Information & Communication Technology

Data Scientist

Data scientists design experiments, test hypotheses, and build models to extract and analyse data or big data.

  • Entry-level education

    Master’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Data Scientist do?

Data scientists design experiments, test hypotheses, and build models to extract and analyse data or big data.


Work activities

As a data scientist, you would:

  • integrate and prepare large, varied datasets
  • design complex algorithms to conduct advanced data analysis
  • develop solutions to loosely defined business problems by leveraging pattern detection over potentially large datasets
  • apply advanced statistical and predictive modeling techniques to build, maintain, and improve real-time decision systems
  • verify the validity of data, for how long the information is meaningful, and what other information it is related to
  • provide on-going tracking and performance monitoring of decision systems and statistical models.

Key skills and interests

To become a data scientist, you would need:

  • highly developed analytical skills
  • mathematics and statistical skills of the highest order
  • highly developed computer programming and coding skills
  • the ability to communicate technical concepts in non-technical language
  • excellent written communication skills
  • strong organisational and project management skills
  • to work well as part of a team.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday.


You could work as an employee for a company that develops data analytics software, within a university environment, or as a consultant developing highly specialised, bespoke data mining solutions for clients.

You would normally work in an office. You may also travel to meet clients and to attend conferences, industry and networking events.


How to become an Data Scientist?

Entry Level Education

To become a data scientist, you would need to complete a Master's degree in mathematics, statistics or computer science or a related field. Some employers may require a PhD.

To get into a Master's degree, you will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, analytics, statistics, or computer science. To get into bachelor’s degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics and computing subjects would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment for data scientists is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all jobs.

While data science is a relatively small occupation in Australia, it is growing strongly internationally.  There will be increasing opportunities for employment globally, particularly within the finance and insurance industries, and in the area of big data.


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