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Ask HN: Masters in Data Science Worth It?
2 points by el_shambler on July 9, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 1 comment
I've been seeing a lot of different ads recently about different Masters in Data Science programs (MIDS), most notably for UC - Berkeley and SMU.

I did find a few older threads in regards to the field itself, and then one from a year ago with a lot of good comments on it [0]. The general consensus seemed to be that a masters does carry some weight but for $60k, that's too steep. With SMU's price tag at $53k, it's not much different.

Some of the arguments for a MIDS is it gives exposure and experience that online courses could not give. While you might learn the same knowledge, the MIDS gives additional experience and overall better mastery of the material.

I'm wondering if there are jobs out there that can justify the $50-$60k price tag, or if an online certificate like the one on Coursera from John Hopkins [1] would be sufficient to a) land a job, and b) give me the experience needed (maybe with using kaggle along the way)?


[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8209062 [1] - https://www.coursera.org/specialization/jhudatascience/1

*edit - grammar

First of all, data scientists are in very high demand today. Probably one of the hottest market. I'm no fortune teller but I don't see any reason for that to change.

Second, I find that it's really really hard to learn data science just with online courses. And even if you could learn as an autodidact, it would be very difficult to get the legitimacy and be taken seriously without a degree.

You could, without a degree, join a company that does data science, try to get a foot in the door to work with their team, learn in the trench and get a real position as data scientist.

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