Becoming a Data Scientist in the US (2024): A Complete Guide

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Ned Krastev 3 Jun 2024 7 min read

Over the last decade, data science has become a superstar in the US job market. It's been sitting in the top three jobs in Glassdoor’s rankings, based on factors like salaries, job satisfaction, and job availability.

Now, even with AI making waves and the recent tech layoffs, becoming a data scientist in the US remains a great choice for anyone considering their future in tech.

The average job satisfaction and salaries for data scientists in the US outshine those of its closest competitors, as reported by Glassdoor.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks numerous data-related roles among the fastest-growing jobs from 2022-2032—with a substantial 34% increase for data scientists.

And data science salaries continue to rise—the average annual salary saw a near \$35,000 increase between 2023 and 2024, according to Glassdoor.

For those of you who want to get in on this great opportunity, this article is going to take a closer look at the data scientist job market in the US. We'll outline some key factors to consider if you're dreaming of becoming a data scientist in the United States—the job application process, potential salaries, education and skills requirements, years of experience, top industries, and where you're most likely to find job openings.

Table of Contents

Data Science Applications in the US

What Is the Data Scientist Salary in the US?

Which Universities Offer the Best Data Science Education in the US?

What Are the Best Programming Languages for Data Science in the US?

What Data Scientist Skills Are Required by US Employers?

How Many Years of Data Science Experience Do You Need in the US?

Which Are the Best Industries for Data Science in the US?

What Are the Best US Locations for Data Science Jobs?

A Career in Data Science: Next Steps


Data Science Applications in the US

If you're considering relocating to the US for a data science job, there are a few factors you should consider.

Data Scientist Visa Requirements

First off, one of the key country-specific factors to keep in mind when eyeing a data science career in the US is visas.

If you live outside the United States and want to work there, you generally must apply for a visa from the U.S. Department of State (DOS). But there can be exceptions if your country is exempt from requiring a visa. For more information, you can refer to DOS' Travel Without a Visa page.

This can make becoming a data scientist in the US troublesome for non-US applicants. It is difficult to get a data science interview and be considered for a position if the company you’re applying for isn’t convinced you’re the right person for the respective role.

As a rule of thumb, smaller companies tend to be more open to sponsoring foreign applicants. If you want to work for a larger corporation, you can explore the option of getting hired in a different country and gradually communicating that you want to be transferred to the US.

Your home country and the type of company you want to work for—whether it's a multinational enterprise or not—will influence your visa options. It's important to familiarize yourself with the basics of L, H1B, and TN visas based on this.

That said, a visitor visa can be helpful for attending an interview at the very least. Although, nowadays people all over the world are more and more open to Zoom meetings and an initial introduction online.

Now that you know whether or not you can get a data scientist job in the US, let’s look at where you can start your job search.

Data Science Job Boards in the US

Junior candidates will find plenty of suitable opportunities on popular websites like CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Indeed, Job2Careers, Monster, Nexxt, Resume-Library, Snagajob,, ZipRecruiter, and, of course, LinkedIn.

It’s also a great idea to keep an eye on industry-leading blogs like KDnuggets and subscribe to email newsletters such as

What Is the Data Scientist Salary in the US?

How much do data scientists make in the US?

Many people are attracted to this career path due to its high earning potential in the current job market.

If you're looking for actual salary data, Glassdoor is a reliable resource. It reports that the average data scientist salary in the US is \$157,000 per year. However, this range can vary, starting at approximately \$123,000 and reaching up to \$202,000.

Which companies offer the highest salaries?

Glassdoor also indicates that Cruise and AirBnB offer the highest data scientist salaries, while Booz Allen Hamilton has reported the lowest.

Which Universities Offer the Best Data Science Education in the US?

How about data science education? Which are some of the best universities offering a master’s in data science in the United States?

According to Forbes columnist and fellow instructor in the 365 Data Science Program, Bernard Marr, the top 3 data science degrees in the world are based in the US and are:

  • MIT – Master of Business Analytics
  • Stanford – MsC in Statistics: Data Science
  • Carnegie Mellon – Master of Computational Data Science

Besides these programs, there are a few others that deserve an honorable mention, too:

  • Harvard – Master of Science in Data Science
  • University of Washington – Master of Science in Data Science
  • The University of Texas at Austin – Master of Science in Business Analytics

But, of course, you can become a data scientist even if you don’t graduate from a target school. Truth be told, it’s mostly about your data science skills.

The 365 Data Science program offers you a chance to build the skills you need without having to attend a prestigious institution. Take your first step towards a data science career today!

Now, let’s get into some of the specific skills you need to build to be competitive in the US job market.

What Are the Best Programming Languages for Data Science in the US?

This is a bar graph showing the required programming languages for data scientists in the US. Python leads at almost 60%, followed by R at 33% and SQL at 30%.

Our 2024 research of 1,000 data science job postings on Indeed found that Python is the most in-demand programming language, appearing in over 50% of all postings. This is followed by R (33%) and SQL (30%). Java remains far behind at about 9%.

Compared to our 2021 research, the importance of programming languages for data scientists in the US seems to have increased. Our 2021 results found that 32% of job ads mentioned Python, 25% R, 22% SQL, and 5.6% Java—clearly, Python has become an indispensable tool.

What Data Scientist Skills Are Required by US Employers?

The most frequently mentioned data science skills are:

In our 2024 job market research, the most frequently mentioned data analysis skills were data visualization (appearing in 10.2% of postings), data mining (9.6%), statistical analysis (7.7%), and SAS (6.2%). Python found its way into over half of our postings, as we saw above, and machine learning into almost 70%.

To become a data scientist in the US, the critical machine learning skills and techniques include:

A bar graph showing the required ML skills in data scientist job postings in the US. NLP leads at 19%, followed by deep learning and optimization around 10% each.

Deep learning and NLP were the most frequently cited AI for data science skills in our research, at 12% and 19% respectively. The most popular ML skills in the US this year included computer vision (6%), ANN (6%), and general optimization algorithms (6%).

In recent years, we have also seen two growing trends within the data science career: a demand for multifaceted talent and the emergence of new tools as organizations shift to the cloud. Consequently, cloud proficiency and skills borrowed from fields such as data engineering are becoming more prevalent in job postings across the US.

Cloud tools such as Azure and AWS are gaining popularity, showing up in approximately 30% and 20% of US data science job postings in 2024, respectively.

Big data technologies, particularly those from Apache, are also becoming a common requirement. Spark appears in 11% of the job postings, while Hadoop is mentioned in 7%.

How Many Years of Data Science Experience Do You Need in the US?

Our research this year found that to become a data scientist in the US, most companies are seeking at least a few years of experience.

7.3% of job postings mentioned 2-4 years;

6.8% noted 4-6 years;

5.7% required 6+ years;

and only about 3.7% of postings were for entry-level positions.

But it’s important to keep in mind that less than a quarter of the job postings listed a specific requirement. This may indicate that some employers are more open to new talent. If you can prove that you have the skills and other forms of practical experience, becoming a data scientist in the US may be a serious possibility.

Gaining hands-on data science experience without prior job experience may seem paradoxical, but it is achievable. In this field, you have the opportunity to work on personal projects, using either your own datasets or those accessible online. At 365 Data Science, we provide a plethora of ready-to-use projects catered to all skill levels, spanning a broad range of topics and tools to help you bolster your portfolio and give you the crucial qualifications for data science.

Remember, even if you have prior job experience, a robust portfolio is an asset that can set you apart in the competitive job market.

Which Are the Best Industries for Data Science in the US?

A pie chart showing the most common industries for data scientist jobs in 2024. Technology engineering leads at about 30% followed by HR at at 19% and Health and Life Sciences at 13%.

