Online degrees, particularly if they are tech-based and designed specifically to be completed online, are the perfect way to specialize and further your career. You can even direct your career in a new direction if you are interested in the right online degree. If you have a background in computer science, mathematics, or statistics, for example, then you can become a data scientist with the right online master’s degree in just a few short years.
What You Need to Apply to an Online Master’s in Data Science
You will need a few key qualifications if you want to get started with anMSc in Data Science. To start, you will need a bachelor’s degree in science, computer science, or mathematics. If you don’t have this, get in touch to learn more about what foundation courses are available so that you have the essential academic background to begin.
You will also need three letters of recommendation, a resume, and experience working with one of the programming languages.
How to Get Experience with a Programming Language
It isn’t just possible to teach yourself programming, it is fairly straightforward with multiple online (and free) resources available. One of the best ones to learn when your goal is to get involved with data science in Python. Python is a great programming language because it is simple, straightforward, and can help you understand how programming “works” in ways that can be easily transferred to other computer languages.
You can learn from online programs. You can learn from Google. You can learn by creating programs and projects by yourself. You will want to keep up with this, even after you get accepted to a top MSc Data Science degree, and ideally work to learn and keep up to date with around five programming languages at a time, if not more.
Some of the programming languages that you can learn include:
- And more
How to Find the Right Data Science Masters for You
Finding the right Data Science Masters degree online can feel like a daunting task. This is because there are so many factors to consider, especially when you take in the fact that new, innovative universities can very likely offer a better, more career-focused degree than more formal, traditional institutions.
The right degree will have a career-focused curriculum, a talented faculty of academics and professionals, and will have a dedicated career center, complete with a student success coach. The resources available to you are just as important as the curriculum, as these resources will help you get the most out of your education and give you the best start to your new career.
How to Successfully Complete Your Online Degree
Finding the right degree is important. The support it will offer will be instrumental to helping you. If you have any additional needs, your university needs to be able to accommodate you. If you need help getting your first job after you graduate, your careers center should be there to help you polish your resume and help connect you with alumni who can help.
From there, however, it will be up to you to get started with these top tips to make it easy, and natural to complete an online degree:
Troubleshoot the Tech
As data science is a tech degree, you will need to make sure that your computer can handle the course load. Your computer should be up to the task in most instances, but old computers, especially if they are slow for you now, will only cause frustration down the line. Budget in a new computer and any additional accessories you may need to help with your degree when you take out a loan for your education.
You will need a fast, reliable computer, as well as accessories like a webcam if it isn’t included, a better mouse, and even a printer, all depending on what you need to work comfortably from home.
The one area you will want to invest in, however, is your internet speed. If you already have a great, stable connection, then you are ready to go. If your internet is poor, upgrading it (at least for the duration of your degree) is your next step.
Create Study Groups Online
Learning online can be tough. Not because the format that you are learning from makes it hard to understand, but rather that you tend to miss out on the social element that on-campus learning offers. We are social beings, which means a great way to study, practice, and just manage stress with other students’ help.
Thankfully there are several ways that you can create a study group, even with an online degree. You can get in touch with your fellow coursemates online and use a variety of online social tools, from Facebook to Google tools, to study online and, in general, just have a network of support.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A lot of what a data scientist will do is designed and create databases and algorithms. Troubleshooting is another common task for the data scientist. With that in mind, it is imperative that you practice and become proficient in as many programming languages as possible. A great way to practice is to create your own projects. This will give you a clear goal and a working example to learn from.
Set Up a Routine
To successfully complete an online degree, especially if you are working while you are studying, is routine. You need to be consistent with when you learn and how long you spend studying. You should also aim to be consistent with health routines like your sleep routine, when you eat, and even when you socialize. This is the best way to stay healthy and manage your energy levels successfully day after day.
Online degrees offer so many possibilities, but they aren’t something you can just jump into. So prepare, build healthy routines, and choose the right degree to succeed.