How to negotiate your salary for a Data Scientist role?

7 Ways to Improving Your Data Science Job Offer in 2021

In the rapidly expanding data world of today, Data Scientists are hired at a rate like never before. With the technology advancing each day and ruthless competition to get hired, there are many battles that a candidate fights and wins before landing the offer. As tempting it might be to jump on the first offer given to you, especially for someone trying to break into the data science world — that’s not a great idea!

Whether you are a new hire or an experienced looking for a job change in the field of Data Science, with this blog, we will take an in-depth look at how to approach offer negotiations.

Talking about money will always be an uncomfortable, scary conversation. With a lot at stake, you don’t want to under or oversell yourself, or come across as greedy, but companies will expect you to come with a counter! ALWAYS NEGOTIATE!

So far, I have learned a few things from my mentors, Data Scientists in the industry, and insights from recruiters and peers.

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1. Do your research before putting a number to the job

Before you put a number to what your should pay you, step one — research average pay for similar roles in similar companies or as an industry in general.

Ask around to your college alumni, seniors in your present company or whom you consider a resource, and peers in the same field for an approximate pay range
Seek help from mentors on what should be a good number for you per your experience and role
Look up average pay using salary comparison tools on websites for an approximate in the industry:

2. Personal factors

For any candidate to commit to a role, a multitude of factors count in before starting to work on the position. Personal factors should be taken into account to steer your pay decisions as well.

As you research average pay for roles, make sure to always keep your personal financial obligations in mind. Your salary should be an amount you will need to earn to live a comfortable life and not simply be what you want to earn.

3. Company factors

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As you are looking for factors to decide the best number to ask as your pay, you need to make sure to look at the bigger picture of the offer and consider a broader meaning of this job in your life.

Your salary expectations will inevitably highly depend on your personal preferences and your present life situation. There are some more important factors you should consider based on your company/employer:

Cost of living is a key factor that governs thousands of dollars when making an offer. Make sure you evaluate multiple aspects surrounding potentially moving from one state to another and compare your salary with your cost of living.

4. Have a skill set that none can reject

The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for the negotiation conversation is to know your market value ahead of time

Be prepared to show your employer how you are a “perfect fit” for the role and organization. Eventually, isn’t everything about being a good fit? In order to prove your worth to the manager and get a few thousand dollars more into your final offer, make an attempt to interface yourself with the organization’s goals, mission and vision. Revamp your skills, show passion and enthusiasm for the team.

5. Share your expectations

Aspiration Value = the amount of pay you would ideally like to be offered
Reservation Value = the minimum amount of pay you would be willing to accept (also known as the “walk-away” offer)

Be prepared to walk away from an offer if you and your employer are not on the same page as your minimum salary expectation. The promise of future raises will not help you in the present. What’s in your offer letter is what you’re offered and any restrains thereafter is how you make your decision.

6. Get a competing offer

“Be honest about other offers with a significant hike!”

If you find yourself happy and satisfied with the offer made by employer X, congrats!!

But, if you have a luring, competing offer in your kitty, you are definitely in a strong bargaining position — leverage that! While pay is a lucrative factor while accepting offers, make sure to think well —does the competing job edge out your current offer? Will it be challenging enough to drive you at work?

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7. Look For Other Employee Benefits to Negotiate

While anything and everything about the job offer is tight, it is quintessential to know what exactly on the table is negotiable. Compensation amount, benefits package, insurance, working conditions, holidays, days and hours of employment, work flexibility options, title, severance pay, these all are negotiable.

Consider going in the left if the right road doesn’t take you to your desired address — a good pay.

If there is one book that you should read if you want to become a better negotiator, it is “Jack Chapman’s Negotiating Your Salary”.


  • Once you have the official written offer in hand, take a thorough look at all the terms, salary, benefits, etc.
  • Revisit your salary research and personal financial obligations
  • If you are absolutely satisfied with the offer, call the employer to verbally accept the offer. Else, consider negotiating for a better offer

That’s it from my end for this blog. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the article. Do let me know what helped you in your negotiation journey or are planning to leverage it?

You can connect with me on Linkedin for any inquiries. If you like this article, kindly show appreciation by clapping for it. Thanks in advance. Stay safe and never stop learning!!

Best Wishes!
Manoj Gupta
Mentor & Chief Data Scientist (https://www.linkedin.com/in/manojkrgupta/) 

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