10 top-paying companies for data scientists in 2020 (2023)

By Danielle Bilbruck for Galvanize

In this day and age, there is no shortage of data collected by companies, whether it’s data on existing users, data around overall CX/UX, data about their competitors, data around social listening, data about sentiment around a product or service… the list goes on. Most companies don’t have a problem acquiring the data anymore; as a matter of fact, companies are likely drowning in it and don’t know what to do next. Making sense of the data has become a critical need, and that’s where a data scientist comes in.

Now that companies have collected all this data for themselves, they need to know what to do with it when it comes to insights, research and development, forecasting, and more. Data scientists help put the puzzle pieces together in a way that makes sense for company decision-makers and leadership, and can often help directly contribute to increasing revenue or market share.

Companies are willing to pay a pretty penny to bring in the best talent they can find into their data science departments because they know what a good investment these roles truly are for their bottom line.

Just how much are companies willing to pay for such a valuable skill set?

Here are 10 companies paying the most for data scientists to join their teams in 2020:

1. Snap, Inc.

Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA
Total average compensation package: $238k
Average cost of living: 106% higher than the national average

While many folks think of Snap, Inc. as a social media company because of the social media application Snapchat, Snap actually considers itself a “camera company,” looking to reinvent how cameras are used overall. They’ve done this by incorporating wildly popular augmented reality filters into their application, making your cell phone camera a lot more fun than it would be just on its own.

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Snap has a big road ahead: They’re trying to outpace competitors like Instagram, and to do that, they need good information and crystal-clear forecasting. That’s why they offer one of the highest compensation packages nationwide for even more junior to mid-level data scientists, at $238K annually. On average, inside this package, $170K is set aside for the base salary, with a $13K annual bonus and a whopping $55K in company equity. Additionally, they sweeten the deal for potential interviewees with signing bonuses around $18K. That’s a pretty picture.

2. Airbnb

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $223k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

For the folks over at Airbnb, it made more sense to allow people to open up their homes as rental income streams than deal with non-negotiable prices dictated by hotel overlords. Data scientists are a critical part of Airbnb’s operation, allowing the company greater visibility into things like short-term rental markets or big accommodation seasons.

That’s why they are willing to pay handsomely for this particular skill set, with an average annual compensation package of $223K! Broken down, this package averages a base of $145K, with an average annual bonus of $16K and a very generous $62K in company equity. While their signing bonus hovers around $11K, this company package is one to write home (or an Airbnb!) about.

3. Netflix

Headquarters: Los Gatos, CA
Total average compensation package: $222k
Average cost of living: 138% higher than the national average

Netflix overhauled the entire entertainment industry starting in 1997, taking on at-home video giants like Blockbuster and Redbox. Over 20 years later, they’ve created new viewing styles like the “binge-watch” and developed their own production company, capitalizing on a new golden age of entertainment in both film and television.

But how do they know what kind of TV or movies will succeed? How can they tell what is popular or what kind of entertainment will be enjoyed by which demographics? Data science! Data scientists are an incredibly integral part of the company, upon which much of their future success is hinged. Their average compensation package reflects that, at an average of $222K annually. While numbers could not be obtained regarding a breakdown of that package, the total package number is absolutely a box-office hit.

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4. Pinterest

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $212k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

Another wildly popular company that many think is a social media platform, Pinterest positions itself as the world’s go-to visual search engine, providing “boards” for users to pin important links, products, services, and ideas.

Because they’ve got big shoes to fill and other major search engines to compete with, Pinterest has a vested interest in making sure their data makes sense when developing new product updates and giving users what they need. Their total compensation package for data scientists who can make that happen is $212K, broken down into a $145K base salary, an average annual $12K bonus, $55K in company equity, and a $16K signing bonus. Put a pin in that one.

5. Lyft

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $209k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

One of a few companies transforming the taxi industry into a “rideshare” industry, Lyft connects gig workers to folks needing a ride to and from their destination. In the last couple of years, Lyft also released rental scooters, a product development influenced in large part by a wealth of data. They need data scientists to help them stay on the cutting edge of what ridesharing evolves into, so they also provide commensurate compensation packages to attract top data science talent.

Their average total compensation package is around $209K, with an average base salary of $147K, with $62K in company equity. With an average signing bonus of $18K, you could call that a definite lift.

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6. Etsy

Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY
Total average compensation package: $207k
Average cost of living: 129% higher than the national average

Clocking in as our only East Coast HQ on the list, Etsy has created a platform for creators and artisans to sell their products online, turning some folks’ hobbies into side hustles or full-time careers. Being the premier online marketplace for makers, Etsy relies on a great deal of data to help match shoppers to the products they’re looking for, cutting out the noise in between.

