COVID not only changed the way we thought 2020 and 2021 would go, but the long-lasting effects of COVID on the way we work are emerging. Employers are taking advantage of the open boundaries of remote work to find top talent that may not live just around the corner, so you may find new opportunities where you least expect when looking for remote data science jobs.

remote data science jobs locations

Forbes, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company, among many other publications, are proclaiming from the rooftops that remote work is the new normal, so it’s time to brush off that resume and see what opportunities are now available without location-specific restrictions. Here’s what you need to know to find and land your data science remote job.

Where are these remote jobs?

With Google still promising an eventual return to work and Facebook claiming up to 50% of its workforce able to go remote, the big five are leading the way for remote work across the board, not just remote data science jobs. These trends bode well for the field because smaller companies are watching and learning.

Looking across various job posting sites, some of the most significant numbers are still coming out of California with Massachusetts and New York (unsurprisingly) not far behind. However, new tech hubs such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia could also see gains in remote positions as startups and branches expand hiring beyond city and state borders.

States are also putting substantial marketing efforts in attracting workers to revitalize areas experiencing some stagnation and competing to become the new remote Silicon Valley. With a better cost of living and access to other incentives, remote tech work could transform the market.

The numbers seem promising, but some of these job postings we’re seeing involve gig sites or contract work, not necessarily full-time positions. While that may work for some, we’re hoping to see more full-time positions open up as companies are eager to return to full capacity following the pandemic.

But will these opportunities last?

All signs point to yes. Gartner’s latest findings on the remote phenomena across the board show 47% of employers are willing to allow employees to remain in full-time remote work even after the threat of the pandemic is over. One major paper out of MIT showed as much as half of the workforce who remained employed during the first wave of COVID disruption were remote. That shock has long-lasting effects.

Studies do suggest that remote work has the potential to increase employee satisfaction with a position, something the tech field could definitely appreciate. Employers are getting behind the concept of remote as a result.

In addition to Google and Facebook, Twitter is encouraging employees to stay home forever. Coinbase is moving ahead with a remote-first model. And more startups than ever are hiring remotely and making new products to smooth out remote work obstacles for companies everywhere.

Is remote work sustainable?

We’re fully behind the shift to remote work and believe it’s here to stay for quite a few reasons:

  • Talent is global — Companies are finding out that their best chance of hiring tech talent away from the big five is expanding the search across borders.
  • Hiring is competitive — The best talent is still tough to find, and for startups outside Silicon Valley or other tech hubs, finding talent locally is nearly impossible.
  • Relocation is prohibitive — Asking top talent to move is expensive. Companies could lose talent because of the difficulties of moving or spend a lot more resources offering relocation support. Remote work smooths the transition.
  • Diversity could benefit — Diversity in tech is a growing need, and reaching beyond local candidates could help. Candidates not able to relocate for financial or other reasons could still receive positions and promotions.
  • Employees prefer it — Studies are showing that remote work has the potential to attract and retain talent as part of an overall benefits package designed to match current ideas about work/life balance.

Finding and landing a remote job in data science

So where are these jobs, and how do you land one for yourself? Searching job sites for positions tagged “remote” or “anywhere” is a good starting point. Looking at news sites or here for companies that are continuing to adopt remote-first capabilities could also be good indications of jobs opening up.

If you’re looking at remote data science jobs, here are some things you need to do:

  • Perfect the art of the cover letter — A cover letter tells the employer where you are in the world, your capabilities, and what you can do for the company even remotely (emphasis on that last part). 
  • Practice remote interviews — Even if you’re delivering an interview on video, you still need to prepare. Practice with a friend who can give you pointers for presenting on camera.
  • Build your portfolio — Tech jobs emphasize accomplishments, not time spent in the field. Make your work easy to view with a shareable portfolio through places like Github.
  • Transition to their work hours — If you get the job, you’ll need to work during the hours the company uses as standard. Make this clear in your interview and cover letter.
  • Network, network, network — LinkedIn, Github, virtual events like ODSC, all these avenues can connect you to your dream job through the power of networking.
  • Stay positive — Don’t discount the act of staying positive. This keeps you updating your portfolio, reaching out to new contacts, and ensures that when you do get an interview, you’re ready.

The future of remote data science

The sustainability of remote work is only getting easier with companies adopting remote-first policies and startups rising to the occasion of facilitating a remote workforce. If remote work is something you’re interested in, you may find that your field is wide open. Perfect your cover letter and keep an eye out for new opportunities with companies moving remote; there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for.

How to prepare for and find remote data science jobs

There are plenty of ways that you can prepare for and find remote data science jobs in 2021 and beyond.

Find jobs with the Ai+ Careers platform

There are plenty of job sites out there, but our own Ai+ Careers site is designed specifically for data science and artificial intelligence professionals. Featuring automatic job matching, job assessments, and advanced career searches, this is your go-to tool for finding your next job.

Scout the ODSC jobs board daily

We frequently add new jobs to our data science jobs board – bookmark it and check daily for new in-person or remote data science jobs.

Learn new skills with Ai+ Training

On the Ai+ Training platform, you gain access to all of the most important skills that employers are looking for when looking for remote data scientists. Our on-demand and live courses will dive into anything from machine learning fundamentals to how to use specific tools for data visualizations. Upcoming live training sessions include: