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UC Santa Barbara MA Stats VS UC Santa Cruz MS Stats

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So I am trying to decide between UC Santa Barbara's MA Stats program and UC Santa Cruz's MS Stas and Applied Math program . The cost of tuition between the two programs is pretty much the same. My main interest is applied stats and machine learning, and would like to work in industry afterwords, specifically in the data science field. Currently I am leaning towards Santa Cruz, since it is close to the Silicon Valley, and the program is within the engineering school which seems to allow for a more interdisciplinary curriculum. Santa Cruz also has a technology and information management department within the eng school, which has some interesting courses I might want to check out. UC Santa Barbara's stat department does seem to be ranked higher than Santa Cruz though. I would greatly appreciate some advice and input before I made my final decision. Thanks. 

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From what I've gathered, ranking does not matter too much when it comes to masters programs. Especially if you're planning for a career in industry. I think you should look at this post from the following thread (granted it's about biostats, but I'm sure the same principles apply):



As for jobs in industry, I think it probably depends on the department. It's easier if the department has ties to industry and a track record of sending students there. I have known plenty of students who graduated from very good departments who struggled to find jobs in industry and sometimes ended up badly underemployed for a while. Granted, in every case that I know about the person was looking for jobs in a specific geographic location (due to a significant other or whatever). My advice to prospective students would be to try to talk current students/recent graduates and find out how many students take jobs in industry, what types of jobs they take, and how much trouble they had finding them. My impression is that some departments do a better job of placing students in industry and it doesn't correlate well with the usual "prestige" rankings. Sometimes the best departments place a higher percentage of their students in academia so industry doesn't recruit heavily from these departments and faculty don't have experience helping their students find industry jobs. (Indeed, I have heard stories of faculty getting upset and acting like a student is a failure if they want to work in industry.) Also some of the "best" departments tend to be highly theoretical which may not be what industry is looking for. Bottom line: Research the department carefully.


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