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Career opportunities with a degree in data science

Data science

Data science is one of the most in-demand skills and now is a perfect time to enter the industry.

Data science is the process of using scientific methods and systems to extract key information from various forms of data and is vital to the successful operation of industry and commerce. Globally we’re projected to create, capture, copy and consume 97 zettabytes of data (each one equal to a trillion gigabytes) this year alone, a third more than 2020 and double that of 20191.

Reflecting the huge growth in data, hiring for data science roles increased by 46 per cent between 2019 and 2021 according to LinkedIn whilst demand for data scientists increased 231 per cent in the previous five years.

The global data science platform market size is expected to grow from $37.9 billion in 2019 to $230.80 billion by 2026 as businesses increasingly recognise the value of unlocking data to bring more certainty to decision-making. Demand and recognition for sophisticated tech such as AI platforms continues to grow, and in tandem so does the demand for skilled data scientists whose role is crucial to collating and connecting the necessary data to leverage and empower the decision intelligence process. 

Despite this desperate need for data scientists half of all workers reported they had not received any data skills training within the last two years, despite considerable interest in the field.

Almost every industry has been affected, 83 per cent of decision makers agree there has been some level of digital transformation within their industry. Less than one in three report that transformation is limited only to remote working, suggesting that while it might have been initiated or sped up by the events of 2020, for many businesses the scope and benefits of digital transformation have moved well beyond the immediacy of changing working habits.

Around 41 per cent of decision makers recognize high levels of digital transformation within their industry, with processes routinely automated and new technology frequently introduced. This increases markedly in Professional Services (70 per cent), Transport (54 per cent) and Healthcare (53 per cent), all of which are well above the global average.

Career opportunities in data science

To ensure the best possible start in a complex and competitive sector such this, candidates must ensure they’re fully equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills both of which can come most effectively from data science university courses. Once you’ve secured your undergraduate degree, you could consider building upon your skills by gaining a postgraduate diploma in data science.

You’ll be demonstrating a willingness to go above and beyond by choosing to further your education, which is something that should impress prospective employers. In addition, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the industry and exactly what’s necessary to produce results. This should give you an edge over other candidates applying for the same job roles.

Job roles and opportunities in data science

Data scientist – with a degree in data science you’ll collect and analyse large quantities of data with the aim of using your findings to improve business performance. While each specific process will be dependent on the business you’re delving into, you’ll be able to draw upon the knowledge and skills accumulated during your university studies to carry out the best possible job. Technical skills you’ll need a firm grasp on include data visualisation, statistical analysis, and mathematics. Salary – The entry salary for this job role can be anywhere between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum, which is a fantastic place to start! You can expect £40,000 to £60,000 per year once more experience has been gained, and anything upwards of £60,000 once you reach lead/chief data scientist status.

Data Engineer – your responsibilities will include designing and building systems that can effectively store, manage, and convert data sets. The work you produce should be at a standard strong enough for data scientists and analysts to interpret this data and use their findings to create or improve a business plan. In this job role, you’ll lean heavily on your knowledge of operating systems as well as have a basic understanding of machine learning. In addition, you’ll need to be confident in your communication and critical thinking skills. Salary -The average yearly salary for someone in this job role is around £50,000, depending on your location, experience, and sector. A data engineer on the lower end of the scale could expect at least £31,000 per year, and those at the peak of their career could achieve up to £80,000 per year.

Data analytics manager – If you’d like to go down the route of data analytics and become a data analytics manager, you’ll need strong team leadership, management, and critical thinking skills on top of your data visualisation and programming language skills. Your job will be to coordinate your team and their tasks to carry out a successful data project. Within this, you could be responsible for researching and creating the best methods to collect data, as well as analysing important information. Salary – In the United Kingdom, the average base pay for a data analytics manager is £58,000 per year. At the very least, you can expect £40,000 per year, and at the most, £80,000 per year. Again, this will depend on your specific circumstances, but this should give you a rough idea of what you could look forward to if you enter this career.

Machine learning scientist – To be a successful machine learning scientist, you must be certain of your capabilities in researching complex algorithms and building models to assist machine learning engineers. Similarly to a data scientist, you will need to carry out some data analytics to aid your projects, verify data quality, and pick suitable data sets. Skills you’ll need to utilise may include data modelling and evaluation, applied mathematics, computer science fundamentals and programming. If this sounds like the right job role for you, it’s important you prioritise the development of these skills. Salary – Based on 1,260 salaries, Talent.com found the average yearly salary of a machine learning scientist is £57,733. At the higher end of the scale sits a figure of £80,000 per year, which you could be awarded after dedicating many years to the subject. Entry-level positions start at £42,092. That’s not a bad place to start your career in data science!

An exciting, rewarding career awaits as a data scientist

If you’re willing to put in the work at the education level – first securing your undergraduate degree and then postgraduate – you should receive the best opportunities in terms of a relevant career. There’s so much demand for data scientists, which is likely to increase even further as the world moves closer to digitalisation.

Studying for a data science degree will improve your employment opportunities and create many different career paths. The hard work now will indeed pay off. We wish you the very best of luck in your studies and your future career!

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