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Career advice

Data Science in Australia: Overview, Salary Data and Career Path

Data Science in Australia: Overview, Salary Data and Career Path


Julia Sinclair-Jones

July 26, 2018

Career advice

There are few careers as promising right now as a role in data science in Australia. This field is currently exploding thanks to the rise of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

A data scientist is responsible for uncovering patterns in large data sets, eliciting strategic business insights and directives, and building new solutions to uncover even more answers.

If you are interested in a career in data science in Australia, then this article is the perfect jump-off point. Learn more about the role, study in the field, salaries, resources, and job opportunities right here.

Data science in Australia: role, responsibilities & tools

A data scientist at heart is a logician, an information fortune teller that uses all the tools at their disposal to uncover patterns and unlock the truth in data sets. Your role will be steeped in mathematics and statistics, but require an analytical approach and business acumen, too.

The data scientist’s role is to read into gathered data and make sense of it. It may require defining and designing systems to collect the type of data needed to make business decisions. The type of data and how this is achieved depends on the size of the company, the department, the industry, and the job requirements. It will involve communication of insights and comprehensible visualization of results to stakeholders in terms of business strategy.

As a data scientist in 2018, there may also be a heavy emphasis on machine learning and/or AI.

The type of tools used in each job vary, however, data scientists will generally need to know how to use at least one statistical programming language (typically R or python), SQL, plus preferably another programming language, frameworks and libraries for machine learning (like TensorFlow), plus other tools like RapidMiner, Tableau and Paxata. The data scientist’s toolset is diverse, depending on preferences and the job.

Data Science jobs in Australia

Data Scientists are in demand worldwide and Australia is no different. With big data exploding across industries, Data Scientists are now the most in-demand professionals in the world. Following this career, you will have the option to stay within the country or to work abroad.

Currently, the biggest opportunities lie with big companies and rich industries such as finance, although there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference at innovative startups.

Data Scientists have the opportunity themselves to drive the future of the industry. Honing your skills within a niche industry will see you as a leader within your career and field.

The alternate route for the Data Scientist is in academia. Working for a university or government research body you’ll be able to do cutting-edge research and push the envelope for new advancements in data science.

Data Scientist Salary Australia

As is typical in Australia, the majority of work that you’ll find in Data Scientist roles will be based out of either Sydney or Melbourne, however, there are still opportunities to be found in other capitals as well.

Each Data Science salary in Australia below is taken from Payscale.

Data Scientist Salary in Sydney, NSW

Starting salary – AU$52k – AU$94k

5yrs experience – AU$79k – AU$147k

Data Scientist Salary in Melbourne, VIC

Starting salary – AU$51k – AU$94k

5yrs experience – AU$77k – AU$143k

Data Scientist Salary in Canberra, ACT

Starting salary – AU$51k – AU$94k

5yrs experience – AU$78k – AU$148k

Data Scientist Salary in Brisbane, QLD

Starting salary – AU$49k – AU$90k

5yrs experience – AU$77k – AU$143k

Data Scientist Salary in Perth, WA

Starting salary – AU$51k – AU$94k

5yrs experience – AU$81k – AU$155k

Data Scientist Salary in Hobart, TAS

Starting salary – AU$44k – AU$81k

5yrs experience – AU$68k – AU$127k

Data Scientist Salary in Darwin, NT

Starting salary – AU$49k – AU$90k

5yrs experience – AU$76k – AU$143k

What it’s like to be a Data Scientist at These Companies

1. Accenture

Accenture provides professional services in strategy, consulting, digital and other areas, all for some of Australia’s biggest companies. Accenture careers have some great perks, including workplace flexibility and professional mentoring. They work in analytics and data science areas like supply chain and logistics and are very client focused.

2. EY

EY looks for the human element in data science that realises the true value of technology and analytics. Data science plays a large role in EY’s business model and looks for human beings who are creative and competitive enough to solve daily problems. They even host a year data science challenge for students aimed at testing the skills of the next generation of data science superstars!

3. Telstra

The biggest telecommunications provider in Australia is always on the lookout for a data scientist who can help utilise their huge amounts of data to improve operational performance. Data science plays a big role at Telstra, especially when utilising big data to combine and explore data and visualisation tools. And a bonus: people who work in Telstra careers become some of the most sought-after Data Scientists in Australia.

