So much for a new take on an old joke. The real answer is about six figures, information I recently came across in a report released earlier this spring: Burtch Works Executive Recruiting survey, Salaries of Data Scientists. The median base salary of data scientist managers is $160,000, it says, while individual contributors average about $120,000. The information comes from 171 data scientists for whom the recruiting firm has complete and current information. Whether a data scientist is at a lower or higher job level, across the board he or she is doing financially better than other Big Data professionals, the report shows.