On an upward trend: data science in WA

A new report prepared by the Western Australia Data Science Innovation Hub (WADSIH), KPMG ,and Faethm, indicates that at least 3,000 data science roles will be needed in the field over the next decade, in addition to the already available workforce of an estimated 32,000.

Kim Moss by Kim Moss,

Data Science in Western Australia – What we do today will pave the way for a better tomorrow, has highlighted that data science will continue to be a key growth sector for Western Australia, with the state expected to experience a rapid increase in available roles throughout the next decade.

Data science is recognised as a valuable capability to many sectors in WA and the State Government has placed emphasis on the occupation as an important component of ongoing plans to diversify and build a resilient economy. WA Innovation and ICT Minister, Dave Kelly, reaffirmed this position, stating, “data science skills are already providing tremendous benefit to WA, whether predicting the spread of disease, distilling insights from the enormous quantities of space data coming from radio astronomy projects in the Mid-West or the ongoing technological advancements in our thriving mining industry”

The findings of the report support the State Government’s ongoing commitment to building the home-grown data science capabilities. Importantly, the report also identifies the below next steps for government, academia and industry to provide training and develop skills for Western Australians to meet the anticipated demand:

  • Build out local data science capabilities using both home grown and international talent
  • Adopt a data science capability framework
  • Encourage a basic understanding and competence of data science skills
  • Evolve a range of educational pathways
  • Build innovative partnership models with academic institutions and industry
  • WADSIH should continue to act as a “go-between” for industry and academia
  • Ensure knowledge from the industry is leveraged.

What is the WADSIH?

The WADSIH is based at Curtin University and has been established to enable the application of data science for the benefit of all Western Australians. It is jointly funded by the State Government’s $16.7 million New Industries Fund and Curtin University.

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