4. ING

As a bank, ING may not be the first place you think of for groundbreaking data science. But, they have a passionate team of data-loving people who maintain the data and analytics capability of ING’s banking platform. ING looks for a data scientist who can develop predictive algorithms and explore databases for innovative ideas. ING Careers may just have the opportunity for you

5. Hipages

Hipages accumulates a lot of data and needs quality people to mine it to help deliver the best products. Working at hipages, you can enjoy competitive salaries and a certified great place to work.

How to level up? 5 courses and 5 sites you can follow


1. Bachelor of Science (Data Science) – University of Melbourne (in person)

Don’t yet have an undergraduate degree? You’ll probably need one if you want to enter the world of data science as a professional. Why not take one of Australia’s specialized courses by studying this Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne with a major in Data Science? The major has a strong emphasis on statistics and computer science, essential for a career in data science.

2. Masters of Data Science – University of Sydney (in person)

If you already have an undergraduate degree in a qualitative field but are looking for formal study to position yourself to enter a data science career, then you can study for a Masters of Data Science, such as this course at the University of Sydney. The course is 1-year full time or 2 years part-time and covers topics such as machine learning and data mining.

3. Applied Data Science with Python (University of Michigan) – Coursera (online)

This 5 course specialization is designed to give people who already have a programming background or knowledge of python the skills to be able to do data science with python. It covers topics such as plotting and charting, machine learning, text mining, and social network analysis, with enrolments for courses starting regularly.

4. Business Analytics (Wharton University of Pennsylvania) – Coursera (online)

Want more of a taster into the world of data science for business? This 5-course specialization available on Coursera will give you an introduction to how data is used in business. By the end of the courses, you will be able to interpret a data-set and advise on business strategy. This is ideal for beginners who are wondering if data science may be a possible career choice – without committing to an intensive course.

5. Data Scientist Nanodegree – Udacity (online)

Udacity’s nano degrees are a great way to get a world-class learning experience from some of the best in the industry. This 2 term Data Scientist nano degree will cover machine learning and applied data science and requires knowledge of python and SQL – which if you haven’t yet covered, you can learn via the Udacity Data Analyst nano degree first.


1. Super Data Science podcasts

Super Data Science offers courses in Data Science with plenty of videos and content for learning, but one of the things that we love about this site is their collection of podcasts. The archive contains topics like Data Science: Technology and Philanthropy, Why All Companies Need a Data Science Culture, and The Importance of Storytelling in Data Science.

2. KDnuggests

Industry professionals all have KDnuggets in their bookmarks for one of the leading sources of the latest info on Data Science. This website is an aggregator of news, companies, courses, jobs, webcasts and heaps more. Ignore the basic design and dig into the content on this invaluable industry resource.

3. Towards Data Science

Medium is always a great source of interesting reads on technology topics and Towards Data Science takes it one step further by offering curated Medium content on the topic of Data Science. There’s plenty to learn from topics like Artificial Intelligence in Medicine to Excel is Not an Enterprise Reporting Solution.

4. Simply Statistics

A little opinion-piece style blog about news and interesting topics in data science by Rafa Irizarry, Roger Peng, and Jeff Leek. Simply Statistics tackles interesting topics such as Cultural Differences in Map Data Visualization and Creativity in Data Analysis.

5. Python Community on Codementor

While not strictly a data science resource, the python community on Codementor does lean heavily towards this field and is a great place to learn about python and data science. Topics you’ll see include What Data Scientists Should Focus on in 2018 and How to Remotely Send R and Python Execution to SQL Server from Jupyter Notebooks.

Data science in a nutshell

If seeing the opportunities that big data affords in terms of business decisions excites you, then Data Science could be the path for you. It’s one of the hottest careers to get into right now and will only grow exponentially as we discover new applications and develop more tools to aid the field.

Opportunities abound within Australia and overseas for budding Data Scientists both in the industry as well as academia.

If you are interested in data science in Australia, take a course and get started on your journey, or for current opportunities in the field, come and check out our job search to see what’s available.

Find Out More About Top Graduate Programs

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