Is Data Science right for you? Here’s what you need to know

In today’s tech-driven world, digital information is more abundant, accessible, and easily generated than ever before.

In fact, in just the last two years alone, a whopping 90% of the entire world’s data has been created. Each day (as of 2020), 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by online users – equating to around 2.5 billion gigabytes of data.

To make sense and structure of all this raw information, data scientists as tasked with the challenge of sifting through these massive data sets, analysing any common trends or patterns, and extracting meaningful conclusions from the data at hand (often driving innovation, efficiency, and productivity for the business).

Seems like your ideal industry? We break down all you need to know on the thriving, in-demand field of data science to determine if this is the career for you.

Common traits/tasks of a data science professional

As most of your daily tasks involve observing, analysing, and evaluating unstructured data, having an analytical or data-driven mindset is vital to working in data science. Those drawn to this line of work often base their everyday decisions on facts or probability, and are typically calculated in their actions.

They are also capable of solving complex problems and applying critical thinking to their practice, as well as adapting to new tools and methods to improve processes.

This critical, logical mindset goes hand-in-hand with their love for mathematics and statistics. As a data science professional, you’ll be juggling vast sets of numbers and statistical information – organising and assessing them in ways to reap new patterns or insights. Much of your work may also involve coding, and lots of it; as professionals typically write algorithms and automated programs to boost their efficiency in data collection and analysis. The sector thus has plenty of overlap with the AI and machine/deep learning field, with professionals devising newer, “smarter” ways of retrieving and processing data.

Lastly, clear communication skills area critical element to data science; as individuals must be able to present their findings in a simple, yet meaningful and logical manner. Insights should be communicated in plain language and linked to business advantage, operational improvements, or opportunities for innovation.

What are my career options in the industry?

Data science is currently high in demand across various industries – including plenty of sectors in tech.

Through its combination with AI and machine learning, self-driving cars has been a growing new field for data science; as the technology requires thousands of sensors and miniature cameras to relay vital information in real-time. As a data scientist, you’ll help develop the predictive software and algorithms that allow these cars to perform autonomous actions, such as recognising traffic lights, adjusting to speed limits, and pursuing the quickest routes.

is also a thriving tech sector for data professionals, with these experts using their programming and analytical skills to develop software that instantaneously detects malware and methods of data intrusion. With digital crimes costing Australian businesses around $29 billion a year, and the country experiencing a steep shortage in security professionals – the sector generally has plenty of opportunity for those seeking the field, data scientist or otherwise.

Aside from these rising IT fields, general career paths in data science include working as a consultant, analyst, manager, and engineer. With more businesses relying on online data and information, there’s a rising need for such professionals in any industry. These include healthcare, finance, logistics, and entertainment.

Potential for career progression is high, with many individuals working their way up to senior or directorial roles as experience increases.

What is the industry outlook for data scientists?

According to SEEK statistics, the outlook for data science is a bright one, with a predicted 12.9% rise in job growth within the next five years.

Professionals with a postgraduate qualification can also look forward to forecasted annual income of $130,176 between 2021-2022, according to Deloitte statistics. 76% of businesses are additionally planning to boost their data analytics investments in the next two years, creating further opportunity for those looking to enter the field.

Needless to say, the data science field currently welcomes plenty with the right qualifications and skillsets. The best part is – anyone with the right drive can get their start in data science, with multiple options for self-learning. As potential employers will assess you based on practical skills and experience, individuals are recommended to hone their skills in coding, mathematics, and working with databases.

Self-training can be done through books, online videos, or webinars, though plenty also pursue online courses, gaining them nationally (or sometimes, globally) recognised qualifications. An online course may also offer you the structured learning experience required to cover all bases in data science – from the fundamentals to them to the more technical practices. They also typically offer plenty of flexibility in their delivery, providing you with a self-paced – yet, at the same time, robust – training experience.

Future trends in the data science field

Those looking to enter data science should keep atop the latest industry trends and developments.

As mentioned, AI and machine learning are currently playing a vital part in the field, and while not particularly mandatory to pursue a career – researching and familiarising yourself with these disciplines can boost your employability. Not only will employers value your more rounded set of skills, these aspects can also assist you in better managing large sets of raw, unstructured data.

With massive, rapid developments in the IoT (Internet of Things) sector, data scientists will be increasingly needed to collect, manage, and assess the inevitable boost in digital information. This growth in IoT has also spurred the rise of edge computing, in which data storage is brought closer to the devices where they are used and gathered. Data scientists can benefit from this technology with the greater data speed, security, and reliability it offers.

Additionally, industry entrants shouldcultivate a “lifelong learner” mindset, as new technologies and innovations constantly emerge and evolve in the data science field.

According to Hays, individuals must learn to branch out and upgrade their current programming tools and languages, adopting the latest frameworks (i.e. Apache Hadoop), databases (i.e. HBase and MongoDB), and new forms of software. Keeping your technical skills up-to-date keeps you competitive and industry-relevant in an ever-competitive job market, helping you progress your career in no time.

Explore the world of data science with AIICT today!

As mentioned, launching a career in data science can start with a certified online course.

The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers a 3-5 month Certified Data Science Professional course, comprised of four globally-recognised certifications from Microsoft Azure. These include the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Data Fundamentals, AI Fundamentals, and Data Science Associate certifications.

Equip yourself with foundational knowledge in database, cloud computing, AI and machine learning concepts – building your firsts steps towards a fulfilling, lucrative career in one of the world’s most in-demand ICT fields.

Best of all, the course is delivered completely online, helping you tailor your studies around personal needs and schedule.

Join the growing world of data science today, and enquire with us on a course.