In July 2014, the Georgia Tech News Center published an article praising the Atlanta Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program for its recent achievements in teaching local government agencies and nonprofits how to use data to improve their communities. The student-based DSSG program was specifically recognized for its problem-solving solutions in identifying properties with a high risk for hazardous fires, creating a more effective hotline system, preserving and refining the urban forest environment, and comprehending mobility patterns.
Data scientists can also expect to find high-salaried jobs in Georgia’s private sector, as the state continues to support major business and financial enterprises that thrive here. In fact, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, there are twenty Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Georgia including companies like Home Depot, the Coca-Cola Company, the United Parcel Service (UPS), and Delta Air Lines, all of which have operations that rely heavily on data science.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in Georgia’s Major Cities
According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, tech companies are slated to invest approximately $1 billion into Georgia’s economy by 2020. Much of this funding is invested internally to strengthen the technological capabilities within these companies, namely mobility technology, smart grid technology, digital media and content, health system technology, network security, financial transactions processing, and software development and engineering.
Georgia’s Atlanta area is home to over 13,000 tech companies and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), one of the biggest tech organizations in the United States. A recent report by WalletHub also ranked Atlanta among its list of best metro areas for STEM Professionals in 2016. The Atlanta metro region offers some the highest starting data science salaries in the state thanks to huge tech corporations and firms like AT&T Mobility, Internet Security Systems (ISS), NCR Corp., Stefanini, and Sage Software, which offer high-end salaries to stay competitive.
Of course, Atlanta isn’t the only major city creating a buzz in the tech world. For instance, in 2016 TAG ranked Delta Data, a mutual fund management firm based in Columbus, among Georgia’s “Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies.”
The Augusta metro is also becoming a tech leader in Georgia. In 2015, TAG heralded this region as the second highest growth area in the state for technology due to the prevalence of tech-enabled companies and startups centered around cybersecurity/cyberdefense, energy, health IT, transportation technology, and software development.
Robert Half Technology determined the following starting salary ranges based on data gathered from placing thousands of tech workers with companies around the state annually. These statistics reflect starting base salaries exclusively, other modes of compensation including bonuses and incentives are not included.
- Atlanta: $116,000-$164,000
- Sandy Springs: $115,000-$162,000
- Marietta: $116,000-$163,000
- Gainesville: $89,000-$125,000
- Rome: $84,000-$118,000
- Columbus: $84,000-$118,000
- Opelika: $75,000-$105,000
- Auburn: $75,000-$105,000
- Montgomery: $89,000-$125,000
- Albany: $82,000-$115,000
- Augusta: $89,000-$125,000
- Richmond County: $105,000-$148,000
- Columbia: $102,000-$144,000
- Anderson: $76,000-$108,000
- Concord: $109,000-$154,000
- Savannah: $92,000-$129,000
- Fort Stewart: $88,000-$125,000
- Hinesville: $81,000-$114,000
- Brunswick: $81,000-$114,000
- Charleston: $102,000-$145,000
An Overview of Salaries for Data Scientist in Georgia According to Industry and Career Focus
In 2014, Georgia’s Department of Labor, along with the United States Department of Labor, released the following salary ranges for data scientists in several key industries and career focus areas (range shown as overall average – 90th percentile average):
Statistical Modeling: $86,229 – $125,800
Computer and Information Research Science: $92,445 – $132,600
Operations Research: $74,056 – $110,300
Financial Services: $80,150 – $117,000
Salaries for Data Scientists Working in Operations Research in Atlanta and Macon
Salaries for data scientists working in the area of operations research in the Atlanta area was higher than the statewide average for these specialists. (2014, US Bureau of Labor Statistics):
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta – $109,640
- Macon – $93,490
Salaries for Statistical Modeling Specialists in Georgia
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta district is one of the largest greater metropolitan areas in the Southeast region of the United States. As such, this region continues to employ hundreds of statistical modeling specialists to keep up with the growing demands of a thriving business community. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported the following for employees in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta:
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta – $129,250
Salaries for Computer and Information Research Scientists in Georgia
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor determined salaries for data scientists working in the field of computer and information research science in Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta and Warner Robins:
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta – $146,470
- Warner Robins – $107,430
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 90th percentile average to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.