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Data Science / Analytics - Valuable MS degree?

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For the past year I've been looking into computer science programs, and contemplating applying for an MS in Computer Science as a method to utilize my policy/social science background in San Francisco. In this same time frame I've noticed a numberof MS in Analytics or Data Science programs develop, especially at top computer science schools (like UC Berkeley). As I am taking foundational courses in Java and Statistics to potentially prepare myself for these programs, I wonder what the value of such a degree would be.


I already look into issues involving the evolving relationship between society and technology, and try to utilize research methods that involve collecting and analyzing social media data. Nonetheless, I feel that more and more social science research jobs end up be slated to people that have a dual social and computer science background.



What are your thoughts? Will these programs provide the skills I need to get a job the overly competitive environment that is San Francisco?


Here are the links to two programs I was looking into:


UC Berkeley: http://datascience.berkeley.edu/


USF: https://www.usfca.edu/artsci/msan/



Thank you!



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You may want to look up as many data scientist jobs on LinkedIn, Indeed, etc., as possible to see what the educational and work experience requirements are. You could also join online communities and speak with recruiters, hiring managers, working data scientists, etc. to see what they think about a MS in Data Science/Analytics and what is most important for getting jobs in this field.


I have seen a lot of data science jobs with "PhD preferred" and that want people with statistics, (applied) math, and/or computer science degrees. So I am not entirely certain how valuable an MS in Data Science/Analytics is... you may want to do some more research and speak with people working in that field.

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  • 3 weeks later...



You should look into the NC State analytics program (http://analytics.ncsu.edu/). The school provides employment statistics of their students, and as far as job placement is concern, it will be worth it to take the master's degree.


I applied to USF and it seems like most of the students end up working for companies in Silicon Valley.


Hope this helps and best of luck!

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