From healthcare and education to logistics and financial services, data scientists have become vital to strategic planning for hundreds of companies and organizations across virtually ever industry and sector in Florida. By mining data, developing and deploying algorithms for machine learning, and creating visualizations to represent their findings, data scientists apply their expertise in hundreds of different ways to give significance to massive data assets and extract information that can be used to guide strategies in each of these industries.
- SMU - Master of Science in Data Science - Bachelor's Degree Required.
- Syracuse University - M.S. in Applied Data Science: GRE Waivers available
- UC Berkeley - Master of Information and Data Science Online - Bachelor's Degree Required.
- Syracuse University - Master of Information Management Online
Data Scientist Starting Salary Ranges in Florida’s Biggest Cities
More than one quarter of a million people worked in high tech jobs in Florida in 2011 according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s 2012 Technology Works report commissioned by Engine Advocacy. Not surprisingly, a number of areas in Florida are getting national press as highly promising tech areas to watch. One such area is Jacksonville, which ranked 10th on the Forbes 2013 list of America’s new tech hot spots.
South Florida ranked number 3 on Mashable’s 2015 list of areas with the potential to become the next Silicon Valley. In addition, the Kauffman Index ranked Miami as second in the nation for startup activity the same year. According to a 2014 Wall Street Journal article that deemed Miami to be a burgeoning tech hub, the city’s proximity to the Latin American demographic is a key draw for companies that want to expand on a global scale.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area also garners national press for its high tech startup scene. GeekWire featured this scene in a 2015 article that described how the incubator Tampa Bay WaVe hatched more than 100 startups during the previous five years.
Clearwater is home to the well-established Tech Data Corp, which had annual sales of $26.8 billion and is one of Fortune’s “Most Admired” companies. Another draw to the Tampa area is US Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. Analysts hope that CENTCOM will spark a wave of cybersecurity and defense startups.
With all this activity and innovation, is not surprising that data scientists in a number of Florida’s largest cities were offered high starting salaries, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2016 survey. This tech staffing firm places thousands of jobseekers throughout the country and is well-positioned to provide hard data on the starting salaries of data scientists. These salary figures do not include relocation assistance or bonuses.
Relocation assistance is common in the tech industry, with 65% of Florida firms surveyed offering full reimbursement to relocate employees according to the Atlas Van Lines 45th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey. New hires benefit the most from this trend, since more than half of all relocations in 2011 went to new employees.
Robert Half draws from US Bureau of Labor Statistics research to account for geographical variation in Florida and provides up-to-date starting salary expectations for data scientists in the state:
- Miami – $117,000 – $165,000
- Miami Beach – $117,000 – $165,000
- Ft. Lauderdale – $117,000 – $165,000
- West Palm Beach – $110,000 – $155,000
- Tampa – $107,000 – $151,000
- St. Petersburg – $106,000 – $148,000
- Clearwater – $97,000 – $157,000
- Jacksonville – $104,000 – $146,000
- Gainesville – $90,000 – $127,000
- Ormond Beach – $76,000 – $107,000
- Tallahassee – $85,000 – $120,000
Job Growth Rates and Employment Distribution of Data Scientists in Florida
Projections from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity indicate that the number of jobs for data scientists in several industries will increase dramatically during the ten-year period leading up to 2023:
- Computer and Information Research Science – 44.61%
- Statistical Modeling – 26.27%
- Operations Research – 25.97%
- Financial Services – 33.34%
- Epidemiology/Public Health – 39.95%
- Survey Research – 21.44%
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Florida had the 3rd highest number of jobs in the country for data scientists in operations research as of 2014, with more than 6,000 such data scientists working in the state that year.
Several of Florida’s metropolitan areas had a particularly high concentration of jobs for data scientists in two fields:
Operations and Research
- Tallahassee – Highest concentration in the country
- Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin – 3rd highest concentration in the country
Computer and Information Research Science
- Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin – 2nd highest concentration in the country
Salaries for Data Scientists in Florida Working in the Area of Operation Research
According to salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists in operations research located in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin area earned higher salaries than those in other areas of the state (2014):
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers – $77,030
- Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin – $108,130
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach – $74,960
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach – $90,130
- Gainesville – $74,050
- Jacksonville – $91,550
- Lakeland-Winter Haven – $69,210
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach – $95,220
- Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division – 102,280
- Naples-Marco Island – $75,330
- North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota – $78,350
- Ocala – $121,930
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford – $93,650
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville – $135,370
- Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach – $107,450
- Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent – $99,160
- Port St. Lucie – $73,970
- Tallahassee – $72,920
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – $96,310
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach FL Metropolitan – $93,610
- Northeast Florida nonmetropolitan area – $63,570
- South Florida nonmetropolitan area – $70,890
Salaries for Data Scientists in Florida Working in the Field of Computer and Information Research Science
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the salaries of data scientists working in computer and information research science in three of Florida’s major cities as of 2014. In Jacksonville, these data scientists earned salaries that were substantially higher than what they earned in Florida’s other cities:
- Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin – $107,430
- Jacksonville – $148,380
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford – $107,450
Salaries for Statistical Modeling Specialists Throughout Florida
Salaries for data scientists that specialize in statistical modeling in Florida’s major cities varied by more than two-thirds according to a detailed analysis conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014. Those in the Palm Bay area earned significantly more than those in other major metropolitan areas of the state:
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach – $95,430
- Gainesville – $78,680
- Jacksonville – $91,630
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach – $96,770
- Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall FL Metropolitan Division – $108,980
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford – $115,400
- Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville – $114,570
- Tallahassee – $59,600
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – $100,050
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach – $67,270
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics information shown here reflects salary data for broad occupational classifications that include data scientists. These estimates are expressed as the 90th percentile average to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.