In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, data science and analytics roles have emerged as pivotal as organisations use their data to gain a competitive edge.
Average salaries for data professionals are now well into six figures and growing rapidly against a backdrop of minimal wages growth across the broader jobs market.
Deloitte’s The Future of work: Occupational and education trends in data science in Australia report shows data scientists who have completed postgraduate study in IT will have an average income of $130,176 between 2021 and 2022, up from a $111,634 average across 2016 and 2017.
While the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA) 2017 Skills Salary Survey reported that the top 10 per cent of earners of all data analytics professionals reported an average jump of 7 percent to a median salary of $235,000 in 2017.
The median salary of team managers and technical specialists was $163,000, while the average salary of an analytics professional was $130,000, well above the average salary of professionals at around $91,000 in May 2018.
Hays’ Hotspot of skills in demand: Jan-June 2019 blog listed, business intelligence analysis and data analysis professionals -- particularly data scientists, data engineers and data analysts with experience in SQL, R or Python and data visualisation tools – as most sought to assist organisations in exploiting their data. Data scientists with big data experience in Hadoop are also widely desired.
The need for unique data science and analysis skills has created a jobs boom. It was reported in Computerworld last year the growth in artificial intelligence, data science, and big data analytics has created 2.7 million new jobs forecasted globally by 2020.
Dr Tracy Wilcox, academic director, Postgraduate Programs, University of New South Wales Business School said as a result of this huge growth, salaries for data scientists and analysts are booming.
“The industry is willing to pay top dollar for key roles and emerging data analytics talent. It is clear that these new fields are long-lasting and valuable,” she said.
The university recently joined other tertiary education institutions in offering two accelerated online masters degrees - one in data science, the other in analytics.
By launching these two postgraduate degrees, UNSW is also attempting to cut through the confusion between the roles of a data scientist, which involves very high-level statistical and programming skills, including developing artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“On the other hand, an analyst uses a broader set of analytical skills and tools to produce evidence-based insights from data,” said Dr Wilcox.
Each degree consists of 12 seven-week courses -- with six intakes year -- a candidate can complete the degree in as little as two years. The programs include a Graduate Certificate requiring an initial four courses and Graduate Diploma requiring a further four courses, so candidates can articulate into the master’s degree. Alternatively, master’s candidates who choose not to complete the degree can exit with a certificate or diploma.
Both degrees are offered online, so candidates can incorporate study into their busy working lives without stepping off the career track. The first intake for UNSW Online’s Master of Data Science and Master of Data Analytics will be in July 2019, with six intakes each year.
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