According to our 2024 research, most data science jobs are in Technology & Engineering (28.2%), with HR firms hiring for diverse sectors (19%). The field is increasingly popular in Health & Life Sciences (13%), Financial Services (10%), and Primary Industries & Manufacturing (8.7%).

This is a significant change since 2020, when 70% of the data scientists in our research were working in the tech sector.

What Are the Best US Locations for Data Science Jobs?

Finally, we examined the states in which we saw the highest number of data scientist job postings.

Our research revealed that the same states consistently offer the most job opportunities for various data-related roles including data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers.

As you might expect, California topped the list for all job titles. The other top 10 varied by role, but a few states were consistent. These were Virginia, New York, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey.

If you want to get a job in data science in the US, looking in one of these states will definitely boost your chances.

These days, however, location is less critical than it was a few years ago. Many companies now offer fully or partially remote positions, providing more flexibility in terms of where you live. It's important, however, to note that many of these opportunities are constrained to US time zones, meaning you’ll likely need to reside within the country.

A Career in Data Science: Next Steps

We sincerely hope this article proves useful to anyone interesting in learning how to become a data scientist in the US. Remember, identifying your goal is the first step toward achieving it.

Our course, Starting a Career in Data Science, equips you with the knowledge necessary for a successful data science career. Another course, Introduction to Data and Data Science, introduces you to key data science terminologies and processes. You'll learn how to create a data science project portfolio, build your resume, network effectively, perform well in phone interviews, solve take-home tests, and excel in behavioral and technical questions.

Pursuing a career in data science in the US can be both challenging and rewarding. With the right education, skills, and experience, you can take advantage of the significant opportunities available in the field. Remember, the journey may be demanding, but the rewards of a fulfilling and lucrative career in data science are well worth the effort. Keep learning, stay curious, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a data scientist in the US.


Are data scientists in demand in the US?
Yes, data scientists are in significant demand in the US. Over the past decade, data science has become one of the top careers in the US job market, consistently ranking in the top three jobs on Glassdoor due to its high salaries, job satisfaction, and availability. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that data-related roles will be among the fastest-growing jobs from 2022 to 2032, with data scientist positions leading the pack with a projected growth rate of 34%.
Despite AI advancements and recent tech layoffs, the number of data science jobs remains robust. This demand is driven by the increasing reliance on data-driven decision-making across various industries, including technology, healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. As companies continue to prioritize data insights to drive their strategies, the demand for data scientists is expected to remain strong.
Take the first step towards a rewarding career in data science with 365 Data Science’s comprehensive training programs.


How much does a data scientist make in the USA?
Data scientists in the USA enjoy highly competitive salaries, reflecting the high demand and critical nature of their work. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a data scientist is approximately \$157,000. This figure, however, can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, education, and location. Entry-level positions may start around \$123,000 per year, while more experienced professionals, especially those working in top tech companies or high-cost living areas, can earn upwards of \$202,000 annually. The substantial earning potential makes becoming a data scientist in the US and attractive option for many.
Enhance your skills and maximize your earning potential with 365 Data Science’s expertly designed courses.


Is the US good for data science?
The USA is an excellent place for pursuing a career in data science. The country offers a vibrant job market with numerous opportunities in various industries such as technology, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. Data science roles are not only plentiful but also offer high job satisfaction and lucrative salaries. The educational infrastructure in the US is also top-notch, with prestigious institutions like MIT, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon offering some of the best data science programs in the world. Moreover, the US is home to many leading tech companies and startups that are at the forefront of innovation, providing data scientists with exciting projects and cutting-edge tools. Now is a great time to pursue a job as a data scientist in the US.
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Ned Krastev

Co-founder of 365 Company

Ned is a Master of Finance at Bocconi University with years of advisory experience in some of the world’s top international enterprises. A visionary and co-founder of 365 Data Science, he has helped thousands of students gain competitive advantage through his courses Introduction to Excel, Advanced Microsoft Excel, Data Analysis with Excel Pivot Tables, Python for Finance, and Introduction to Tableau.