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U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
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SDPh.D.
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SDPh.D.,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/4/2014 | 12:39:09 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
I appreciate your frankness Rich. Age discrimination is something so intangible it is quite difficult to pin down and identify with certainty. But yes, I can believe it is a real issue. However, I face that (and perhaps moreso) in my current situation no less than I would when/if I finish a MIDS (Master of Information and Data Science, not actually an "MS" as I was saying), and my current skill set are no where near as 'scarce' as those of a trained "Data Scientist."


So, while keeping the real likelihood that I'll face some age discrimination in mind, I don't think it is a good reason to not pursue this. The other thing is, I look pretty young for my age ;) So if I can meet-and-greet and get the 'foot in the door' face-to-face at something like a career fair or a UCB event (which is evidently part of what the one-week "Immersion" on campus is intended to be) then I may be able to circumvent the "birth date" bias that might otherwise occur when an HR person looks at my application.

There are biases and discimination all over the place, and academia certainly has its fair share ;)

Try getting an article published in a peer-reviewed high-prestige journal, which questions or runs counter to prevaiiling theoretical dogma!
Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2014 | 11:02:34 AM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
Good luck. I hope you let us know how it turns out. I am wrapping up an MS now, and I can say that age discrimination is very, very strong, regardless of how modern your skills are, and regardless of how well you fit even a unicorn job ad. For evidence, I point to the litany of arguments I've read from users of this and other UBM sites who say they prefer to hire younger and presumably cheaper people. That fact is why I fight misleading articles about the so-called shortage of technical skills, which are designed to entice gullible people into the trade (can't call it a profession under the strictest definition of the term, as there is no regulatory body and not even a shred of monopoly rights), keeping labor supplies high and wages low.

 
SDPh.D.
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SDPh.D.,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/4/2014 | 10:18:41 AM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
Thanks for your reply Rich. I've actually started my application to this UC Berkeley program and based on that, I received a call from an admissions counselor. She has convinced me that, with a bit of training in Python I will be a strong candidate and I get the impression I'd be likely to be accepted. Moreover, I am led to believe that they have so far been very successful in getting starting positions for their candidates.

 

MS from UC Berkeley would seem to almost never be a liability, so I tihnk I'm going to go ahead and pursue this. Preppting for the GRE in short time frame is loathesome but it gives me an excuse to "kickstart" the brain!
Rich Krajewski
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Rich Krajewski,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2014 | 6:22:36 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
"Is that article misleading?"

I would try to find people in similar positions, using your academic, business, and alumni contacts, and ask them. Many business articles are written not so much to inform as to influence, in my opinion.
SDPh.D.
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SDPh.D.,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2014 | 3:40:40 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
Last post in this thread is over a years, so perhaps I will not get an answer, but worth a shot.


I'm a middle-aged former Assistant professor, 'laid off' a year ago (after ~20 years of post-Baccalaurate experince doing research in academia) and ready to make a career change. I have a lot of experience in experimental psychology, and similar quantitative social science research, strong facility with linear algebra as it is manifest in things like multi-variate linear regression and factorial analysis, and a pretty substantive history of scientific publishing.


I am investigating this "Data Scientist" role based on a recent Wall Street Journal article discussing the paucity of candidates with skills that fit the needs of "data scientist" roles and further explaining that Ph.D.s in a a range of scientific careers with some experience analyzing data were veritable "unicorns," for such jobs.

Is that article misleading? I was surprised to see how many data scientist positions ask for very specific and selective technical skills. Perhaps I would be suited for a more 'entry-level' data scientist role?


The prospect of retaking the GRE and competing for a slot in a program like this Berkely program is frankly rather disheartening, especially if the skills need are likely to be more IT in nature than scientific or analytical in nature.


Are there other options I might consider besides the hassle and cost of this UC Berkeley program which might leverage my existing research and analytical skills?
BrettC939
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BrettC939,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/3/2013 | 5:41:18 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
By comparing these two programs which one do you think is better? I was accepted into Northwestern's program but I am very interested in Berkley's now.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2013 | 6:43:46 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
I thought it was interesting that you can't earn this new degree on campus; it's specifically being designed for online course delivery. However, the I School does plan on some blended learning options where some of the material that overlaps between the 2 master's programs could be offered as part of the on campus courses.

I think there is going to be a LOT of experimentation on different ways to mix things up.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2013 | 6:31:11 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
One week on campus is not a big ask. Particularly for a degree from such a top-notch school. For those interested in an online masters degree in analytics, check out Northwestern University's program.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2013 | 5:53:28 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
Do you think a hybrid model will be the norm even for mainstream college programs, David? I feel like there's some material -- and it's a sizable amount -- where you're better off doing self-study/online study in a cheaper environment than an "on premises" traditional campus, and then use the on-campus time for the work that truly needs the in-person collaboration.
ErikaMaldonado
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ErikaMaldonado,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/17/2013 | 5:39:17 PM
re: U.C. Berkeley Data Science Master's Program 100% Online
The one-week visit to campus is part of what makes this better than the light touch approach of a MOOC. I'd argue that although synchronous lectures with professors are powerful, both in the small classes with datascience@berkley and in the larger classes provided by Coursera (for instance), having the opportunity to interact face to face is invaluable.

The light touch approach with MOOCs, I suspect, is what contributes to their high drop-out/non-completion rate.
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