Sexiest Job of the 21st Century: Data Scientist
Data miner? Web analyst? Information wrangler? Harvard Business Review labelled it the “sexiest job of the 21st Century” and the opportunities are exploding and salaries rocketing for astute professionals choosing “data science” as their career.
As industries and governments worldwide race into the era of Big Data, James Cook University (JCU) is giving its students a head start with a fast, fully online and keenly priced Master of Data Science that offers students a potentially rapid return on their investment.
Graduates will enjoy up-to-the-minute skills in the scientific methods, systems and processes used to unlock the secrets hidden in data. This ability to deliver insights and solutions by analysing data will give graduates an edge in the jobs market for fields including finance, health, retail, marketing, manufacturing, professional services, and IT and user design.
Professor Ron White, Head of Physical Sciences, College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University, said: “Data science is one of the world’s fastest growing professions.” LinkedIn named ‘statistical analysis and data mining’ as the Top Skills of 2016 in Australia and found data science was the second-most sought-after job skill in 2016 in the US and globally.
“The huge shortage of qualified professionals is pushing up salaries, with many top-level data scientists commanding salaries of more than $200,000. A recent survey found that the median salary pocketed by analytics professionals in Australia in 2016 was $130,000.
“The degree will appeal equally to IT experts determined to remain at the cutting edge of their profession, industry specialists wanting to advance in their chosen field, and generalists seeking portable skills they can leverage to move into a new career,” said Professor White.
Subjects covered in the JCU Master of Data Science include Introduction to Data Mining; Big Data: Management and Processing; Data Mining and Machine Learning; Data and Strategic Decision-Making; and Programming and Data Analytics Using Python.
At just $3,100 per subject, and with six study periods a year, the degree empowers students to turn their investment into increased earnings in as little as two years.
“The new Master of Data Science from James Cook University will provide candidates with sophisticated skills and knowledge that will open up a wealth of opportunities in today’s data-driven world,” said Ron White.
“Completing a Master of Data Science can enable you to boost your salary earnings potential and take advantage of the huge demand for data science skills.”
The Masters is available fully online from October 2017. Entry requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a related field or at least five years of relevant work experience in an IT or data science related role.
The demand for data science and analytics technologies skills is expected to grow by 15 per cent over the next five years in the US alone, according to The Quant Crunch: How the Demand for Data Science Skills is Disrupting the Job Market, a report by Burning Glass Technologies.
Burning Glass, a jobs market research firm, says educators and training providers need to respond proactively to the rising demand for analytics skills. Workers too need to stay in front of data science trends.
“Existing workers must continuously monitor in-demand analytics technologies and update their skillsets accordingly. If these actions are not taken, the data science and analytics skills gap is in danger of widening, which would continue to undercut the promise of Big Data,” the firm said in its August report.
James Cook University’s Ron White said: “JCU’s Master of Data Science is an innovative, fully online course that puts professionals who recognise the power of data and numbers ahead of the pack, in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors. Candidates will be able to future-proof their career in the business or research arena with sought-after data science skills, acquired at a time and place that suits them.
“Students can access everything they need to complete their degrees, including course content, assignments and coursework, from home, the workplace or anywhere that has an internet connection.”
 IAPA Skills & salary Survey 2016