MSA Class of 2018

Data Science Job Trackers

The Institute believes in the fundamental importance of understandings the job market when making a decision to pursue graduate education. To that end, we carefully and continuously monitor the local and national job markets for data scientists and provide this information publicly to aid prospective applicants in making a data-driven decision about enrolling in an analytics or data science degree program.

Too many articles written about the abundance of high-paying jobs for data scientists overestimate demand by reporting open positions using elementary search queries. By restricting search queries to entry-level positions, recently posted (within 30-days), and with an expected salary level above $80,000 (typically M.S. or Ph.D. required), the data here provide a more accurate estimate of the employment market facing new analytics and data science graduates. Our research shows that naive queries (i.e., those without restrictions) overestimate the number of open positions by a factor of ten.



The following figures provide real-time data on the number of employed data scientists and open positions in the U.S., North Carolina, and the Raleigh-Durham area. It’s important to note that positions with the job title “data scientist” (or some slight variation) represent only a fraction of the professional occupations requiring data science skills at the masters or doctoral level. However, as a job title that is growing in usage throughout industry, its increasing prevalence makes it a good barometer of changes over time in the overall job market for individuals who possess these skills. The search criteria are generally limited to position openings for entry-level data scientists with salaries of $80,000 or higher posted in the past 30-days. To understand the full range of job positions (beyond “data scientist”) that our students typically qualify as analytics professionals, please download the MSA Employment Report for more details. It’s to be expected the trend in job postings will have seasonality.


National Data (U.S.)


North Carolina (NC)


Raleigh-Durham Region (RDU)


Density of Employed Data Scientists by Population (Per 100,000) and Geographic Area (Per 1,000 km2)

U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with population > 1 million people (n=53)

The Raleigh-Cary MSA ranks 6th among the 53 metro areas in terms of the number of data scientists per 100,000 population (18 per 100,000), just behind the San Jose MSA; and 9th in terms of the geographic density (59 data scientists per square kilometer). The highest population density of data scientists is the Seattle MSA; and the highest geographic density is the San Francisco MSA.

Population sizes for the metro regions are based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates of the Core-based Statistical Area. As defined by the Bureau, a CBSA is an area containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island CBSA is the country’s largest, with 31 million people residing within it.

There are 12 data scientists per 100,000 population, and 4 data scientists per square kilometer for the United States as a whole.


(Color indicates population density and size indicates geographic density; Select a city to see details.)