According to Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Louisiana is investing $38 million into its state universities’ science and engineering departments, and as a result, it is becoming a national leader for producing computer science graduates. The decision to allot these investments stemmed from the need for a larger pool of tech talent ever since companies like IBM, GE Capital, CGI, CenturyLink, and CSG announced plans for new project expansions in the state. What’s more, Louisiana’s renewed interest in cultivating IT education to supply the growing demand for skilled tech workers is also affording data scientists a greater probability of discovering more high paying jobs.
In 2016, Louisiana was home to 22,500 information technology professionals, which is increasingly becoming an important asset as more digital media and software business clusters continue amassing around major cities like Shreveport, Baton Rogue, Lafayette, and New Orleans. One of the major factors responsible for the recent flurry of tech activities in these cities is the LED’s FastStart workforce development program. In 2015, Business Facilities ranked FastStart as the best workforce training leaders in the country.
The rising star in Louisiana’s evolving tech climate is definitely New Orleans. Despite Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow to the city’s infrastructure, in 2015 the Observer reported that wave of young entrepreneurs in recent years has resulted in 471 startup launches for every 1000,000 adults in New Orleans, which is impressively 64% greater than the national average. This explosion of startup efforts is attributed to the success of several business incubators located in New Orleans such as Propeller, the New Orleans Startup Fund, and 4.0 Schools.
Starting Salary Ranges for Data Scientist in Louisiana’s Major Cities
Data science professionals are reaping the benefits of high growth trends and high salaries in Louisiana. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that data scientists working in the areas of computer and information research and operations research were among the top 30 fastest growing professional fields in the state for the ten-year projection period leading up to 2022.
Baton Rouge is quickly becoming a technology and information hub in Louisiana. In fact, capital city is the headquarters for elite companies like DataClear, a big data consulting firm that hires data scientists to help local businesses put data to work to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. According to the United States Department of Labor, Baton Rouge also offered data science professionals great employment and salary opportunities in 2014.
In 2016, the IT staffing company Robert Half Technology determined the starting salary ranges in Louisiana’s largest cities. It is important to remember these salary statistics are only base rate amounts and to do incorporate additional income achieved through bonuses and other financial incentives.
New Orleans Area
- New Orleans: $108,000-$152,000
- Metairie: $104,000-$147,000
- Kenner: $104,000-$147,000
- Houma: $114,000-$161,000
- Bayou Cane: $108,000-$153,000
Baton Rouge Area
- Baton Rogue: $108,000-$152,000
- Thibodaux: $108,000-$152,000
- Lafayette: $101,000-$143,000
Other Major Cities:
- Shreveport: $85,000-$121,000
- Lake Charles: $95,000-$132,000
- Alexandria: $81,000-$114,000
- Monroe: $79,000-$112,000
Salaries for Data Science Jobs in Louisiana by Industry and Focus
Students and professionals thinking about pursuing a career in data science are encouraged to consider how their choice of industry could influence their future earnings. In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that data science jobs in Louisiana could pay an average annual salary well into the six-figure range:
Computer and Information Research Science
Financial Services Industry
An Analysis of Salaries for Data Scientists in Operations Research
A detailed analysis conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the median salary among data scientists in operations research in Monroe and New Orleans was about two thirds higher than the median salary for these professionals statewide (2014):
- Baton Rouge – $61,340
- Monroe LA,Estimate – $141,960
- New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner – $111,850
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 salaries to reflect the fact that data scientists are recognized as the top earners within each classification.