Data science careers are pegged as the hottest jobs of this century. Whether in education, fintech or business, a career working with big data could see you working for big names like Airbnb or Coca Cola. Data science also has massive implications for global challenges such as the spread of disease, feeding the world and climate science, to name a few.
Big data’s big career potential
Data science as a descriptor is pretty flexible. Every business, corporation or sector that produces data requires data analysis to improve everyday decisions and strategy.
Companies like Airbnb owe their soaring 43,000% growth over the past 5 years to incredible business savvy and utilising data science early on in their business.
Big company growth means large salaries too. Data science careers in scientific research, business or fintech could see you working as an IT Data Scientist (earning an average salary of AU$98,000*), Analytics Manager (AU$110,373*), or Data Architect (AU$122,084*).
Siamak Tafavogh of Coca Cola Amatil first worked as a data scientist at the Cancer Institute of New South Wales on a project called Big Data Big Impact, tracking genomic sequences of humans to determine cancerous patterns.
He then moved to work at Commonwealth Bank, leveraging data science into business growth by tailoring loan services to customers. “The beauty of advanced analytics is that it can help businesses understand the behaviour of customers and personalise their services. Big data has a big impact on the way a company can perform, and when you get a result that can help the organisation massively, it’s a very good feeling.” says Siamak.
Health breakthroughs improve lives
Decidedly more powerful than your average polls and surveys, big data analytics are being used to predict our future through social media. Trends in open source data hold the potential to map out large-scale phenomena, from voting results and box office successes to stock market prices.
Grant Osborne is a data scientist at Data to Decisions CRC, a federally funded agency using big data to improve Australia’s national security practices. Their projects range from vetting imports through risk assessment to analysing multimedia for national security insights. D2D’s Beat the News program is currently analysing social data to provide key insights into health trends.
“By providing quantifiable metrics about places, topics and groups, analysts can quickly generate reports that inform decision-makers to plan proactively for upcoming events,” says Grant.
Beat the News could eliminate the severity of disease outbreaks, for instance, by tracking the popularity of sickness-related terminology on social media. Beat the News can issue warnings at the early stages of the outbreak, so that government and medical institutions are able to establish the frameworks for large-scale preventative treatments, like vaccines.
“Using data science techniques and big-data technologies, we provide a system that is incredibly powerful and empowering for our users – and assists them in creating a safer and more secure Australia,” says Grant.
New technologies call for new skills
The challenge when working in data science careers is the ongoing requirement to quickly become skilled in new technologies. Earning a Master of Data Science at the University of Adelaide is made easier with the Big Data MicroMasters program; which offers flexible, affordable, self-paced online learning courses that may be eligible to count as credit towards the Master of Data Science degree.
“Big data has a big impact on the way a company can perform.”
– Siamak Tafavogh, lead data scientist at Coca Cola Amatil
“In 5 years data scientists will be called “AI experts, or Deep Learners” or something else completely.”
– Grant Osborne, data scientist at D2D CRC.
“Data science is evolving so fast. IT always needs you to be updated, always be on top of technology and always know the needs of the business.” says Siamak.
The Big Data MicroMasters program is more convenient than traditional study, letting you pick and choose which courses you take according to the skills you need now. Need to up-skill in programming in a hurry? Take only the programming course to boost your accreditations. Each course is a certificate in its own right. With flexible learning, the choice of how you get ready for this decade’s hottest career is yours.
Author: Eliza Brockwell
Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.