It’s a well-known fact that data science is one of the most attractive career options these days, thanks to the hype revolving around the data scientist job position. It has triggered increased interest in the data science field from both working professionals and those entering college. To deal with the increasing demand for data science professionals, a lot of institutions have started offering a data science master’s degree. If you too are planning to obtain such a degree, here’re ten facts you should consider before committing your time, effort, and money.
1. Before entering a data science master’s degree, you should ensure that you’re truly interested in what the program would entail. For example, a professional may try to find an opportunity to get some experience in working with data to gain exposure while a student may try to take a statistics class.
2. These days, a lot of data science master’s programs are taught online which means it has become easier than ever to learn the skills required to become a data science professional. You’d be able to enjoy a lot of flexibility in terms of studying when you want, working at your own pace, picking a course schedule which suits you the best etc.
3. Having a data science master’s degree is surely an effective way to develop data science skillsets but not a prerequisite to start your career in data science. It’s possible to step into the field without having a data science master’s degree.
4. A data science master’s degree heavily matters when you’re applying for a position but not having a master’s degree will stop you from getting that job. For instance, some tech giants may need the applicants to have a data science master’s degree while other companies may not have those stringent criteria.
5. While data science professionals are already in high demand, having a data science master’s degree could make your chances even better. Apart from that, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate your benefits.
6. If you want to truly apply for a data science master’s degree, first you should decide on the pathway you want to take. If you’re willing to return to the school, obtaining such a degree can help you in defining the pathway to a good extent.
7. Some of the data science master’s degree programs are still in the process of developing the proper curriculum which blends computer science, math, and statistics, and there’s a broad range in terms of breadth of knowledge offered, program quality etc. In addition, apart from requiring an investment of a minimum of one to two years, they can cost thousands of dollars.
8. Some data science master’s degree programs, especially the newer ones, may risk overpromising the students and under-delivering on future employment.
9. If you can complete a full data science undergraduate curriculum that involves statistical, computational, and professional practice aspects, it might be more comprehensive than a data science master’s degree program.
10. If your aim is to getting a PhD, you shouldn’t look beyond a data science master’s degree program.
Probably you’ve already understood that it’ll be your call whether to go for a data science master’s degree program. Consider the above information thoroughly and make an informed decision in accordance with your future goals.