With nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day on a global scale (predicted to rise to a high of 463 exabytes by 2025) – the right skills are increasingly needed to analyse and structure this raw information.
Enter the data scientis – professionals responsible for the collection and analysis of specific business, market, and industry data. Their expertise identifies current trends and predicts future ones; helping organisations and individuals alike make better business or innovative decisions.
Recent years have seen these experts rise to prominence in the tech field – with multiple career paths for those of varying interests and specialisations. Below, we dive into the reasons why one should choose data science as a career, and why there’s no better time than now.
Data science is in high demand
With the rapid growth of big data – spurred by new technologies such as sensory networks and virtual reality – businesses are now on the hunt for those with valuable skills in data mining and analysis.
Deloitte research shows that over three-quarters (76%) of Australian businesses are planning to increase their investments in data analytics over the next two years.
Statistics also report an approximate 301,000 workers in the data science field between 2016 and 2017; a number forecasted to rise by 2.4% between 2021 and 2022. This predicted growth is higher than the yearly rate for Australia’s overall workforce, currently sitting at 1.5%.
As such, those entering the field can expect plenty of available roles and job security. With their skills in high demand, paired with a growing skills gap, professionals can also look forward to potentially high salaries.
According to Payscale, the average data scientist in Australia currently earns $92,505 per year, with the opportunity to earn more as experience grows. Deloitte’s salary predictions are optimistic for 2021 – 2022, with a forecasted income of $130,176 among data science experts with a postgraduate qualification.
It’s a versatile career path
With analytical data skills required for any business, aspiring data scientists have the benefit of finding work in any and all industries.
While the technology sector is currently blooming with opportunity (due to rising developments in data mining and machine learning), such skills are increasingly necessary across a broad range of other fields, including healthcare, mining, agriculture, and general sciences. Through data science, these businesses can further improve their sales, productivity, and market research.
Data science experts thus have transferable skills and knowledge – applicable to nearly any job position, specialisation, and industry. You needn’t constrain yourself to the role of “data scientist”, either; such skills are currently sought after across multiple occupations, including statisticians, programmers, computer network professionals, ICT managers, and ICT systems analysts.
While all industries are ripe with job opportunity, data science professionals are still recommended to hone their skills for their specific sector. This helps them stand out in the job market, as well as focus on an in-demand specialty.
Those working the finance sector, for example, may want to concentrate on issues of security or fraud detection – as these issues remain prominent in the industry. Those pursuing IT will want to enrich their coding skills, while those looking to agriculture may benefit from familiarizing themselves with current food production methods and areas for improvement.
Engage in dynamic, exciting tasks
Rising advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics have effectively replaced much of the menial tasks involved with data science. This leaves plenty of opportunity for data science professionals to focus on more complex, challenging (and ultimately, fulfilling) tasks.
As stated by Ricardo Campello (course coordinator at James Cook University) for PC World, automation has “mostly replaced dangerous or tedious jobs” in the data science field “with others that require qualification and more sophisticated skills”.
Aspiring data scientists can expect a wide variety of diverse challenges and unique projects, as no two assignments are ever the same. Experts are constantly seeking new, innovative ways of collecting and examining data – spurring constant development of ideas, applications, techniques, and even cutting-edge technologies.
Additionally, there’s a speciality for everyone and for every personality type. Consider yourself the creative, visual type? Skills in data visualisation and presentation are among the most essential in the field – sought after by roles in software development and data engineering. Deeply logical or analytical? Honing your skills in data mining can help you find opportunities in roles such as a statistician or business analyst.
Enhance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and business skills
On top of the technical skills you acquire, pursuing data science can also help build your soft skills in critical thinking and business communication.
Applying the proper methods to gather, assess, and make sense of unstructured data is a problem-solving exercise in itself; coupled with the task of thoroughly analysing the information at hand. Successful data scientists must apply their critical thinking skills to form an objective analysis of the facts – as well as potential assessments from multiple points of view.
The ability to logically assess facts and solve problems is not just exclusive to data science (and related fields) – but is also applicable to everyday life and personal use.
Communication is additionally a critical aspect to data science, as experts must be able to share their insights. This enhances an organisation’s decision-making process and allows all stakeholders to form appropriate action plans.
One can thus hone their verbal and written communication skills while training in data science – skills vital to any career, role, and industry. With the added opportunity of taking part in a business’ decision-making process, individuals may also sharpen their skills in leadership and management.
There are plenty of online training opportunities
Finally, opportunities in data science have never been more accessible – with the wide range of both on-site and online training opportunities now available.
Beginners can explore the basics through quick coding workshops or entry-level courses in linear algebra or machine learning (some of which may be available for free online). Those ready to venture further have a wide selection of comprehensive online courses available in the field – from certificate qualifications up to a master’s degrees.
With much of a data scientist’s work done digitally, online courses provide the robust training aspiring professionals seek, while offering the flexibility to train wherever and whenever best suits them.
AIICT (The Australian Institute of ICT) offers just this, with a Certified Data Science Professional course delivered 100% online. Led by industry experts and presented through tailored, multi-platform learning environments (including live labs, online webinars, and live chat), students can train in data science essentials without the unnecessary costs of travel and additional facilities.
Students who complete the course are well-equipped to pursue higher qualifications in the data science field, along with entry-level data analyst roles.
Ready to study data science?
As mentioned, those looking to explore the growing, in-demand industry of data science can now easily get their start through online training.
AIICT’s Certified Data Science Professional course is comprised of four, globally-recognised Microsoft Azure certifications – diving into the fundamentals of cloud computing, AI, and machine learning (each of which play crucial role in current data science technologies). Though the standard course duration is 3-5 months, students have the flexibility of learning at their own pace; with the choice of completing the course across a maximum of 12 months.
Get started in the ever-rising field of data science, and enquire with us today.