Hello I am curious to know what people think of getting a masters degree in Data Science. I am looking at a program that is 32k which compared to others is not as expensive. I have experience with python and I work on my own projects but no professional experience. I am finding it extremely hard to break into an entry level data analyst role. I am hoping that a master degree would help with that process.

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Trust me on this, time money efforts to get master degree won't justify outcome. Rather try harder, do open source in that time, build your portfolio. You might get into entry level if not mid level. Master would get you in 2/3 years what you can now in 6 months.

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I also struggled with this and decided to get my masters in data analytics (not data science but similar field). The first job I applied to after starting my program turned into an offer after over a year of rejections from similar roles. It’s definitely an expensive way to get noticed, and your best learning will come from personal exploration/projects, but it has fast results from my sample of 1. Also, If you get a role that is in the same field as your degree, there will often be tuition assistance programs that will help you finish it up. Just know what you’re paying for and what the degree is going to teach you vs what gaps you’ll still need to fill on your own.

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I recommend the same as D1 - experience in a real position, intentional practice, and building your portfolio will be much more beneficial. Master's will set you back not only $32k financially, but will set you back two years' worth of time, too. That time is worth far more to you than what the degree would provide.

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I have a master degree in information systems and focused on data science and machine learning track. It wasn’t easy to get a back. I did graduate into a bad market in June 2020 but masters won’t necessarily get you the job. Took me around more than a year to get a data engineer role. Had a different job in between. I was open to data analyst scientist or engineer roles.

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This is a great question, I am in a similar position. The current answers are helpful but I hope this gets more traction, especially from people who broke into Data Science from a non-tech background without a Masters!

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Agreed, I would work on building your experience rather than getting a masters

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I broke in to Data by getting a job as a Data Analyst when I had no experience (I was in high finance for a few years before) and only a degree in Math and Engineering. I was a Data analyst for only 9 months and asked my manager how I could become a data scientist. He actually told me I had to do a Masters in order to progress. To be honest I was like surely not? So I applied to a few jobs to see if that would be true and I got interviews at 2 different companies. Evidently, the job market did not believe that I had to have masters despite saying you need Masters or PhD (except for like FAANG where I dont currently work). I have been a Data Scientist for a year now and started a Masters but idk if I will finish it. I think a Masters will help you get noticed, but won't really give you much relevant experience. It is also not guaranteeing a job. I think if you are willing to work somewhere a bit random and not amazing pay for a while, you should be a able to get in without a Masters.

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What experience did you have beforehand? You should be able to get away with just doing a certificate and having some hands on experience

I took a FinTech Certificate which was focused on financial and data analysis using python. We covered machine learning for about month. After the program I have done a few projects and posted them on medium. My big reason for doing the masters is to get a better understanding of the math for a role in data science. I eventually want to end up as a data scientist. I also know that anything self paced would not work for me. I just don’t learn the best that way.

A masters doesn't do much to help your profile.

32k sounds quite expensive if I'm being honest with you. I suspect you might benefit a whole bunch more from self-studying, as long as you find adequate resources for that.

From the perspective of a data analyst currently in a data science program:

That particular program might be more $ than is worth it in the long run but I don’t think the idea of getting a masters is bad. If you want to get the knowledge you need to both implement and fully understand the data science models you want to be running one day - I think a master program would be good.
That’s why I chose to go for it.

There’s also cheaper options to build out education like coursera and datacamp courses that might be all you need to get into analytics

Do it and once you are done I can easily get you into Freddie Mac

Can I have more info on the position? Just curious

It depends on what you want to focus on long term. If you want to stay in ds or da then experience will likely pave the way, if you’re climbing a corporate ladder or looking more ba then education pushes you to the front.

I chose an executive masters 46k (work full time while studying) and it took me about 2 years to break even with promotions and a new role.

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