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Fall 2020 Data Science/Analytics Master Applicant Thread


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Accepted to University of Pennsylvania's MSE in Data Science program today

@ilovepenguins I still havent got the interview. I got admit from the Statistics program, at Columbia but no news about the Data Science. The last interview according to gradcafe was in the first week

About 2 hours ago

I'm not sure if NYU being 4 semesters is a good thing, since at the end of the day it's 12 classes over 4 semesters vs. 10 classes at Columbia over 3 semesters which lets you go into the workforce 4 month sooner. I think Columbia is ~10k cheaper as well unless you want to add more classes in the final semester (since you're only required to take 2). Quality of these classes is what should be compared.  

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Hi all! I have received offer from :

1) Uchicago MSCAPP(MS in Computational Analysis& Public Policy)

2) Duke MIDS.

But I couldn't really make up my mind which one to accept. I majored in both Economics and International Politics and I'm interested in applying data science to political economy and public policy. I would love to work in international organizations or thinktanks but pursuing a PhD in political science is also possible for me. In this case, could you please give me some advice on which one should I choose?

I notice both of them are ok for job hunting but I'm not sure which one would be more suitable if considering the possibility of pursuing a PhD afterwards. Thank you so much! :) 

Edited by LeoSugar
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@LeoSugar I was also accepted to the Duke MIDS. I am very skeptical of that program because it is very new and the first class hasn't even graduated yet. The curriculum, in my opinion, needs some work. I did not apply to UChicago's MSCAPP, but I believe UChicago's Harris School is very reputable and in terms of what your career goals are, perhaps UChicago's program would be the best option for you.  

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@hoops77wI applied to both NU (waitlisted) and Columbia DS (haven't heard anything so likely a reject). My background is non-DS/Analytics so I would've picked NU since the program fits my profile better as they don't seem to care too much about your technical foundation. I also don't care too much about being in New York (or location in general) since I have no interest in working in finance.  Edit: Although Columbia's tuition is lower and the program is shorter in duration with a longer internship, if money matters at all. 

Edited by Guest123
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1 hour ago, hoops77w said:

I am deciding between Northwestern Analytics (MSiA) and Columbia Data Science; this decision will be tough to make. Appreciate any perspectives or thoughts you may have. Thanks! 

Hey! Congratulations on getting acceptances from both schools. I also received my NW-MSiA acceptance earlier this month, but I still haven't heard from Columbia so far. As a natural consequence, I have slowly started to mentally prepare myself for a situation wherein I eventually join NW's program.

The reasons that I have given myself to feel happy about attending NW (instead of Columbia) are as follows:     
(NOTE: I am explicitly stating my bias for NW here in case it wasn't clear enough)

 

1. MSiA has a smaller class-size (~40 students), so that should allow for more individual attention. Columbia has a class-size of 150+ students.

2. Living in Evanston should be more economical than living in NYC, thus there's some monetary incentive to attend NW.

3. There's a tremendous amount of data regarding students and their salaries on the NW website, whereas Columbia doesn't provide such details about their cohorts.

4. The campus at NW is supposed to be spacious and beautiful (it is situated next to Lake Michigan). I'd prefer a spacious campus over NYC's crammed buildings. 

5. Chicago is a 30min drive from Evanston, so I believe there will be ample opportunities to find noteworthy employers. NYC would've been great, but I can work with Chicago. 

6. As other users in this forum have mentioned before me, Columbia's DS program has a reputation for being a cash-cow. 

 

 

By the way, I hope someone creates a list of reasons why you should pick Columbia over NW just to balance things out lol. The obvious reasons would be Columbia's Ivy League tag, NYC's job opportunities, highly qualified faculty, teaching/research opportunities (TA, RA etc), and the curriculum's solid emphasis on core technical subjects.

All the best and let me know what you finally choose! :)

Edited by SaltyNuts
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I'll add a few points for Columbia since I'm bored:

Program tuition cost is ~10k lower than NU's (assuming no funding for either).  

Longer Capstone and Internship (4 month for each as opposed to only 10 weeks).

More flexible curriculum; with NU's program you can only pick one elective.

If you want to do business or finance New York and Chicago is a pretty big gap. 

