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Bachelor of Information Sciences (Data Science)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

The only degree of its kind in Australasia

Massey University was the first in Australia and New Zealand to introduce the Bachelor of Information Sciences (Data Science) and has the longest experience in teaching this degree, which will enable you to become a hi-tech specialist with the relevant skills to take you to the forefront of this fast-paced industry.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Information Sciences parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey University’s Bachelor of Information Sciences (Data Science) gives you the skills to fill the rapidly growing number of jobs in the area of data science and analysis.

You will learn how to make sense of complexities so others can easily understand them and how to apply computing to data-oriented challenges. You may have an interest in commerce, government, natural and social sciences, and you may want to learn apply technology to drive innovation, decision-making and research in those fields. You will learn how to use programming to solve potentially world-changing issues.

If you have a curious mind, are fascinated by data and enjoy the thrill of making discoveries and want to join a rapidly growing industry this qualification is for you.

A brand new job

Data Scientist is one of the newest job descriptions in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. 

You will learn how to solve real-world problems using data, in combination with cutting-edge computing technologies and analytical methods. You will gain the expertise to formulate business domain questions into series of queries that your data can answer. You will learn how to apply techniques like data mining, machine learning, statistical analysis and data visualisation to discover and extract information from data. Beyond the mechanics, you will also become skilled in communicating your findings to management as well as to wider non-technical audiences.

In demand

Market trends indicate that data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to show some of the biggest growth in the industry and correspondingly the demand for specialists with these skills. Businesses are just beginning to realise the game-changing properties that come with these technologies, and industry foresees the continuing growth of machine-learning-powered intelligent systems.

Expand your skills

During your learning you will gain skills in machine learning and data mining, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

You will take an in-depth look at all aspects of data including learning how to design and query databases, data analysis, visualisation and the structures and algorithms of data and big data workflows. You will become competent in a range of programming languages and gain skills in multivariate analysis.

Join a growing industry

We are in the midst of a data deluge. Whether it is in the commercial world, social media, internet, sciences, healthcare or government, every sector is inundated with data. 'Big Data’ is the hot topic in almost every industry.

Knowledge is found within all this information. Businesses, governments and institutions are recognising that their future success and survival is increasingly dependent on their ability to transform their data into information, insights and novel data-products.

The industry is actively trying to recruit the professionals to fill this skills shortage.

A multitude of options

Data science is a broad and multidisciplinary field. As a data scientist you will be likely to work in teams where each member has different sets of complementing interests and strengths. You too can choose which area to specialise in. If you would like to become a data scientist with expert knowledge in computer science, IT, statistics or mathematics, this qualification is structured in such a way that it allows you to do that. You can pursue a double major (or minors) combinations with any of these subjects.

Even more broadly than that, you will be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across a broad range of sciences disciplines outside of information sciences. If you are interested in natural and fundamental sciences, you can choose to complete a double major/minor combination including chemistry, ecology or molecular biology. These are also areas where computational and data processing skills are becoming increasingly central.

Similarly, you may choose data science with a specialisation in a form of a minor from any of the offerings under business, health, creative arts or humanities and social sciences in order to ensure that you gain the complementary expert knowledge in the domain you are passionate about. This will give you a distinct focus and advantage in the industry.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates showed that those who complete a qualification in a science, agriculture, technology, computer science, engineering or mathematics field of study have high relative earnings after they complete their study compared to the national median. Earnings can be substantially more than other graduates.

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A good fit if you:

  • Want to be on the cutting-edge of technological discoveries and the 'Big Data' movement
  • Think logically and analytically
  • Like uncovering hidden patterns, trends and associations in the world
  • Are interested in using programming to solve fascinating and world-changing problems


A shortage waiting to be filled

Data analysts are in high demand, according to Digital Skills for a Digital Nation, a 2017 New Zealand report. This is because:

  • Organisations are able to collect large amounts of data about their customers due to multiple devices being connected to the internet
  • Data analysts are needed to make sense of this data so that organisations can gain insights into their customers' needs and make sound business decisions.

Although the number of data analysts is increasing, there are still not enough to meet demand.

Great salaries

The average paying salary for a data scientist in the United States is $90,000 and over $100,000 for those with working experience.

The skills you learn at Massey University and the qualification you will receive are recognised throughout the world and enable you to work in any industry or government sector.

A career with variety

Some examples of careers that could lead on from this qualification include:

  • Data science engineer
  • Hadoop big-data engineer
  • Business analytics consultant
  • Data-product entrepreneur
  • Banking fraud detection analyst
  • Machine learning specialist
  • Government researcher
  • Government communications and security analyst
  • Customer insight analyst
  • Data management architect
  • Text mining analyst
  • Software developer
  • Scientific researcher

Industry endorsements

One of the four megatrends that will shape our industry over the next decade is big data. Data is the new currency and being able to draw insight from data and predict outcomes will be the new business advantage. I am excited to see that Massey is introducing a degree in Data Science and am encouraged to see how quickly they are responding to transformation in our industry.

Nigel Parker, Director, Developer Experience, Microsoft NZ

SAS strongly supports the proposal by Massey University to add a major and minor in Data Science to their academic qualifications as part of the BInfSc degree program. These papers will contribute directly not only to creating a robust and cohesive program of study for NZ graduates, but they will also make a lasting impact on the looming analytical skills shortage we face globally.

Geoff Beynon, Executive General Manager, SAS Institute (NZ) Ltd

It’s great to see that Massey University has acknowledged the role that data has within an organisation. Turning data into information to support critical business decisions and to help build competitive advantage is clearly the way in which organisations need to head. I’m impressed that Massey has recognised this and can provide a degree to fill the gap that I encounter in the resource market on a regular basis.

Jared Smith, Enterprise Information Manager, Auckland Transport

If you want to work at what Harvard Business Review calls ‘The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century’, then study Data Science at Massey and apply to Datamine, where we use high end data analytics to solve business problems every day.

Dr. John Graves, Data Scientist, Datamine

"The future of health delivery is Precision Medicine and personalised healthcare: bringing together all sources of health and social information to tailor care to each individual, while delivering better decision making, health outcomes and efficiencies for providers and communities.

Data Science provides the tools and insights for us to create these future solutions, and we commend Massey on building a degree that prepares graduates to make a tangible contribution in our industry."

Tim Whittington - Vice President: Data & Analytics, Orion Health

Big data is unlocking a whole new world for businesses by shaping a better understanding of our most valuable commodity - our customers. Those that understand it, make meaning of it and evolve the field of big data further will be the game-changers of the future. We commend Massey University for having the foresight to develop such a valuable course in Data Science which will see graduates play a vital role in the evolving businesses of the future.

Matt Hobbs, Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Two Degrees Mobile Limited

Being a leading New Zealand-based big data and data warehousing company, and the global pioneer in data warehouse automation software, WhereScape is excited to see Massey University offer a qualification specialising in data science. This qualification will create significant opportunities for the graduates to build their knowledge and skills working with cutting edge software automation technology, in a dynamic and fast growing industry."

Stephen Dickens, Director of Professional Services New Zealand, WhereScape

Data is the digital life blood for any organisation that wishes to understand its customers and communities better. The future success of business and industry will be dependent on its capability to unlock the knowledge and insights that data brings. Congratulations to Massey University for embracing the future and supporting NZ business. By creating this degree Massey has established itself at the forefront of valuing the science behind data analytics.

Ashton Kwan, Senior Manager Business Information, Finance, Westpac

EROAD have endorsed this degree. EROAD provide an automated solution for Road User Charge purchase and management.

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