How data expertise unlocks new opportunities
For two alumni, the Master of Data Science presented new ways to understand and work with data while opening new career opportunities.
Data scientists work with data sets to identify trends, answer questions, and even forecast changes using machine learning and predictive modelling. They are at the forefront of technology advances and help drive strategic decisions in businesses across every industry.
Our Master of Data Science enables professionals and graduates with a strong mathematical or quantitative background to upskill in this specialist field. By building their technical skills and knowledge in data science, our graduates are uniquely equipped to draw meaningful knowledge from data.
We spoke to two Data Science alumni about why they chose to build on their skills with postgraduate study and where it took them.
For Dan Bridgman, Senior Manager, Data Science at Transport for NSW, the Master of Data Science was an opportunity to build on years of industry experience by gaining specialist and technical knowledge.
"When I started the Master of Data Science, I was fortunate to have around 12 years of industry experience, with just 2–3 years in data science and analytics", said Bridgman, who completed his degree in 2020.
"I wasn’t 100% confident I knew the real 'nuts and bolts' of Data Science."
"My degree allowed me to learn the nitty gritty parts of Data Science and gave me a foundation to continue learning even after graduation."
Through the course assignments and the capstone project, Bridgman was able to put his learnings into practice and explore areas of research he felt passionate about.
He credits the depth of his knowledge gained during the course for giving him the confidence to lead his current team.
"My academic experience, combined with on-the-job experience gained over time, led to my current role and allows me to engage and challenge the technical aspects of the Data Science team I now have the privilege to lead".
And while he acknowledges the "many hours, sweat and tears" that went into the degree, Bridgman says he would gladly do it again.
"The degree isn't just the work you put in, whether that’s technical, orally, or in written form. It's also the connections you make. I was lucky enough to make friends and connections that I value to this day – some of them even attended my wedding!"
For Igor Malin, the Master of Data Science was all about new perspectives.
Graduating in 2018, he is now Software Engineering Team Lead at global information and technology company Bloomberg L.P. With headquarters in New York City, Bloomberg L.P. employs more than 19,000 people across the world and provides financial software tools such as an analytics and equity trading platform, data services, and news.
According to Malin, his Master's degree allowed him to build on his background in computer science and see data in a new way. He also benefiited from the variety of new people and views he encountered during his studies.
"The people, the friendships, and the different perspectives that surrounded me during the studies were a real highlight", he said.
"This allowed me to imagine my career differently, to look outside the box, to motivate myself to achieve new heights. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today, working on the cutting edge of Financial Portfolio Management in Bloomberg."
According to Malin, being able to look at data differently is an important skill, especially in light of increasingly large pools of data we can access.
"Data by itself is not as meaningful as the information and insights you obtain from it", he says.
"Now I have the tools to look at data differently: I can tell a story and surface what’s important from countless data points, tables and files."
More than five years' later, Malin says that he uses what he learnt daily, and that the knowledge of Natural Language Processing he obtained during his degree was his career accelerator.
"Understanding human language by machines is the future, and this unit of study is still the one I return to, day in and day out."