Masters programmes in Data Science and Analytics are also commonly associated with the term “big data”. As the name itself suggests, this field is concerned with the collection of great amounts of information which can, in turn, produce relevant and coherent knowledge about a specific subject.
Masters students in Data Science are well-versed in statistics and analytics. Naturally, they already need to have developed a good grasp of mathematics and an awareness of how to execute complex tasks to be able to continue with postgraduate study. However, a Masters programme will certainly polish and strengthen their analytical proclivity with a more thorough focus on technical skills and practical experience.
As a sub-field of IT, Data Science and Analytics has become one of today’s hot topics when it comes to establishing a promising educational and professional path. The predictive analytics, data management, and data-based decisions that lie in the centre of this domain can be used to grow a company’s customer base and strengthen business efficiency. Needless to say, results such as these are highly valued in our contemporary environment.
Programmes usually last one or two years and so, embarking upon a postgraduate study in the field will not be the time-consuming undertaking that other science courses can be. Some main topics that could be part of the curriculum include data mining, predictive analytics, data visualisation, and professional issues in computing.
An interesting distinction worth pointing out is that some programmes have developed and marketed their study from a perspective which is purposefully focused on business and management. For example, starting in September 2017, ESCP Europe is offering a new Master of Science degree in Big Data and Business Analytics. The programme is described as “perfect for those who want to make performance improvement decisions from a management perspective.” Covered courses include Business Intelligence, Data Modelling, Business Process, and Managerial Decision Making, all of which strongly indicate the programme’s direction of developing business professionals who are well-equipped for today’s fast-moving digital trends.
As seen from the example with ESCP Europe, even a relatively new and specialised path such as Data Science and Analytics can offer diverse options for curious Masters applicants. But what are the requirements that they need to fulfil to be able to enrol in a similar programme? A completed Bachelor’s degree, usually in a related discipline such as IT, mathematics or science, is one of the first points on the list.
For some programmes, this is not a strict requirement. Prospective students with a different background who can still demonstrate sufficient technical aptitude or have prior professional experience in the field can still be admitted on a case by case basis. Other programmes may also assign students to additional courses that will prepare them for the nature of the study and help them make the transition to Data Science.
If the programme of your choice is taught in English and you are not a native English speaker, you will have to prepare your results from an English proficiency test as well. In addition, you can expect that many institutions such as US universities will require that you submit your GRE test score. In any case, make sure you are well acquainted with the specific admission criteria listed by each programme you plan to apply to.
Harvard Business Review called the data scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century – and for a reason. The combination of a scientific background and analytical skills is in high demand in today’s competitive job market. Some of the most well-known global companies handling large digital networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Airbnb are on constant lookout for qualified data scientists to join their ranks.
Graduates in the field of Data Science and Analytics can opt for diverse professions in economics, statistics, and computer science. Some of the common career titles include junior or senior data scientist, business intelligence analyst, financial analyst, business analytics consultant. Degree-holders whose programme featured a blend of analytics and management such as the one offered at ESCP Europe may be hired as marketing analyst managers, business consultant managers, and data solutions architects, among others.
In 2016, O'Reilly Media, a company providing technology and business training and insights, published the fourth edition of their Data Science Salary Survey. The report is quite informative when it comes to the latest trends in the profession and shows that respondents from the US boast the highest salaries among all regions – their median yearly salary is USD 106,000. Nevertheless, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, UK and Ireland, and the rest of Europe also fare very well on the graph. All in all, applicants headed towards a Masters degree in the field of Data Science and Analytics will have plenty of sources to extract information from and use it to prepare for their future professional endeavours.