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Angus Yallop

Geospatial specialist

Angus struggled with maths in high school – but he kept at it and now gets paid to crunch numbers as a geospatial specialist at the ABS

In high school, Angus and maths weren’t really compatible. “I struggled, but I’m so glad I stuck with it,” he says. “I ventured into statistics during the ecology part of my degree and then taught myself to code.” 

Angus kickstarted his STEM pathway at the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Ecology. Maths underpinned many of his ecology units, and he gradually fell in love with statistics and numbers.

“I admired the value it had in making decisions,” Angus explains. “I loved figuring out what was happening with the data – and doing something with that information!” 

Data for days 

Following graduation, Angus was offered a gig at the Australian Bureau of Statistics – an achievement he credits to some of the real-world projects he worked on during his final year of university. 

“My job demands a bit of everything: computer science, statistics and geography,” he says. And the biggest perk? Using data to contribute to the wider public good. 

Currently, he’s using census data from 2021 to rank areas according to measures of relative advantage and disadvantage, to help pinpoint where grant funding should go. 

STEM + X 

Angus stresses that staying curious and being excited by numbers are both key to working in data science. He also believes that unlikely subject pairings are where it’s at. 

“Everyone should study some humanities alongside STEM subjects,” he says. “It will help you develop critical thinking and writing skills, and challenge and broaden your worldview.”

Angus’s study and career path to becoming a geospatial specialist at the Australian Bureau of Statistics

  • Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science, University of Adelaide
  • Study overseas administrator, University of Adelaide
  • Data scientist, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Geospatial specialist, Australian Bureau of Statistics

This profile was brought to you in partnership with The University of Adelaide and first appeared in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data 2023.

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