NU's curriculum seems to cover a lot of topics, which makes me question how in depth each topic will actually be covered

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2 hours ago, Guest123 said:

@dsscreenameah okay, I applied to MIDS. I took a quick look, I must say I should've applied to this one instead of MIDS lol. I've read on random forums that a CS or Stats degree holds more water than Analytics or Data Science so take that for what it's worth. 

Same here. I also strongly considered MIDS but entirely overlooked Duke's Statistical Science program :(. However, I have applied to UC Berkeley's MA in Statistics program. Still not quite sure how Berkeley MA Stats compares with NW MSiA and Columbia DS (Any opinions?).

You mentioned that CS/Stats degrees hold more water than DS/Analytics, and that is true. But I must point out that Stats students spend a lot of time learning theoretical concepts, which implies that the onus of acquiring programming skills lies entirely with the student. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you must be highly motivated to first go through the rigor of graduate Stats and then also teach yourself the most relevant technology to make yourself attractive for recruiters. If that level of commitment seems impractical, I suppose Data Science/Analytics MS programs provide a neatly packaged all-encompassing route for those who wish to enter industry. 
 

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10 hours ago, SaltyNuts said:

Same here. I also strongly considered MIDS but entirely overlooked Duke's Statistical Science program :(. However, I have applied to UC Berkeley's MA in Statistics program. Still not quite sure how Berkeley MA Stats compares with NW MSiA and Columbia DS (Any opinions?).

You mentioned that CS/Stats degrees hold more water than DS/Analytics, and that is true. But I must point out that Stats students spend a lot of time learning theoretical concepts, which implies that the onus of acquiring programming skills lies entirely with the student. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you must be highly motivated to first go through the rigor of graduate Stats and then also teach yourself the most relevant technology to make yourself attractive for recruiters. If that level of commitment seems impractical, I suppose Data Science/Analytics MS programs provide a neatly packaged all-encompassing route for those who wish to enter industry. 
 

I think it depends on the program, some Stats masters programs are research/thesis based as preparation for Ph.D., but applied Stats program are pretty programming intensive not much different than DS/Analytics programs other than the name. For instance, this Duke Statistical Science program's DS/Analytics track seems requires courses in both R and Python and encourages C++ as well. I've read anecdotally from other forums that some employers look down on DS/Analytics degrees compared to Stats/CS but I don't know if there's much truth to that.  

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On 3/20/2020 at 3:07 AM, hoops77w said:

@LeoSugar I was also accepted to the Duke MIDS. I am very skeptical of that program because it is very new and the first class hasn't even graduated yet. The curriculum, in my opinion, needs some work. I did not apply to UChicago's MSCAPP, but I believe UChicago's Harris School is very reputable and in terms of what your career goals are, perhaps UChicago's program would be the best option for you.  

Thanks! Could you please explain a bit more about your concern on the MIDS curriculum? 

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Hi all.

 

I got admitted to a few programs for a masters in Analytics and wanted advice on the program that those working in industry or going through recruitment would recommend the most.

 

Background: 3 years out of undergrad at Duke, studied Mechanical Engineering. Only basic Java and Matlab experience, hired for Deloitte's Technology Consulting role. Working on SAP financial implementations for 3 years. Learnt a ton of SQL along the way, took online courses on Statistics and R and basic Python.

Programs to choose from - assume similar cost of attendance for all programs (after my scholarships, the costs are the same for me):

  1. Northwestern MSiA (Master of Science in Analytics)

  2. Georgia Tech On-Campus Masters of Analytics

  3. Emory University Master of Science in Business Analytics

  4. UCLA Master of Science in Business Analytics

 

Goal: Post-graduation I want to work in analytics consulting for a consulting company that deals with a variety of clients, either supporting the main consulting arm (e.g. BCG Gamma) or for a standalone analytics consulting practice (e.g. Slalom). Any advice on what would stand out most to you as a recruiter or a future colleague? I feel with my lack of CS background, I will struggle in the NLP/tech-y side of things at the program options 1 and 2, but feel the programs at the business schools will be a better fit (3 and 4).

However, if NW or GT are reputable enough within industry that I could find jobs more easily as someone more technically rounded out, I have no problem pushing myself and learning more.

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated and also to anyone applying to grad school programs, happy to share details of my application process over DM

Edited by needsyourhelp
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@needsyourhelp I think you've got a pretty good relative assessment, I can't add much besides the UCLA BA program (cuz I'm a Bruin undergrad rn!). The management/business area of campus is really really nice (they just built a new building there actually), and the business community is all really integrated and cool. If you wanna end up in LA for work and are looking to build connections, I think that's gonna be something to strongly consider. 

