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Data science pay in finance: What you'll earn in banks, fintechs & hedge funds

If you're looking for a high-paying data science role in financial services, not all jobs are equal. Hedge funds and trading firms tend to be the best places to work, but is there still potential to earn big money at a bank or fintech?

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A new compensation report from recruitment firm Selby Jennings breaks down data science pay by seniority, sector and region. It shows that top data scientists at hedge funds in the prime-paying locations of New York and San Francisco can earn over twice as much as their banking counterparts.

Our own 2024 compensation report, which releases this Friday, says the average total compensation for a managing director-equivalent role (15+ years of experience) of any kind in a hedge fund is $777k. Selby Jennings' study suggests that if you work in data specifically, you earn on average between $1m and $2m, potentially almost three times as much as the average senior hedge fund employee.

Selby Jennings breaks down pay for data scientists in seven additional locations across the US and Europe; below is a look at average pay for analysts at each to provide a baseline comparison.

If you're a young data scientist in Europe, Selby Jenning's data suggets Switzerland is the place to be. French data scientists tend to get paid more than Germans in banks, while the opposite is true on the buy-side. 

Pay for junior data scientists in London banks looks peculiarly low. Selby Jennings says New York entry-level data scientists earn three times as much. On the buy-side, New York pay is a mere twice as high. 😬

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • mc
    mcontigo
    26 February 2021

    Not finance directly, but did anyone see comp at Palantir during Q4 earnings release? $1,270MM in equity comp across 2,500 employees in 2020. Insane.

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