A change in career path pays off

Timothy Bowtell switched from engineering to data science to pursue a whole new ambition.


  • Follow your passions.
  • Push your knowledge boundaries.
  • Embrace creativity because data science is an art.


First degree earned
Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical Major, at University of Queensland

Second degree earned
Master of Data Science, James Cook University

First career step
Mechanical Engineer, Origin Energy

Second career step
Quality Data Analyst, Friendly Society Private Hospital

Third career step
Business Intelligence Analyst, Moreton Bay Regional Council



First postgraduate program in Australia to embed the SAS Academy of Data Science.

Program includes two SAS Academic Specialisations.

The Master of Data Science program is fully online.

Working with SAS was invaluable in honing my practical data science skills.


Q: Going back to the very beginning – when did you first start thinking about an analytics career? Were there any skills or talents you had when you were younger that led you in this direction?

A: I have always been fascinated with the concept of analysis – that process of starting with raw data and problem solving my way to an elegant solution. I first started thinking of becoming a data analyst when we moved to Bundaberg to pursue a great career opportunity for my wife. With very limited opportunities for a junior engineer in the region, I decided to put my passion for math and computers to good use and applied for the role of Quality Data Analyst at Friendly Society Private Hospital. Thankfully they took a chance on me, and so my new career journey began.

Q: Why did you apply to study at James Cook University and specifically the Master of Data Science?

A: While working for Queensland Health as an analyst, I decided I needed to upskill to embrace the wealth of knowledge in the ever-growing field of data analytics. I spent around two months researching all the different Master of Data Science programs and related courses around Australia and found James Cook offered not only an excellent online learning platform but also a comprehensive list of subject matter. I chose the Master of Data Science over the Master of Data Analytics to push my boundaries and learn new things.

Read more of Timothy's story

Find your passion and pursue it.


SAS® Academy for Data Science

Timothy took in-depth data science training to help prepare him for his next career.

SAS® Free Training

Timothy suggests taking advantage of free training courses from SAS to learn new skills.

SAS® Certifications

Getting certified helped Timothy validate his knowledge of SAS technologies.

Impact of a SAS® Certification

"I’ve had several job interviews recently, and found that having SAS experience on my résumé was very attractive to many companies. It showed potential employers that I had not only academic knowledge, but practical experience in industry-leading data analytics software."

SAS® Academy for Data Science

After enrolling in the SAS Academy for Data Science, Timothy says he developed skills in big data, with extensive course materials on Hadoop, Hive, Pig and in-memory statistics.

Qualities of a Data Scientist

Curiosity, communication, creativity and collaboration are all qualities of a data scientist, according to Timothy. He says that all of his data analytics projects start with curiosity, followed by collaboration and communication with other professionals to scope the problem. Creativity helps him find the best solution so he can present the data in a visually engaging manner.

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