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4 hours ago, needsyourhelp said:

Hi all.

 

I got admitted to a few programs for a masters in Analytics and wanted advice on the program that those working in industry or going through recruitment would recommend the most.

 

Background: 3 years out of undergrad at Duke, studied Mechanical Engineering. Only basic Java and Matlab experience, hired for Deloitte's Technology Consulting role. Working on SAP financial implementations for 3 years. Learnt a ton of SQL along the way, took online courses on Statistics and R and basic Python.

Programs to choose from - assume similar cost of attendance for all programs (after my scholarships, the costs are the same for me):

  1. Northwestern MSiA (Master of Science in Analytics)

  2. Georgia Tech On-Campus Masters of Analytics

  3. Emory University Master of Science in Business Analytics

  4. UCLA Master of Science in Business Analytics

 

Goal: Post-graduation I want to work in analytics consulting for a consulting company that deals with a variety of clients, either supporting the main consulting arm (e.g. BCG Gamma) or for a standalone analytics consulting practice (e.g. Slalom). Any advice on what would stand out most to you as a recruiter or a future colleague? I feel with my lack of CS background, I will struggle in the NLP/tech-y side of things at the program options 1 and 2, but feel the programs at the business schools will be a better fit (3 and 4).

However, if NW or GT are reputable enough within industry that I could find jobs more easily as someone more technically rounded out, I have no problem pushing myself and learning more.

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated and also to anyone applying to grad school programs, happy to share details of my application process over DM

I have also been accepted and considering Northwestern MSiA for what it's worth. I would say one thing that really stuck out with me during my visit and research into the program is that it is really focused on getting people the jobs they want out of college (which is what is making me strongly consider it). I think you should be ok with the CS/NLP stuff as the backgrounds of the people entering this program are pretty diverse. I am an econ major myself lol.   

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Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time poster. I've been admitted to and am deciding between a few programs and am curious about the perspective of this group. How might you decide between the following programs: Harvard MSDS, MIT MBAn, NYU MS Data Science.

For more background, I completed undergrad in 2017 so will have a few years of work experience in tech (product analytics) under my belt by the time the fall semester begins. If I were to do the NYU program, I would likely relocate to NYC with my current company and start part time, which would be an advantage from a financial perspective (but not the ultimate deciding factor for me). My ultimate goal is to end up in a data science or quantitative research role at a consumer technology company.

More generally, has anyone else on this forum committed to any of these programs? What led to you choose it?

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Hi Everyone, I have been admitted to Georgia Tech analytics (on campus) and NYU MSDS. I really like both programs, so it's difficult for me to decide between the two.  Georgia Tech is a lot shorter, 10 months program, and it's a lot cheaper, by around 40%. However, I feel like NYU has better placements in bigger cities with bigger firms, and I am currently working in NYC. 

Does anyone has any insights into these two programs? And what would you choose if you are pursing a data science career? Thanks!

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7 hours ago, az765 said:

Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time poster. I've been admitted to and am deciding between a few programs and am curious about the perspective of this group. How might you decide between the following programs: Harvard MSDS, MIT MBAn, NYU MS Data Science.

For more background, I completed undergrad in 2017 so will have a few years of work experience in tech (product analytics) under my belt by the time the fall semester begins. If I were to do the NYU program, I would likely relocate to NYC with my current company and start part time, which would be an advantage from a financial perspective (but not the ultimate deciding factor for me). My ultimate goal is to end up in a data science or quantitative research role at a consumer technology company.

More generally, has anyone else on this forum committed to any of these programs? What led to you choose it?

@az765 Congrats on all your great options!

I haven't committed yet, but I am excited about Harvard's program and am strongly leaning towards committing. It seems like Harvard's core courses provide a strong foundation of applicable knowledge and skills, but they also dedicate half of the curriculum to electives which allows a good amount of personalization in terms of academic focus. The coursework is primarily project-/application-based, which really appeals to me, and it also seems like they understand and celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of data science. 

I have more reasons that I'm excited about Harvard, but also don't know a ton about the NYU/MIT programs or your situation so certainly take my perspective with a grain of salt. I would also recommend looking at the information Harvard sent the admitted students if you haven't already. Good luck and maybe I'll see you next year!

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