Data Science Jobs: Resources and Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about jobs in data science and find resources for next career move.

[Featured Image]:  A female, wearing a white jacket, glasses, and red hair. She is working at her desktop, performing her duties as a data scientist.

Data science jobs tend to be high-paid and in high demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in data science are projected to grow by 36 percent between 2021 and 2031 with a median salary of $100,910 [1].

In this guide, we'll discuss some common data science jobs that you may consider pursuing, whether you're seeking entry-level, mid-career, or advanced roles, as well as offer resources for getting started.

Getting started in data science

With a career in data science, you'll seek meaningful insights from data. Although people often think about data science in the tech industry, the reality is that all industries can benefit from this type of work. Outside of traditional tech companies, some industries that employ data scientists and related data professionals include:

  • Health care

  • Finance and banking

  • Insurance

  • Energy

  • Agriculture

  • Retail

  • Entertainment and media

Before you start your job search, consider what type of data you'd like to work with and what business problems you'd like to help solve. From there, you can tailor your resume and target roles in industries that you feel most excited to pursue.

Here are some articles that can help contextualize how you might work with data in various industries:

Data science jobs

If you're interested in working with data, there are several different job areas that you may be interested in pursuing. Once you know the basics, it's possible to move from one area to another as you expand your technical and analytical skill set.

Additionally, as you grow your management skills, you'll qualify for higher level positions throughout your career. Some job-level indicators you may see as you look through job postings are:

  • Entry-level jobs may have junior, associate, or coordinator in the job title. Internships also tend to be entry-level.

  • Mid-level jobs may have mid-level in the job title or may not have any qualifier. You may also see some manager titles at this stage in your career.

  • Advanced jobs may have senior, lead, or head in the job title. You may also come across director-level positions.

Let's take a closer look at some common data science jobs.

Data scientist

Data scientists use analytical skills to solve complex business problems. They're typically presented with a problem, then tasked with figuring out the right questions to ask in order to solve the problem, as well as how to answer those questions using data.

  • Median annual salary: $100,910 [1]

  • Typical education: 51 percent have a bachelor's degree, while 34 percent have a master's degree [2]

Keep learning with these articles:

The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate gave me a lot of confidence. I never saw myself as a computer person, but the program has you do all these complicated-seeming things like working in the Cloud and connecting to APIs, and it was so cool to me, to see how easy Watson Studio actually was to use, and how much you could do on it.

Sam B.

Data analyst

Data analysts collect and interpret data to solve specific problems within an organization. Becoming a data analyst can be an excellent starting point for prospective data scientists because they use similar tools as data scientists to provide data-driven insights, but are usually given the business questions they're tasked with answering.

  • Median annual salary: $82,360 [3]

  • Typical education: 65 percent have a bachelor's degree, 15 percent have a master's degree, and 12 percent have an associate degree [4]

Keep learning with these articles:

Data engineer

Data engineers design and build systems for collecting, storing, and analyzing data. They may start their careers as data analysts or software engineers because they need a solid foundation in data management and optimizing business outcomes.

  • Median annual salary: $101,000 [5]

  • Typical education: 65 percent have a bachelor's degree, 22 percent have a master's degree, and 7 percent have an associate degree [6]

Keep learning with these articles:

Machine learning engineer

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are rapidly advancing data science. Both machine learning engineers and AI engineers are experienced members of data science teams who research, build, and design algorithms. Machine learning engineers develop models for AI systems, and AI engineers program those systems to "think" like humans do.

  • Median annual salary: $131,490 [7]

  • Typical education: 63 percent have a bachelor's degree, while 17 percent have a master's degree [8]

Keep learning with these articles:

More data science careers

From working with the cloud to developing games, exciting and unique opportunities are ahead if you decide to explore a career in data science. Learn about more opportunities with these articles:

Data science skills and tools to learn

There are several technical skills and tools common to data scientist jobs. As you read job descriptions, take note of the high-level skills companies are looking for in their candidates. Here are some articles that detail what you can expect:

Data science certificates and degree programs

There are several ways to expand your professional skill set. Many data science professionals enroll in bootcamps, earn certifications, or pursue advanced degrees as they navigate their career. Here are some articles that can help you decide what type of degree or certification is right for you:

Linked image with text "See how your Coursera Learning can turn into master's degree credit at Illinois Tech"

More ways to learn

A great way to brush up on data science is by reading a book or listening to a podcast. Here are some media recommendations to continue learning:

Get started today

A career in data science starts with learning how to transform data into meaningful business insights. Begin your journey in data with Coursera. Enroll in Google's Data Analytics Professional Certificate to learn how to process and analyze data, or practice using the tools data scientists use with IBM's Data Science Professional Certificate. Sign up and start learning today with a free seven-day, all-access trial.

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Data Scientists," Accessed March 28, 2023.

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