Which cities top the chart when it comes to highest salaries in Europe for Data Scientists? Do Data Scientists like working with startups? Do they want to stick to a job for more than a couple of years? Read on.

The Data Scientist is often a storyteller presenting data insights to decision-makers in a way that is understandable and applicable to problem-solving.  


The role of Data Scientists has dramatically evolved over the last five years from mere data miners to complex problem solvers. From entertainment companies like Netflix to retail brands like Walmart – all have business models that now heavily rely on data intelligence. Data Scientists collect, analyze, and interpret large volumes of data, in many cases, to improve a company’s operations. They develop statistical models that analyze data and detect patterns, trends, and relationships in data sets. This information is vital to predict consumer behavior or to identify business and operational risks. 

For the year 2020, Glassdoor named Data Scientist as the third most desired job in the United States with more than 6500 openings and a median base salary of $107,801with a job satisfaction rate of 4.0. In 2019, when Glassdoor had named Data Scientist as the best job in the U.S, we published a scenario of Data Scientists’ jobs and salaries in Europe based on a report by Big Cloud. Amidst this high demand of Data Scientists across the globe, it is not only difficult to hire Data Scientists, but also challenging to retain them. Undoubtedly, salary is one of the major components when Data Scientists look at jobs and decide what is going to be their next big gig. Here are some trends we picked up from a recent report by Big Cloud titled European Salary Report. This report delves into insights from over 1300 responses and 33 questions asked to professionals of all backgrounds, ages, and locations within the European region — largest share of contributions being from Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, and Switzerland. 

Data Scientists prefer learning new skills on the job. Retain them!

Employees are willing to stay at their current company for longer – more so than in 2018. This could be due to companies starting to understand the serious talent gap in the market and offering more competitive salaries to retain employees.

Comparing this to just 2% of employees staying with the same company for 10+ years, this data solidifies the ideology that Data Science is a fast-paced industry where Data Scientists and others in similar roles see value in learning new technologies and skills elsewhere.

Python: The most popular modelling coding language for Data Scientists 

Not to much surprise,  70% of respondents said they use Python as their primary modelling coding language. This is a 10% increase from last year. Broadly 9% use R, 4% use SQL, and 4% use Java. There were also 3% of respondents that said they don’t code.

In addition, 66% of respondents said their primary production coding language is also Python. These charts only highlight the top five primary modelling and production coding languages from the respondents. There were also 2% of use cases for C++ in modelling and 2% in Matlab. 

Most popular tools and methods used by Data Scientists  

As high as 90% of participants chose Python as a tool they use regularly across Europe, which highlights just how universally accepted this data science tool is. Another 65% chose Jupyter notebooks and 60% chose SQL. When it came to Data Science methods, logistic regression, neural networks, and random forests were the top three most popular choices with roughly 56% of respondents claiming to use them. Compared to a Data Scientists tool preferences, there is a much greater variety amongst their chosen data science methods. Other options in the survey (that didn’t make it to the top seven shown above) were 34% ensemble, 31% Bayesian techniques and 28% SVMs.

Expected Salary Increase by European Data Scientists

The Big Cloud survey asked its respondents , ‘if you were moving jobs, what percentage salary increase do you think is realistic?’ A 23% majority expect to see an 11-15% increase in salary, with a further 19% expecting anywhere between 16-20%.

Upon comparing our 2019 results to the 2020 results, free food and equity/shares are more popular bene ts now than they were than last year, with car/transport allowance and gym and leisure moving down the majority list instead. If you are wondering where would Data Scientists want to relocate from Europe for a new job? The top five places to relocate to amongst European citizens were the United States, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and France.

Switzerland offers the highest salaries for Data Scientists

Here is a look at salaries in different cities in Europe (including the UK for now)- Switzerland leading the way!

Data Scientists are more than willing to work with startups

Across all industries in Europe, 68% of people do not currently work in start-ups. Despite this, the data science market remains open-minded, with 83% saying they would consider joining one in the future.

The respondents that currently work in start-up industries are primarily Technology/IT and Consulting (37%). Respondents from these two industries are also respectively the majority that would consider working for a start-up in the future (38%).

Disclaimer: The content of this article is from Data Science Salary Report 2020 Europe by Big Cloud

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