Data & Analytics Consultants

How would you guys rank the masters in analytics or data science programs in the US? More pts given to the programs that send a greater amount of people to FAANG or MBB

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I’m waiting a couple years. There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the value add with schools creating new programs. Not to mention how quickly data science changes over time.

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No clue but I've interviewed folks from quite a few programs. I haven't been super impressed in general. It's probably just me but I tend to like folks with more pure backgrounds (CS, stats, math). My impression of data science masters programs is that they are trying to make unicorns when folks should be specializing more heavily. That said Northwestern seems solid. I know quite a few folks at FAANG and other great companies attend the GT program online. CM has a program that is newer and I suspect it's great but I haven't interviewed anyone from it. NYU I haven't been really impressed with. I think you can get in without knowing how to program. Finally I'd add that MBB and consulting in general isn't really a sought after exit from what I've seen. These firms are too old and too stuffy with limited innovation to get people really excited.

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I’m currently in the GTech program, but the CS one not the Analytics one. The advice I got from my management was that you’re usually better off doing CS/math/stats programs than something labeled as data science. My experience so far supports the claim that the people in OMSCS are technically stronger than those in OMSA, broadly speaking. Stronger backgrounds, better with computers, better at ML. They’re worse at business and the non-technical side of things, but in my experience that’s because that’s not a desired skill set. This is related to D1’s comment that people in these programs don’t care about MBB. There’s no prestige (in the CS world) in MBB and lots of people have never heard of it. Consulting exists on some people’s radar, but the general attitude among the top performers (which I agree with) is that business analytics is boring. Most people don’t want that job. The consulting jobs on people’s radar are at places like Booz, Lockheed, and Northrup.

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Director where do you work? If you prefer not to share, what type of company ? I’m actually leaning towards the Ga tech program because of the cost and convenience and I happen to be alumnus haha but I’d definitely like to get a comprehensive view before deciding. Have you interviewed anyone from Berkeley or Harvard’s program?

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We rank the GA Tech program highest among these sorts of programs. Most everywhere else seems to fall into the next tier.

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M1 where do you work? Also, what are your reasons for this?

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@OP I'm at a big 4. Isn't Harvards program through the extension school? If so that isn't real Harvard and I'd put it below other programs. I don't have a view on Berkeley beyond that the program seems to lack an emphasis on math that id like to see. The people I think are really badass data scientists are basically mathematicians. That's my own personal bias.

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D1 gotcha. No the Harvard one is through their school of engineering and applied science. What’s the normal salary range that a candidate can expect coming in with 5 yrs of consulting experience in another domain such as Salesforce or digital consulting and the masters in analytics/data science?

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I would look closely at the curriculum for wherever you go. The analytics/data science programs vary pretty widely between each school. Some schools I looked at have very vague descriptions of what you actually learn, or don’t appear to offer enough in the way of theory. I chose the one I’m at based on it having clearly defined courses, interesting electives, and the possibility to continue taking courses at a discount after I graduate.

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@OP no clue on salary. Without real world analytics experience I'd expect to stay at the same comp you are at now. School isn't going to give your the skills to be immediately productive so you'll have the consulting toolkit but probably not much else. To level set I've hired phds as SCs and associate profs as managers. I wish I had better answers but it is very specific to the individual and how much the team likes them.

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Interesting about Harvard. I'd keep in mind that they aren't a top 10 CS program. If forced to decide id be looking at the better CS schools first.

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If that’s the case, MIT, CMU, UC Berkeley, Stanford, or Ga tech would prob be some of the best

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KPMG Lighthouse. We like GA Tech bc it is a mature program with a technical focus. We don’t really hire too many “Data Scientists” from any masters of analytics type programs (instead we focus on PHD math, stats, physics, etc. for the DS role), but GA Tech is thought to skew in that quant/tech direction more than some other programs.

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I’d add that if OP is up for it a PhD in CS would be better IMO. Complete that and the world is your oyster. People will just throw jobs at you and the work will likely be more interesting.

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Makes sense m1 - what does Kpmg usually bring in masters candidates at if they have prior experience, 5 yrs in another domain?

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D1, yes that’s probably true but I’d have to seriously think that one through

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Lighthouse would most likely look at you as an Associate level “Data & Analytics Modeler". Sr Assoc probably if your work experience was in D&A

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M1 I see. Hmm I guess that means I would be taking a step back to take a step forward. I’m currently making 120k but analytics is just way more interesting to me.

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If you’re trying to decide where to go, it’s important to pick a program not just for its prestige but for how it fits into your life plan. MBB doesn’t recruit at OMSCS and I don’t have interest in working for them, so that’s a fine fit for me. You shouldn’t do OMSCS if that’s your dream job, you should find a program where MBB is viewed as interesting work by the students and where MBB recruits. That won’t line up with the “most prestigious” programs most likely.

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