How to become a data scientist

Learn how to start a career in data science. Find meaning in data and help businesses predict future outcomes. 

Begin your career as a data scientist

  1. Complete a Bachelor Degree in computer science, IT or mathematics to learn the basics of data science. If you’d like more control over your lifestyle while studying, you can earn your data science degree online. 
  2. Further your education with a postgraduate degree in data science, like a Graduate Certificate in Data Science or a Master of Data Science. Due to the complex nature of this work, many employers prefer candidates to have this level of education.
  3. Explore data science roles in an industry setting or pursue a career in academia.
  4. Join an industry-recognised association to connect with other data science professionals and complete additional analytics certifications.


What does a data scientist do?

Data scientists gather data using artificial intelligence, programming, mathematics and statistics, and then use predictive modelling to find answers to business problems. 

As such, it’s essential that data scientists have the right balance of technical, analytical and mathematical skills. They also need strong communication skills so they can effectively communicate their findings.

Duties and tasks

As a data scientist you will: 

  • Define business problems that require solutions
  • Source, collect, clean and analyse big data
  • Use algorithms and machine learning to identify trends and patterns in data
  • Make data-driven predictions for the future that could solve business problems
  • Communicate findings to a variety of stakeholders across all levels of business 

Industry bodies

Data Science and AI Association of Australia (DSAi)

DSAi is a not-for-profit that was established to connect data scientists and machine learning professionals across Australia. Membership is open to both students and professionals. Join to access workshops, courses and mentorships so that you can stay on top of the latest industry developments. 


With over 12,500 members worldwide, INFORMS is an international association for data science, analytics and operations research professionals. Join if you’d like to keep up with what’s happening in the industry overseas. 

Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA)

IAPA is Australia’s only analytics association. It was founded to promote the expanding strategic importance of data analytics within the field of business.

The Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci)

ADaSci is an international professional body of data science and machine learning professionals. Members have access to regular webinars, online certifications and international job listings. ADaSci is also behind Lattice, which is a respected journal in the machine learning space.

Data science jobs

With the right data science course, you can explore the following roles:

  • Applications architect
  • Business analyst
  • Business intelligence developer
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Data analyst
  • Data architect
  • Data engineer
  • Data scientist
  • Data storyteller
  • Database and systems administrator
  • Investigations and data journalism
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Machine learning scientist
  • Marketing scientist
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Statistician 

Discover online data science courses

Undergraduate UNE-INF-DIP

Diploma in Information Technology

Postgraduate ECU-DSC-MAS

Master of Data Science

Postgraduate UON-DSC-GCE

Graduate Certificate in Data Science

Discover online data science subjects

Undergraduate UNE-COSC102

Data Science Studio 1

Undergraduate MUR-ICT285


Undergraduate UNE-ICT101

From Logic to Data Processing

Undergraduate UNE-COSC230

Data Structures and Algorithms

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