• Zev Isert

Top Global Cities to Live and Work as a Data Scientist

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Being a data scientist has been hailed as the “sexiest job of the 21st century” by Harvard Business Review. Burtch has a concise way of describing the role of data scientists as “applying sophisticated quantitative and computer science skills to both structure and analyze massive stores or continuous streams of unstructured data, with the intent to derive insights and prescribe action.” (Burtch)

As data becomes an increasingly valuable resource in creating successful business outcomes, data scientists are becoming essential staff at many organizations. If you are looking to become a data scientist, or are a current data scientist looking to relocate, here are the top cities for you to live and work worldwide.

Boston, Massachusetts

Average Salary: $133,885 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very high

Boston is one of the top tech hubs in the US outside of Silicon Valley. With high levels of walkability, exciting events such as the Boston Marathon, and world class museums, the city is a great place to settle down. Additionally, Boston’s close proximity to both MIT and Harvard makes it the ideal location for data scientists interested in academia and cutting edge research.

Dublin, Ireland

Average Salary: $119,570 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very high

Featuring cloud data centers for many of the world’s largest tech companies, including Microsoft, Facebook and Google, Dublin is one of Europe’s top tech hubs. If you are interested in living in a city full of rich history and culture, and you love Guinness, Dublin is the top place for you.

Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), India

Average Salary: $15,859 (USD)

Cost of Living: Low

India is one of the world’s largest economies, and Bengaluru is its center for tech. While the salary you can earn in Bengaluru is not as high as in other cities, the low cost of living makes up for it. Bengaluru has a massive startup culture, and is good for those looking to position themselves as leaders in an emerging market.

London, United Kingdom

Average Salary: $115,565 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very High

London is home to a thriving tech scene, especially in fintech and artificial intelligence. There are lots of opportunities for foreigners here, the UK has a job shortage in the digital sector with international workers making up 13% of the industry’s workforce. If you are looking to live in one of the most prominent cities in the world, London is the ideal spot, although there is a high price tag to do so.

Berlin, Germany

Average Salary: $127,640 (USD)

Cost of Living: Mid range

If you would like to live somewhere with a unique cultural scene and amazing nightlife, Berlin is the obvious choice. Berlin is much more affordable than many of the other European cities on this list while still offering a plethora of opportunities.

Vancouver, Canada

Average Salary: $105,685 (USD)

Cost of Living: High

Vancouver is one of Canada’s top tech hubs. Salaries for data scientists and similar roles are 29% higher than the national average in the city. If you would like to live somewhere in Canada with easy access to the outdoors and the ocean, with high proximity to many of the world’s other tech hubs (San Francisco, Seattle, Portland) Vancouver is ideal. The city also has a very mild winter for Canada.

Singapore, Singapore

Average Salary: $84,356 (USD)

Cost of Living: High

Singapore is consistently ranked as one of the “smartest” cities in the world. With offices from major players such as Facebook, Google and Linkedin, Singapore is the perfect choice for data scientists looking to base themselves in Southeast Asia. The Singapore government invests heavily in tech infrastructure, showing that the city highly values data scientists and knowledge workers.

Geneva, Switzerland

Average Salary: $170,802 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very High

Geneva has the highest salary for data scientists worldwide, although it also has a very high cost of living. If you are looking to live in central Europe, with easy access to the outdoors, including skiing, hiking and climbing, Geneva is an amazing spot. Switzerland also boasts an extremely high quality of living.

São Paulo, Brazil

Average Salary: $22,607 (USD)

Cost of Living: Low

São Paulo is quickly becoming South America’s largest tech city. Hosting companies such as Netflix and Google, if you want to live in South America while still pursuing a successful career in the industry, Sao Paulo is the place to do so.

Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Jose), USA

Average Salary: $143,563 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very High

Silicon Valley is the destination for tech, and therefore is one of the top locations for data scientists to live. Living in Silicon Valley will give you access to countless opportunities at many of the largest tech companies in the world, as well as many promising and interesting startups. The high cost of living and potentially long commutes may deter some people, however the tech industry opportunities and networking available are difficult to match anywhere else.

Toronto, Canada

Average Salary: $103,516 (USD)

Cost of Living: High

Canada’s largest city, and one of the biggest cities in North America, Data scientists will be able to find many opportunities in the banking and financial industry here. Toronto is an extremely multicultural city, offering a variety of experiences and a thriving food scene.

New York, New York

Average Salary: $136,626 (USD)

Cost of Living: Very High

New York has an exciting data science scene if you are willing to stomach the high costs of living in the city. New York is a cultural hub, perfect for those looking for a unique city living in the city that never sleeps.

Austin, Texas

Average Salary: $109,442 (USD)

Cost of Living: Mid range

Austin is frequently being seen as an alternative to Silicon Valley, with lower costs of living. With numerous tech companies making their home in the city, along with the popular South by SouthWest festival, Austin has a thriving tech scene.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Average Salary: $77,918 (USD)

Cost of Living: High

Tel Aviv is the region’s tech capital, with startups being ingrained into the culture and 1 in 10 jobs in the technology industry (Tel Aviv Global). One of the most innovative cities in the world, Tel Aviv also has amazing beaches and a long history.

When deciding this list we looked at the average salary for each location in USD for comparison purposes (SalaryExpert) and the average cost of living (Expatistan), along with researching the unique advantages each city offers.