improve ways to sort, manage, and display data. Computer scientists build algorithms into software packages that make the data easier for analysts to use. For example, they may create an algorithm to analyze a very large set of medical data in order to find new ways to treat diseases. They may also look for patterns in traffic data to help clear accidents faster.

Robotics. Some computer and information research scientists study how to improve robots. Robotics explores how a machine can interact with the physical world. Computer and information research scientists create the programs that control the robots. They work closely with engineers who focus on the hardware design of robots. Together, these workers test how well the robots do the tasks they were created to do, such as assemble cars and collect data on other planets.

Programming. Computer and information research scientists design new programming languages that are used to write software. The new languages make software writing more efficient by improving an existing language, such as Java, or by making a specific aspect of programming, such as image processing, easier.

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How To Become A Senior Data Scientist

Most jobs for computer and information research scientists require a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field. In the federal government, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some jobs.

Education

Most computer and information research scientists need a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field, such as computer engineering. A Ph.D. usually requires 4 to 5 years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree, typically in a computer-related field, such as computer science or information systems. During their first 2 years in a Ph.D. program, students take a variety of computer science classes. They then choose a specialty and spend the remaining years in the program doing research within that specialty.

Computer scientists who work in a specialized field may need knowledge of that field. For example, those working on biomedical applications may have to take some biology classes.

Advancement

Some computer scientists may become computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer and information research scientists must be organized in their thinking and analyze the results of their research to formulate conclusions.

Communication skills. Computer and information research scientists must communicate well with programmers and managers and be able to clearly explain their conclusions to people with no technical background. They often present their research at conferences.

Critical-thinking skills. Computer and information research scientists work on many complex problems.

Detail oriented. Computer and information research scientists must pay close attention to their work, because a small programming error can cause an entire project to fail.

Ingenuity. Computer and information research scientists must continually come up with innovative ways to solve problems, particularly when their ideas do not initially work as intended.

Logical thinking. Computer algorithms rely on logic. Computer and information research scientists must have a talent for reasoning.

Math skills. Computer and information research scientists must have knowledge of advanced math and other technical topics that are critical in computing.

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Senior Data Scientist Typical Career Paths

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Senior Data Scientist Demographics

Gender

Male

76.7%

Female

13.9%

Unknown

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

44.3%

Asian

30.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.2%

Black or African American

7.9%

Unknown

5.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Mandarin

40.0%

Hindi

20.0%

Chinese

20.0%

Spanish

20.0%
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Senior Data Scientist Education

Schools

University of Washington

7.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.1%

Texas A&M University

7.1%

Northwestern University

7.1%

Cornell University

7.1%

North Carolina State University

5.4%

Boston University

5.4%

New York University

5.4%

Johns Hopkins University

5.4%

Stanford University

5.4%

Columbia University

5.4%

Southern Methodist University

3.6%

State University of New York Albany

3.6%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.6%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.6%

University of Missouri - Kansas City

3.6%

University of Southern California

3.6%

George Washington University

3.6%

University of Cincinnati

3.6%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3.6%
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Majors

Statistics

24.0%

Mathematics

9.9%

Computer Science

9.1%

Chemistry

5.0%

Physics

5.0%

Electrical Engineering

5.0%

Operations Research

5.0%

Engineering

4.1%

Economics

4.1%

Business

4.1%

Management Science

3.3%

Finance

3.3%

Mechanical Engineering

3.3%

Biostatistics

3.3%

Information Systems

2.5%

Biomedical Engineering

2.5%

Psychology

1.7%

Information Sciences

1.7%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.7%

Marketing

1.7%
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Degrees

Masters

43.8%

Doctorate

38.8%

Bachelors

11.3%

Other

4.4%

Certificate

1.9%
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Senior Data Scientist Videos

Free Live Webinar: How to learn Data Science through hands on projects?

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Real Senior Data Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Data Scientist-Streaming Experimentation Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA May 11, 2015 $340,000
Senior Data Scientist Netflix Beverly Hills, CA Oct 11, 2016 $325,000
SR. Data Scientist-Marketing Experimentation Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Apr 13, 2015 $320,000
Senior Data Scientist Netflix Los Gatos, CA Aug 23, 2016 $250,000
Senior Data Scientist-Streaming Science and Algorithms Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jul 10, 2015 $230,000
Senior Data Scientist Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 31, 2016 $182,100 -
$202,100
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA May 30, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jan 06, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Apr 12, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Nov 16, 2015 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Feb 11, 2015 $180,877
SR. Data Scientist-Acquisition and Messaging Experimentation Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Apr 06, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist-Streaming Science and Algorithms Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jun 26, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Netflix, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Dec 18, 2016 $180,877
Senior Data Scientist Square, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 14, 2015 $144,700
Senior Data Scientist-Product Marketing or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 13, 2016 $144,200 -
$164,200
Senior Data & Applied Scientist Microsoft Corporation Bellevue, WA Jan 02, 2016 $143,740
Senior Data Scientist Zillow, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 27, 2016 $143,400 -
$215,000
Senior Data Scientist Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 23, 2015 $143,000
Senior Manager, Data Scientist Vmware, Inc. Austin, TX Nov 23, 2015 $141,856 -
$150,000
Senior Data Scientist Coffee Meets Bagel Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 12, 2016 $141,669 -
$200,000
Senior Data Scientist Uber Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 10, 2016 $122,200 -
$185,000
Senior Data Scientist Uber Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 05, 2016 $122,200 -
$185,000
Senior Data Scientist Linkedin Corporation Mountain View, CA Apr 24, 2015 $122,096 -
$220,900
Senior Data Scientist Eventbrite Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 10, 2015 $121,343
Senior Data Scientist Eventbrite, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 28, 2015 $121,343
Senior Data Scientist Eventbrite, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 19, 2015 $121,343
Senior Data Scientist Salesforce.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 09, 2016 $121,222
Senior Data Scientist Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Sep 15, 2015 $121,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Data Scientist

  1. Analytical Solutions
  2. R
  3. Predictive Models
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Partner with IT and business units to generate and implement analytical solutions, including data science project engagement models.
  • Developed a user segmentation clustering model that identified several high engagement, high value groups for specific targeting.
  • Developed Predictive models, Machine learning (Supervised and non-Supervised) using R for Machine Motor.
  • Created/Updated Stored Procedures, Triggers, Functions, Cursor, Views, and Indexes with extensive use of T-SQL and PL/SQL.
  • Refined processing and presentation of critical business metrics using automated SAS macros.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Data Scientists

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. New Mexico
  4. Minnesota
  5. Connecticut
  6. Rhode Island
  7. District of Columbia
  8. New Hampshire
  9. New York
  10. Massachusetts
  • (901 jobs)
  • (3,208 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)
  • (244 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (1,253 jobs)
  • (905 jobs)

Top Senior Data Scientist Employers

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