Applied Scientist at Amazon vs Data Scientist at Google.

Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
Jun 15 19 Comments

I have an offer from Amazon for an Applied Scientist role (heavy on NLP and ML) and a Data Scientist role at Google. The salaries are pretty close if justified by the location. My Ph.D. background is in EE with a focus on developing an ML solution.

I have a few questions from blinders that would highly help me making a decision.

Which one of the two (DS or AS) I can expect to grow more in terms of TC and career opportunity? I like the Applied Scientist job description more but Google is also a great company and has a great WLB. I might be easily burnt out at Amazon.

Which one I can expect to have a more challenging/rewarding job?
I appreciate any advice.

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TOP 19 Comments
  • New / Data mUHI57
    Data science may mean analytics in big tech, I'd be very careful with google here
    Jun 15 5
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      Can you elaborate? I also had a feeling that not much of ML/modeling is being done at Google. How hard is to shift from DS to MLE at Google?
      Jun 15
    • New / Data mUHI57
      MLE is also not research, it's an engineer. Is it what you want? At google you probably need to look for research scientist positions
      Jun 15
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      Yes, yes that is what I meant. Applied/research scientist. Is the move possible?
      Jun 15
    • New / Data mUHI57
      It feels it'll be easier to switch from amazon applied scientist to google research scientist than from google ds to google research scientist
      Jun 16
    • Google hatsud00
      Data science at Google is not analytics. We have separate ladder for that called product analytics. The only exception is if the org is gtech or sales in which case you should avoid altogether.
      Jun 16
  • Please get the Google offer. Join a company that actually cares about its employees.
    Jun 16 2
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      thanks.
      Jun 16
    • Amazon Srdu83
      you know what, he’s right!
      Aug 24
  • Google TensorCow
    It’s complicated. DS at Google is not like elsewhere. It’s mostly pure stats. If you want to switch to MLE you’d have to reinterview (and likely be down-leveled). You can’t tell from the title (at either place) what kind of work you’d be doing. I know of some data science teams here that are entirely or mostly SWE.

    As others said, it depends on other factors too, like how do you want to be treated as a human being? What benefits matter to you? Many AS at Amazon are isolated, surrounded by non-DS.
    Jun 16 2
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      Yes. I heard there are DS teams that do ML at Google. Tried to be matched with them, the manager was out for vacation. How easy is to move to the other teams after you join Google.
      Jun 16
    • Google TensorCow
      If you’re an engineer, it’s very easy. If you’re a DS... there are a lot fewer openings and less consistency in tooling. Feel free to DM me (but I’m not very active here, so apologies in advance if I take weeks to get back to you.)
      Jun 16
  • Amazon Northman
    Please ignore the people telling you to go to Google here. A Google DS role is NOT equivalent to a Google RS role. An Amazon AS role is a well respected role across companies, provides opportunities to publish significant amounts of leading edge research, as well as shipping ML systems that have real customer impact. All other things being equal, sure, Google pays early career employees better and has much better benefits, but it is not worth taking a role that will track you away from your career objectives.
    Jun 16 1
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      thanks. the argument makes sense.
      Jun 16
  • Google YTpM41
    The only right answer is not Amazon. If you didn't have any other offer, it's fine, but 90% likelihood you'll be gone before 2 years. Take Google.
    Jun 16 2
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      OP
      I have another offer from a startup focusing solely on ML. I like the job but not sure what their direction will be in a couple of years.
      Jun 16
    • Salesforce guacamoLay
      Don't take the startup offer lightly.
      Jun 16
  • WeWork / Eng mcherpderp
    The whole field of data science/ML is so new (in the main stream) that titles are irrelevant because all titles are conflated with all other titles.

    Both have equal opportunity to grow TC.

    You’re right, amazon probably has a higher burn out rate on average.

    If you’re interested in advancing your career go work on whatever enables you to further your skill set. If you’re interested in having the “right” title go with google. If you’re looking for a place to settle into and basically ride the wave, google is also probably the bet.
    Jun 15 0
  • Amazon bezoz999
    Do you mind sharing offer numbers at either places ?
    Jun 20 0