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March 17, 2023 - 7 minutes

Salary Talk: What are Data Professionals Making?

Demand is high and it’s staying that way: become a data professional and earn exactly what you’re worth!

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

Data Science & Machine Learning

It’s a great time to join the tech industry: workers are paid competitive salaries, are offered a variety of benefits, and have a flexibility that is unmatched in other industries. While tech salaries will vary based on location, what stays a constant is the room for growth, the flexibility, and that salary you’ve dreamed of. Let’s explore the average data analysis salaries in some major European countries as well as other advantages that you can expect from a career in tech.

Average Salaries for Data Professionals

Several factors go into determining someone’s salary, from their experience level, education, location, and position. While the actual pay you can expect will depend on these various factors and more, we can give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to receive by taking a closer look at some average salaries for data professionals in major European countries:

  • Spain: €33,000-€40,000

  • Germany: €44,000

  • France: €42,000

  • The UK: £32,000

  • The Netherlands: €52,000

What determines a tech salary?

As we can see from above, salaries vary significantly based on location. In other words, the cost of living is a significant factor in determining your salary. Countries with higher living costs offer higher wages to compensate for the increased expenses. However, it’s not necessarily better to work in a country with higher salaries. Regardless of where you’re working, you can still have the same disposable income as someone in the same job working in a country with higher salaries and a higher cost of living. Don’t let the average wages in a country be the only determinant on whether or not you should work there.

Companies also heavily consider experience when determining salary. If you are just starting out in the tech industry, you may be offered a lower-paying role initially---that’s completely normal. Junior employees are supported by more senior employees who earn higher wages because of their experience and obligations. But, with time, you can expect to take on more responsibilities, receive a raise and be promoted! In the tech industry, there is always opportunity for advancement.

Finally, companies may also consider your education when determining your salary. Having the right credentials gets you in the door and allows you the opportunity to convince a company why you might be a good fit for them. While some companies are placing less importance on a university degree and focusing more on skill-based hiring, we still find that many require a particular degree, certification, or bootcamp. Therefore, it's essential to keep your education and skills up to date to stay competitive in this job market.

Additional remunerated benefits of tech

Besides your salary, there are many other financial benefits to a career in tech. Employers are increasingly offering signing bonuses, performance-based bonuses, yearly bonuses, and stock refreshers to attract and retain skilled professionals. Additionally, many tech companies offer health insurance, childcare, and other programs that can help you save money and give you peace of mind.

Other benefits of tech roles

How well you’re financially compensated is obviously extremely important. But don’t let your salary be your only consideration. There are many benefits to working in the tech industry that have nothing to do with money and everything to do with your physical and emotional well-being.

One important advantage to consider is flexibility. Have you ever had to spend hours of your day stuck in traffic on your commute to work or your commute back home? Many companies have started to offer pro-worker benefits such as remote or hybrid work arrangements which help save you time and reduce the stresses of commuting. And many companies that require you to come to the office on a hybrid basis may even offer perks such as free snacks and lunch or a complimentary, on-site gym.

The tech industry is also evolving rapidly, with new tools and skills constantly emerging. This means there are always opportunities to upskill or reskill and employers are often willing to invest in their employees' professional development. This can lead to upward mobility within the company and the chance to try your hand at various skills and roles and see what the best fit for you is.

Why data analysis?

Are you excited about the prospect of joining the tech industry? If you’ve decided that it’s your time to make the jump, you might be wondering exactly how to accomplish your goal. Well, wonder no more! While there are various options to choose from, we think you should consider becoming a data professional. The field of data analytics can offer you the opportunity to use your creative and analytical skills to produce evidence-backed, influential and informative solutions to problems. You’ll learn skills and tools that can be applied to just about any industry! Below, we’ll present arguments in favor and against a career in data science and let you be the judge of whether it’s the right fit for you.

Argument in Favor

Data science is a field that is in high demand. And, you don’t need a university degree to break into the industry! You can learn the skills required to become a data professional through bootcamps, online courses, YouTube, or even on-the-job. Plus, for all the countries we considered earlier (Spain, Germany, France, the UK, and the Netherlands), the average salary for a data professional is above the respective national averages. We think you should definitely consider a career where your time and skills are respected and valued. After all, who doesn’t want to be well-compensated for their work?

Moreover, data science is a particularly interdisciplinary field. Yes, you will need skills and knowledge from statistics, mathematics, and computer science. But that can all be taught in a bootcamp or on-the-job; what’s more difficult to learn is domain-specific knowledge. To be able to accurately analyze a particular domain, you’ll need background and familiarity. That’s something that only comes with experience. As such, workers in any domain should consider a change to data science.

Another advantage of pursuing data science is that it’s a field that’s constantly changing and evolving. All the time, you’ll see new tools and techniques be created and used. Data professionals are expected to stay current with the latest developments. This can be challenging, but it also makes the job more interesting and more rewarding.

Finally, one oft-forgotten factor to consider is how many different opportunities there are for advancement. As a tech employee, you’ll have yearly reviews to go over how you’re doing and you’ll have clarity on the things you need to improve upon in order to be promoted. But, if you don’t want to stay as a generalist, you can always choose to specialize in a subfield such as data analysis. Don’t worry though, you’ll always be able to go back and work in adjacent areas such as data science or data engineering. Whatever your specialty, you’ll have a wide range of opportunities to solve real-world problems, use your creativity and logic to find solutions, and  make a positive impact on the world.

It’s certainly true that the data science field is competitive. But, it’s also true that the demand for data professionals continues to grow; companies are always investing in their data science teams. In this day and age, data professionals are a requirement for any company that wants to have  competitive advantage against their rivals. There will always be opportunities for individuals with the right skills and experience.

And while education can be expensive and/or time-consuming, there are many resources out there for those who want to learn data science skills - don’t think that you need a Ph.D. to break into the field. That is a misconception. Tech companies invest in their employees' training and development whether they be software engineers, product managers, or data professionals.

Plus, don’t be caught up by those who say that data science can be a solitary job. We won’t deny that in some cases, it can be a job where you often work alone. But, data scientists often work in interdisciplinary teams alongside engineers, product managers, and business analysts. There is still the opportunity for social interaction and collaboration.

Make no mistake, pursuing a career in data science can be an excellent option for individuals who are interested in a field that is in high demand, offers competitive salaries, and is constantly evolving (sometimes at a dizzying pace). There are some challenges to entering the field, but that’s true for any field. Plus, these challenges can all be overcome with training and persistence. Finally, data science is a field that offers the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects and to make a meaningful impact. The ability to be able to make a difference should not be undervalued.

Next steps

Does data analytics seem like the right choice for you? We completely agree! At Ironhack, we’re eager to help you take that next step. Sign up for a Data Analytics Bootcamp and get started on your new and improved tech career!

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