Ever since we started doing webinars and workshops on Data Science, there is always at least one person in the crowd that asks us this,
How much does a data scientist earn in Malaysia?
This is a fair question, especially if you are looking to venture into a data science career.
1. Junior Data Scientist
Salary range: RM 2,250–RM 4,462 per month.
As a junior data scientist, the basic skills you need are SQL and basic Python programming.
Your job is to assist senior data scientists with their daily tasks.
For data preparation, you need to collect and clean the data, making sure that the data is of good quality and ready for use in analytics projects.
After that, you will assist in building machine learning models, assessing performance, and using these models to answer business questions.
Lastly, junior data scientists will need to prepare a report on the results and share it with the team.
2. Data Scientist
Salary range: RM 4,800 – RM 7,500 per month.
Data scientists with 2 – 3 years of experience take on more responsibilities.
Their main job is to perform statistical analysis to uncover insights and to find trends and patterns.
Their salary varies, depending on location, industry, company size, and technical expertise.
You will get a higher-paying job in areas such as computer vision, natural language processing, and deep learning.
Experienced data scientists also develop machine learning models for predictive and prescriptive analytics.
Finally, they communicate the key findings with stakeholders to make informed business decisions.
3. Data Team Lead
Salary range: RM 6,100 – RM 8,800 per month.
The main role of a data team lead is to lead a group of data professionals.
This group consists of data engineers, data analysts, machine learning engineers, and data scientists.
They work together to solve business problems.
The data team lead’s work will also involve organizing and overseeing data projects.
They will make plans, gather requirements, and execute and deploy the project.
Your salary varies depending on the team size, responsibilities, and nature of your work. Whether it is more on leadership, technical, or balanced.
You are required to decide the tech stack, create road maps, and set goals to improve data analytics capabilities continously.
Since the data team lead is a leadership role, you will also need to hire and mentor team members, making sure their career development is aligned with the company’s growth.
4. Chief Data Scientist
Salary range: RM 10,800 – RM 21,600.
As a chief data scientist, you will work together with other C-level management like CEO, CTO, and CFO.
Your role is to lead a data team and drive a data strategy that aligns with the company’s goals.
Sometimes the position might not be called chief data scientist.
You could be the Vice President (VP), Director of Data, or CIO.
But, their jobs are all similar.
A chief data scientist’s work is less technical. As you gain experience and management skills, your pay will match what you bring to the company.
Some companies (e.g., funded startups) even pay up to RM 100,000 per month if you can deliver value.
What about the salary of other data roles?
When we talk about careers in data, it’s not just data scientists who are in the spotlight.
There are several other roles that play a crucial part in a data team, each with its unique roles and, of course, salary scales.
Salary range: RM 3,600 to RM 5,800 per month (Jobstreet)
Data analysts are people who turn data into insights.
They usually work with existing data, using tools like Excel or SQL to analyze and report findings.
Data analysts are crucial in helping businesses understand their performance and make informed decisions.
Salary range: RM 5,400 to RM 7,400 per month (Jobstreet)
Data engineers are the builders in the data world.
They design, architect, and construct systems that gather, manage, and store raw data safely.
They work closely with big data technologies and cloud technologies, and are often proficient in scripting languages like Python and SQL.
Due to their technical expertise, data engineers often come from database admin or network engineers background.
Machine learning engineers
Salary range: RM 4,649 – RM 8,154 per month (Indeed)
ML engineers focus on using algorithms to build models that allow machines to learn and make predictions.
Their work is more specialized compared to data scientists, and as a result, they often command higher salaries.
They are the wizards behind the intelligent systems that power a wide range of applications, from product recommendation to self-driving cars.
Job demand for data scientists in Malaysia
Data science is still one of the most highly in-demand skills moving into 2024.
This trend is still growing.
But, Malaysia is still short of data scientist and other data professionals.
The main reason is the growth of AI and IoT development, which generated exponential volume of data.
Scroll through any job portal, and you’ll find many vacant data roles.
Also,data science skills are applicable across different sectors and industries.
So, whether you’re in finance, logistics, the property sector, etc., learning data science skills will certainly accelerate your career growth.
Should you work for startups or corporates?
Want to make a big difference in the world? Joining a startup is a great choice.
You’ll work on cool, new products, and tackle tough problems.
Data scientists often get paid more at startups, especially the ones with funding. Because startups are always in a hurry, looking for skilled people to join and speed things up.
In the case where the pay is lower, startups might offer other perks like equity.
They also give you more chances to grow your career compared to big companies.
If you are a mid-career and want a more laid-back life, then a big company might be better. Big companies are more structured, and you don’t have to firefight every moment.
Working in big companies is less liberal than in startups. But you will learn about systems and work in a different kind of place.
Big companies make it easier to balance work and life. With team support, it’s easier to take time off for yourself and your family.
Data science is a life-long learning journey.
As new and emerging technologies evolve, your career will become valuable and lucrative as you venture into another field with your newfound knowledge and skill.
Whether you’re just starting in your career, trying to switch to data science or becoming a data professional, learn the basics – the skillsets and industry knowledge to succeed that you can apply at work.
Not to forget the open-source tools that are available which is part of a data scientist toolbox!
We hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the career prospect of becoming a data scientist.
If you think data science is what you are passionate about, you can read more about how to break into data science with no technical background or join our Data Science 360 course to kickstart your data science journey.
What other data science questions would you like us to answer?