James Cook University is now offering online training as a data scientist to help meet the growing demand for analytics professionals.
JCU has partnered with data science leader and analytic software provider SAS to offer its Master of Data Science program with SAS advanced analytics modules and the Teradata University Network.
Graduate data scientists will be able to develop insights for government and industry from the reams of information found in new databases they will create and/or existing databases that they will analyse, the university said.
“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,” said Professor Ron White, JCU’s Head of Physical Sciences in the College of Science and Engineering.
The university’s Master of Data Science students will also become members of the SAS Academy of Data Science and achieve a joint industry certification with JCU as part of the course.
White said the Master of Data Science program at JCU is the first fully online Master of Data Science with a direct industry certification aspect in Australia.
“Our market research indicated that SAS experience and Big Data skills were highly sought after by employers. So, embedding SAS Big Data and Data Science modules with material based on real world scenarios enables our students to be industry-ready on graduation.”
Dr Neil Fraser, JCU Lecturer in Data Science, said the joint initiative will also help graduates and industry-experienced professionals further their education with a relevant qualification.
“It will allow them to experience various new datatypes, amazing new datasets, advanced algorithms, emerging modelling programs, database technologies and data management practices.”
Fraser said over the past five to ten years, data science has become part of core business strategy and new business development opportunities for companies.
“Trained graduate-level data scientists support the development of new business with ideas and statistical learning models that can give an uncontestable advantage for companies over their competitors. As a result, businesses are now recruiting data science teams.”
He said the data science industry will continue to evolve with the growth of mobile data, and the expected surge in data coming from the Internet of Things, which it is thought will lead to over 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2050.
David Bowie, VP of SAS Australia and New Zealand, said JCU is among more than 4,000 such institutions worldwide that partner with SAS to address a growing critical need.
“The world is facing a serious shortage of qualified data scientists and Australia is not immune. As increasing numbers of businesses and other organisations adopt advanced analytics, including artificial intelligence and deep learning to further their aims, graduates with these JCU and SAS certifications will find themselves in ever increasing demand.”