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Data Scientist, DevOps Engineer Top IT Jobs

What's better than being a physician earning $200,000 a year? How about being a data scientist or a DevOps engineer?

When Glassdoor released its "50 Best Jobs In America for 2017" report on Jan. 24, not only did data scientist outrank more established positions on the list, it also outranked all other positions for the year. DevOps, a position that has come of age in the rush to cloud computing and combines knowledge of the business and the technical skills to create and deploy applications, also proved a hit in the survey.

Jobs in IT or tech placed in four of the Top 5 positions on the Glassdoor list, while accounting for 14 of the 50 best jobs for year. In addition to data scientist and DevOps, data engineer and analytics manager rounded out the Top 5. (Tax manger ranked fourth on the list and was the only non-tech or non-IT job in the Top 5.)

The report shows that new types of technology -- from cloud computing, to big data, to the Internet of Things -- is not only creating opportunities for businesses, but also creating new, and better, jobs for IT- and tech-related fields.

In a statement, Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor's chief economist, put it this way: "In particular for tech jobs, companies across all industries are hiring workers for these needed positions, including employers in healthcare, finance, manufacturing, retail and more. Any organization today with a mobile app, web presence or digitized data are struggling to fill jobs like data scientists, software engineers and mobile developers."

It's not only Glassdoor that's seeing how this works.

(Source: Pexels via Pixabay)

In addressing the so-called "new collar jobs" that technologies such as artificial intelligence are creating, the research firm Ovum noted in a Jan. 20 report: "Businesses and institutions desperately need employees with digital problem-solving skills to drive development, growth, and success in competitive markets that favor high performance levels, efficacy, and innovation." (See Google's AI Software Beats Humans at Writing AI Software.)

The Glassdoor report ranked the job based on three criteria: Earning potential -- by looking at the median annual base salary -- overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings.

Money is good but it's not the only thing. While physician has a $200,000 median salary base, it ranks 34th on the list. Data scientist, which has the top ranking, offers a median salary of $110,000.

DevOps engineer, which ranks second, also offers a median salary of $110,000, while data engineer in third place offers a median salary of $106,000. Analytics manager ranks fifth but offers a higher salary of $112,000.

Here are the rest of the IT- and tech-related positions of the Glassdoor report, including their rank in the Top 50 and median salary:

  • No. 7: Database Administrator, median salary of $93,000
  • No. 10: Solutions Architect, median salary of $125,000
  • No. 16: Software Engineer, median salary of $101,000
  • No. 26: Mobile Developer, median salary of $85,000
  • No. 27: System Administrator, median salary of $68,000
  • No. 30: Hardware Engineer, median salary of $108,000
  • No. 39: Information Security Engineer, median salary of $100,000
  • No. 41: Security Analyst, median salary of $70,000
  • No. 43: UI Designer, median salary of $80,000
  • No. 47: Business Intelligence Developer, median salary of $83,000

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud. Follow him on Twitter @zdeferguson.

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Scott_Ferguson 1/25/2017 | 7:06:48 PM
Re: Ins. Clearly the reason they were No. 1 and No. 2.
Joe Stanganelli 1/25/2017 | 6:54:55 PM
Ins. Also worth mentioning: DevOps engineers and data scientists (1) don't usually have to be on call, and (2) don't have to carry malpractice insurance!  ;)
James_B_Crawshaw 1/25/2017 | 5:14:10 PM
Methodology "The Glassdoor Job Score is determined by weighing three factors equally: earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating, and number of job openings."

I'm no data scientist but perhaps websites other than glassdoor.com are more widely used for recruiting doctors. 

And if crunching numbers is more satisfying than saving lives then there is not much hope for the human race. At least the doctors get paid more :)

mendyk 1/25/2017 | 4:51:57 PM
Re: typo of the month So considering the number of medical doctors who are in private practice and would have no need to use a job search/rating site like Glassdoor, I'd question the reliability of this data -- and I'm not even a data scientist.
Scott_Ferguson 1/25/2017 | 4:40:15 PM
Re: typo of the month If you look at the link to the report, you'll find a methodology listed at the bottom. It's based on data that Glassdoor collects but didn't release. I've posted the relevant part here:

Methodology: Glassdoor's 50 Best Jobs in America report identifies specific jobs with the highest overall Glassdoor Job Score. The Glassdoor Job Score is determined by weighing three factors equally: earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating, and number of job openings. Results represent job titles that rate highly among all three categories. The Glassdoor Job Score is based on a 5-point scale (5.0=best job, 1.0=bad job). For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 100 salary reports and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (1/2/16-1/1/17). The number of job openings per job title represents active job listings on Glassdoor as of 1/1/17. This report takes into account job title normalization that groups similar job titles.
mendyk 1/25/2017 | 4:12:31 PM
Re: typo of the month I wonder how Glassdoor came up with these numbers. The data about medical doctors seems a bit ... alternative.
Scott_Ferguson 1/25/2017 | 3:50:02 PM
Re: typo of the month That's been fixed. Thanks.
mendyk 1/25/2017 | 3:44:07 PM
typo of the month Gassdoor. Good one.
Scott_Ferguson 1/25/2017 | 11:50:21 AM
Re: grad school One of the big missing pieces of data here was how this broke down along men/women in terms of the workplace. We know that in general, more women are going to college than men and that these jobs, especially tech, require a degree if not an advanced degree, so I would say that women are pretty well aware of these opportunities. The other thing to keep in mind is that these jobs cut across different fields. It's not just data science at say Microsoft, but at healthcare firms, manufacturing firms, financial, ect..., so opportunities across the board.
Sarah Thomas 1/25/2017 | 11:02:37 AM
grad school Really interesting to see the uptick in data scientist jobs and how in demand they are. I've also heard that grad students studying analytics and data are having a much easier time finding jobs post-grad than those in traditional engineering fields. I wonder if we'll see more people going back to school for data science or if they are getting reskilling on the job. Hope to see more women going this route too.
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