Data scientists help them do just that, with an average total compensation of roughly $207K, which is a great number even in New York City! Around $143K of the package is base salary, with a very high annual bonus rate of $26K with $13K in company equity. While the signing bonus is a bit less than others on this list at around $9K, Etsy’s overall package is enough to make any data scientist very happy.

7. Uber

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $206k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

Joining Lyft on this list is the other big-name ridesharing giant, Uber, crossing into not just gig-driven ridesharing, but also luxe vehicle accommodations, public transportation, and food delivery. If you think that all of that is pretty diverse for a company originally meant to put drivers behind their own income wheel, you’d be right, and they have data scientists to thank for diversifying into different solutions areas.

At Uber, data scientists can expect an average total compensation package of $206K, with ample company equity at around $66K, and annual bonuses of $19K. Topped off with an $11K signing bonus, Uber may take you where you want to go in your data science career.

8. Facebook

Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA
Total average compensation package: $198k
Average cost of living: 119% higher than the national average

The first true social media platform on our list, Facebook arguably invented the kind of social data we know today. Not only are data scientists critical at Facebook to help them determine user experiences and needs, but also because they provide paying customers, or Business Pages, with the data they need to have available to them.

Data science is a highly necessary part of the platform’s existence and progression, which is why they also offer a nice total compensation package averaging $198K. Of this, the average base is around $144K with an annual bonus of $16K and $39K in company equity. A $27K signing bonus may make this company one to watch in any data scientist’s book.

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9. Twitter

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $198k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

It’s only fitting that the other major player in social data come in tied with the first. If it can be argued that Facebook created social data as we know it, Twitter sought to refine it completely. Anymore, news breaks on Twitter, and with their own proprietary social listening platforms, they have become a major data provider for companies looking to understand customer sentiment and competitor strategy.

Since data is at the core of everything Twitter does, it only makes sense that they would also offer compensation packages to prove how valuable data scientists are to them, tied with Facebook for a total average of $198K. With just a bit higher base salary average of $145K, as well as a bit higher company equity stake at $41K, they do clock in just a bit lower than Facebook when it comes to annual bonuses, at $13K. While their average $15K signing bonus does feel substantially less than their competitors, it’s still definitely not for the birds.

10. Dropbox

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Total average compensation package: $183k
Average cost of living: 80% higher than the national average

Masters of online storage, Dropbox counts on data for its continued existence, keeping users happy with their cloud-based storage plans. Even though they come in last on this particular list, their total compensation package is still significant, at an average of $183K. With a typical $122K base and annual $15K bonuses, they have assuredly earned their ranking on this list, to say nothing of an estimated $47K in equity and a $16K signing bonus, just a couple things about the company you can put in a box.

As you can probably see from this list, major companies are willing to pay handsomely for even entry-level data scientists looking to grow their careers in meaningful ways, doing meaningful work.

Graduates of bootcamps such as Galvanize also have the advantages of a career services teams to help data science bootcamp grads find their dream job.

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Which company is best for data scientist job? ›

Which Company Is Best for Data Science
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IBM. American multinational tech company IBM was named a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for data science and machine learning platforms.

Who is No 1 data scientist in the world? ›

Andrew Ng is a scientist and professor at Stanford University, and he has made a name for himself in the data science community. Ng has been working on artificial intelligence since before it was trendy. His work has helped scientists revolutionize Google Brain—the company's massive AI project that is still underway.

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Can a data scientist earn 1 crore? ›

Data science professionals with a salary greater than INR 1 Crore in India have a median work experience of 19.3 years. Almost four in five (79.0%) of these professionals are employees with work experience greater than 15 years.

Is TCS good for data science? ›

With proprietary tools, TCS also helps in converting data into easy-to-interpret visual reports and dashboards. Analytics, Insights, and Intelligence: We provide generic or customized services involving Big Data, predictive, and prescriptive analytics.

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The Top 6 Highest Paying Jobs in the World
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What company hire data scientist? ›

Microsoft, a leader in software, hardware, gaming, cloud, edge, and digital transformation, has a diverse range of career opportunities for data scientists. Microsoft, undoubtedly, is one of the top companies hiring data scientists in 2022.

Which company is best for data scientist in India? ›

Here are the list of Top 30 companies in India to work for in Data Science and Machine Learning they are listed below:
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What kind of companies do data scientist work at? ›

Data science roles are particularly prevalent at technology, finance, and professional services companies. However, many other industries are investing in cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and other technologies that require their data science teams to grow quickly.

Which company hire data scientists in India? ›

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