What is Data Science, and what does a Data Scientist do?
Every single day, the world creates around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Over 90 per cent of all data was made in just the last few years: customer transactions, phone numbers, app messages, videos, photos, text files, financial figures. And all that data needs to be properly cleaned, stored, processed and analysed, which is where Data Scientists come in.
So what is a Data Scientist? What does a Data Scientist do? Essentially, Data Scientists synthesise huge amounts of business information, and then use that information to answer questions or create strategies. A Data Scientist basically helps businesses make better decisions.
The term ‘Data Scientist’ was coined around 2008, when mobile technology began to surge and companies realised they were accumulating huge swathes of customer data. Data Scientists were hired to process and understand this information – and to draw meaning from it. The Harvard Business Review called it “the sexiest job of the 21st century”.
Why become a Data Scientist?
If there’s one field that’s critical to the future success of enterprise, it’s Data Science. Data Science career growth has exploded over the last few years. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2019 Emerging Job Analysis ranked ‘Data Scientist’ as one of the world’s Top 5 emerging careers, with 37 per cent hiring growth over the last three years.
Data Science for beginners is also an accessible field of study. You don’t have to be a coding expert to get started, or even work in tech. RMIT Online’s Graduate Certificate in Data Science can be completed in eight months, and there are short courses (like Data Privacy Management) which only take six weeks.
Here are some careers that draw on Data Science skills:
5 Reasons To Become A Data Scientist
The truth is, there’s an increasing gap as industry scrambles to find trained Data Scientists. Data Science roles have grown 650% since 2012, and SEEK is projecting another 9.5% growth over the next five years. All of this points to Data Science being a secure, long-term profession.
Science has excellent wage potential. According to Payscale, the average Data Science base salary is around AU $95,000. There’s also a well-documented Data Science skills gap in Australia, which gives graduates a stronger market position.
Ten years ago, Data Science was considered a niche field, but that’s no longer the case. Most companies now rely on Data Scientists to optimise their decision making. This means you can potentially work in almost any industry, from retail and marketing to health science and research.
Scientist has been one of Glassdoor’s best careers for job satisfaction for several years now. In fact, it ranked as Top Job in the US three years in a row. The high base salary and career progression opportunities make Data Science a highly coveted field.
In Data Science, you’re not bound to work in a particular industry, or even a particular role. You can use your skills to become a Data Scientist, sure, but you can also be a Data Analyst, Data Engineer or Machine Learning Engineer. The options are almost endless.
Data Science Careers
Why learn Data Science? The short answer: Data Science careers are trending upwards. Both in terms of demand and salary expectations. It’s a career that allows you to travel, work overseas, and even join global giants like Uber, Apple and Amazon. With governments clamping down on data regulation, the need for qualified Data Scientists will only increase over time.
There are lots of options for the skilled Data Scientist. Here are just a few:
How to learn Data Science for beginners
Learning Data Science for beginners isn’t as tricky as you might think. Most RMIT Online courses can be completed without prior knowledge or experience. You’ll quickly learn the fundamentals of Python programming, analytics, data wrangling and visualisation. On completing the course, you’ll have a job-ready Data Science qualification.
Our learning content is purpose built for online study and our curriculum is divided into easy-to-follow units. Each unit combines interactive webinars, 1-on-1 tutorials, group work and practical tasks. The ultimate goal is to give you the skills you need for a career in Data Science.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll need.
Commitment. Our course content is divided into bite sized chunks, and designed to fit in around your schedule. We recommend studying a few hours every day to stay committed and on track.
Notes. Your RMIT Online mentors will encourage you to take lots of notes. It’s a good way to flag any potential problems or questions.
Collaboration. As part of your course, you’ll be working with qualified industry experts. You’ll also have access to an online peer community.
Knowledge. Data Science tools are evolving all the time. We’ll help you stay up-to-date with the latest methodologies.
Resources. There are plenty of helpful Data Science resources out there. These can help during the course, or even after completion.
Want to learn how to become a Data Scientist? We’ve broken down the basics in this blog.
Learn about Data Science
This is the best place to start your Data Science journey. Read as much as you can. Ask questions. Contact one of our RMIT Online course counsellors. You can find all of our Data Science news and coverage below.
Data Science blogs
Data Science and privacy: How much is Ok to know?
What is "dirty data" and how can we fix it?
How to become a Data Scientist
How to prepare for a "big data" world
Australia is facing a data skills gap
What is Data Visualisation and why is it important?
RMIT Online Data Science Courses
RMIT Online is one of Australia’s top Data Science training providers. We offer a range of Data Science courses and Data Science certificates, depending on your career goals and experience.
If you’re just starting out, have a look at our Graduate Certificate in Data Science. After that, you can broaden your knowledge with our Master of Data Science Strategy and Leadership and Data Privacy short course.
Topics and courses similar to Data Science
The beauty of Data Science is that it touches on all sorts of other fields: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Python programming, Business Analytics, UX design and heaps more. A foundational knowledge of Data Science will hold you in good stead almost anywhere. If you’d like to explore RMIT Online’s related courses, check out some of the programs below.