Is Data Science The Right Career Choice For Me?


If you enjoy the idea of using your analytical skills to solve real-world problems, applying technology to improve businesses and sharing your data-driven insights with stakeholders – then a career change to Data Science & AI may just be what you’re craving:

1. What are the roles and responsibilities of data science jobs?

The data science profession is still emerging and evolving, especially in Australia. Industry leaders are looking to hire skilled professionals with qualifications in advanced data analytics, but are struggling to find qualified individuals with practical data science skills. In short, the demand for data scientists is high with a shortage supply of qualified professionals.

This is where you come in. After acquiring and certifying your data science skill set, your brand-new data science job title could be: Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Consultant, Data Analytics Executive/Associate or Data Science Manager, and your responsibilities within these high-impact roles would entail:

● Business analysis - solving business problems using data science and AI technology

● Consulting - advising businesses and stakeholders

● Technical - building and improving operations and products using data science technology

● Reporting – using your analytic skills to extract, manage, and present findings

2. What is the job description of a data scientist?

As a data scientist, you would be adding value to the business in every task you perform. You would help to improve the operations of a company by analysing data to better understand customers and operations, while also incorporating this insight to help make data-driven business decisions resulting in strategic outcomes for the company.

Generally, your day to day would involve the following tasks:

Finding insight in data – making sense of structured and unstructured data

● Advanced data analytics – handling large data sets

● Predictive analytics – analysing historical data to find patterns

● Machine learning techniques – using AI technology to process data for observation

 Modelling and Digital Visualisation – analysing and presenting administrative, survey and experimental data

Reporting to stakeholders – explaining research results simply and logically

● Solving business problems – exploring and evaluating new business tools to improve operations

Implementation of automation and artificial intelligence technology – enabling accelerated evidence-based decision making, scale and automation

3. How are the career options and opportunities after getting a graduate data science role?

One of the perks of being a data science graduate is guaranteed career progression and being equipped with an in-demand skillset. 

Once you complete your data science studies, the next step is gaining two years of industry experience. Unlike other career options that may leave you out in the dark once you graduate, data science enables you to have endless opportunities. You will have the skills to work for ground-breaking technology projects in Tech Start-ups and Corporate Innovation Projects in enterprises and SMEs - you could even start your own project and test out your new data science skill set on your own terms.

Your data science career options could see you working as a Data Science:

●               Trainer

●               Consultant

●               Analyst

●               Manager

●               Director

●               Entrepreneur

Once you’ve gained your experience through a graduate data science role and learned how to navigate a role in the data science Industry, your career path could quickly see your progressing into more senior career opportunities: working as a Senior Data Analyst, Segment Leader, Senior Data Scientist, Chief Data Scientist or a Chief Information Officer.

4. What is the typical career path and progression from junior data science roles?

A career path in data science involves enhanced learning and career progression in an in-demand field and growing profession. Your career path in data science could lead you many different ways:

0-2 Years of Experience: Junior Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Machine Learning Researcher/Practitioner, Data Scientist, Data Science Consultant, Business Analyst

2-4 Years of Experience: Senior Data Scientist, Data Science Manager, Senior Data Science Consultant

4+ Years of Experience: Data Science Director, Segment Leader, Chief/Lead Data Scientist, Chief Information Officer

The key to succeeding in your data science career is: willingness to constantly learn, application of knowledge and communication skills to provide businesses with logical, innovative, and evidence-based solutions to their problems - helping them to optimise their business, products and maintain their competitive-edge.

5. What is the career outlook and future for a data scientist salary?

Data science careers are rewarding in a number of ways.

As a data science professional, your skills are highly sought after and the starting salary will be competitive. Careers in the big data industry are constantly evolving because companies are realising the importance of data and the need to hire individuals or teams of data professionals for these projects. This means, a career in data science will give you the added benefit of being involved in a growth industry - making the future of your salary and career prospects very bright.

=> Average Data Scientist Salary in Australia 2018:

AUD$126k (an increase of 18% from 2017)

=> Average Data Scientist Salary – United States:

USD$131k (Averaging AUD$181k)

As reported by the International Data Corporation, the US has a shortage of 161,000 professionals with advanced analytics skills in 2018. Australia generally lags the US tech market by 3 years.

Using a population multiple on US data, we expect a shortage of 10,000 professionals in Australia with advanced data analytics skills in 2021. Due to this shortage and comparing data to the US market, we expect data scientist salaries to increasing to AU$150k – 180k in Australia by 2021. So, if you’re still considering a career change to data science – now is a good time to make the change. The first step to making a career change is always education and certification.

Current Data Scientist Salary Ranges in Australia 2018 - based on Experience Level:

Here are the salary packages we generally see for new entrants and career progression to the big data industry in 2018:

=> Entry Level Data Science Roles / Junior Level 

AUD$60k – AUD$90k

=> 2 Years of Experience / Mid Level

AUD$110k – AUD$150k

=> 4 Years of Experience / Senior Level

 ● AUD$150k – AUD$200k +

Making the choice to become a data scientist will enable you to steer your career in a direction of a growth and innovative industry that is highly in-demand. You will be equipped with skills that are valued by businesses as they move to data-driven operations, automation and AI.  Therefore, a career change to data science is learning the skills of the future with exponential career possibilities.

Find out more about how you can upskill and land a job in the data science & AI industry with Black Cat Data: Part-time and Full-time programs available now.

Jasleen Kaur