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Why Pursue a Career in Data Science?

Data Science is one of the newest disciplines to emerge in the last few years, with a select few higher education institutes now offering master degree programs specifically in this field of study. According to a McKinsey Report published in 2011, there will be between 140,000 and 190,000 unfilled data analytics positions by the year 2018. This is due to the rapid rate of expansion and development in the world of big data and a distinct lack of experts to interpret and make use of that data. A master of science is data science is one of the most direct routes into a data analytics job role.

What is a Master’s in Data Science like?

The length of the data science masters program will vary slightly according to the institution with which you choose to study. One year is the typical time-span for a full time on-campus program, although part time is usually a viable option, which can be taken advantage of by those students who are already in a professional business role.

The Center for Data Science at New York University is one example of a highly reputable and credited institution, offering a specialized master of science in data science program. NYU has recognized the need for big data experts and is on the way to becoming the leading data science training and research facility. There are many other accredited universities offering similar programs to a very high standard.

What is the Typical Curriculum of a Master’s in Data Science?

The main components of data science are applied statistics, mathematics and computer science. It’s a good idea to enter into a data science masters with these foundation skill sets and industry, government or business experience is a further advantage. More specific elements of the curriculum include machine learning, computational statistics, forecasting, problem solving, algorithms, data mining and visualization.

What Pre-requisites Do I Need to Attend a Master’s in Data Science?

All applicants must have taken either the GRE or the GMAT exam in order to apply for a place on a data science masters program. Programming experience and a linear algebra undergraduate’s course are also typical pre-requisites.

Who Should Consider a Master’s in Data Science?

Anyone with an aptitude for spotting patterns and anomalies along with an inquisitive mind that wants to know the reasons for those patterns and anomalies could be right for a career in data science. It is a field that is going to come increasingly to the foreground and an integral part of all corporations and governmental structures. Good communication skills are crucial as is the ability to work well within a team.

What Are the Career Opportunities in Data Science?

A master of science in data science is the fastest route to achieving your goal as becoming a data scientist or data analyst. It has been agreed that the best people to fulfill these roles have a strong mathematics background, as well as business experience whilst also being computer savvy. A data science masters will give you strong skill sets in all of these areas and some include internships that provide the business experience. Being such a new career field means statistics are varied when it comes to salary ranges. However, according to Forbes the median salary for someone with a few years experience and a data science or similar master’s degree will be in the region of $100,000.