Survey and Data Science Job Outlooks and Salaries

Many growing industries employ those with expertise in survey and data science. Explore your options in survey methodology and data science jobs.

Data is everywhere in our lives, and nearly every industry whose mission involves researching people needs professionals who are highly skilled in survey methodology and data science. When it comes to survey and data science job outlooks, you can expect to find a growing number of career options.

Survey methodology and data science jobs also have strong salary prospects and growth potential. Employers, on average over the past decade, will pay 15% or more to job candidates who hold a master’s degree than those with a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For those interested in pursuing survey methods — and its intersection with data science — a master’s degree in survey and data science from the University of Michigan will create employment opportunities and advanced earning potential in a wide variety of industries that employ survey and data science specialists.

What Industries Have Survey and Data Science Jobs?

Jobs in data science and survey methodology are in economic sectors such as marketing, political and economic forecasting, finance, insurance, manufacturing, retail trade, and professional services. With a degree from U-M, you will have opportunities to work in many different settings, including:


Many colleges and universities around the world house a survey research center. This means survey and data science job outlooks tend to be favorable in academic settings. These academic survey research centers employ qualified individuals with survey methods expertise.

These centers also need staff who have master’s and PhD degrees and can conduct and direct surveys, as well as design and develop survey methods. In addition, universities employ U-M PhDs as faculty members who teach and carry out original research.

Global Organizations

Ranging from the United Nations to the World Health Organization (WHO), entities with worldwide reach need survey methodologists, data scientists, and professionals in other survey and data science jobs to help them do impactful work. For instance, the WHO employs individuals who compile and analyze data on mortality rates, life expectancy, emergency preparedness, and other critically important trends and phenomena.

Government Agencies

Local, state, and federal government agencies employ many survey and data scientists. For example, U.S. federal agencies employ more than 12,000 staff members and spend approximately $4 billion each year to collect and analyze survey data on economic and social phenomena.

Private Sector

Nonprofit research and survey firms employ trained survey methodologists and data scientists oriented toward social statistics to staff their diverse data collection and research activities. Market research firms continue to look for survey methodologists and data scientists with strong technical skills and research experience to, for example, mine and analyze data. These are just a couple of paths that can lead to jobs in data science and survey methodology. The private sector, on average, spends $10 to $15 billion each year and employs more than 45,000 researchers skilled in data science and survey research.

Social Media

Over the last decade, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more have been increasing the number of employees they hire with experience in survey and data science. Because this industry is ever-growing and social media platforms use the combination of surveys and data science to identify growth opportunities and execute new ideas on a global scale, the survey methods and data science job outlook for graduates is extremely positive.

What Is the Survey and Data Science Salary Outlook?

In our data-driven and high-tech world, professionals with a full understanding of survey methods — and its intersection with data science — are valued more than ever. According to Glassdoor’s most recent statistics, the survey and data science salary outlook for survey and data science jobs are:

  • Quantitative Researcher—$153,720
  • Data Scientist—$116,041
  • Research Scientist—$106,722
  • Survey Methodologist—$91,758
  • Survey Statistician—$86,075

What Jobs in Data Science and Survey Have the Most Growth Potential?

Now you know the survey and data science salary outlook. It’s equally important to consider a career path that has ample growth opportunities. That’s the case when you pursue jobs in data science and survey science.

Here are five survey and data science job outlooks:

Data Scientist

In recent years, data scientist was named one of the fastest-growing jobs by LinkedIn and Glassdoor. PricewaterhouseCoopers has said that “the best jobs right now in America include titles like data scientist, data engineer, and business analyst.”

Professionals with jobs in survey research and data science work closely with decision makers to understand their goals and determine how data can be used to achieve those goals. As a survey and data scientist, you can expect to design data modeling processes, create algorithms and predictive models to extract data, and analyze and share insights with stakeholders.

Quantitative Researcher

Careers as quantitative researchers and analysts are expected to increase over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a quantitative researcher, you will collect and analyze data — whether you’re finding patterns, making predictions, testing relationships, or generalizing results to wider populations. You might expect to use your research and data to study trends or concerns, as well as inform decision makers within your organization.

Research Scientist

Jobs available for research scientists will increase by 13% over the next decade, according to Research scientists work in nearly every industry and perform tasks related to surveys and data science, including planning and conducting experiments, collecting samples and carrying out fieldwork, analyzing data, and much more.

Survey Methodologist

Survey methodologists design surveys. Simple as this may sound, it requires expertise with a wide range of techniques involving sampling, data collection, and analysis. It also requires familiarity with the most recent methodological developments.

Survey methodology is a dynamic field where talented individuals are needed to develop and test methods. The demand for survey methodologists among employers continues to be steady and even to grow.

To produce reliable and informative surveys, you must be able to choose the optimal of survey mode, craft questions that elicit accurate responses, design and recruit a sample that fits the research goals, and much more. Jobs in survey methodology are all about carefully designing surveys to maximize data quality and the accuracy of the population estimates they support.

Survey Statistician

Survey statistician jobs are expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This translates to an expected job growth of 30%.

Survey statisticians design and select samples, help select the survey mode methods and data collection operations, conduct statistical post-survey adjustments, analyze survey data, and much more.

An integrated master’s degree program from a top-ranked university

While you might discover several data science or survey methodology master’s programs, you’ll be hard pressed to find a graduate program like the one at the University of Michigan. Here you will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned experts in survey methodology and its intersection with data science.

When you pursue a master’s degree in survey and data science from the University of Michigan, you will be well positioned for a strong career that will also help set you up for financial success.

Pursue a master’s degree in a growing field

Make a commitment to your career with U-M’s Master of Survey and Data Science. If you have questions, please fill out a request for more information or call us at 734-647-0038.

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