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MS in Data Science
How does your current work relate to the field of data science?
Currently, I am a Linux Administrator and sometimes I have to deal with looking at system logs and retrieving information in resolving issues on servers. This is a common thing in data science; to get, parse, and clean data to be ready for analysis. It’s a key skill to have since data is not always given or provided in a way you would like it to be.
What is the most gratifying aspect of your job? What is the most difficult aspect?
What I like most about my job are all the problems I have to solve at work. This can be looking at logs, installing software and patches, adding disk space and network configuration. It’s a satisfying feeling when you solve a problem and are acknowledged on your work and effort. There is always something new to learn and new challenges that come up. The most difficult thing is that as a system admin, you’re pressured and are completely responsible for what you manage. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and can create bigger problems.
Which aspects of the field intrigue you the most?
My favorite aspect of Data Science is how one can take the concepts of mathematics, computer science, programming and machine learning to be able to solve real-world problems using data. Letting the data tell a story along with plots and visualizations shows you what the data is trying to tell you. Another aspect I like is that we can use these concepts to train models and algorithms to predict and classify information and make decisions.
Why did you choose to pursue the online MS in Data Science? Why at CUNY SPS?
I chose to pursue the online MS in Data Science program as I had a passion and desire for data and computer science and wanted to pursue further education and studies in this exciting field. I chose CUNY SPS as they offer not only an online program but are quite reputable. As a person who graduated and worked for CUNY schools, I know and respect CUNY’s educational morals and values, and appreciate that the faculty want students to succeed.
In which ways have you benefited from enrolling in an online program such as this?
Doing an online program allows me to balance my coursework with my full-time job. I can study and attend online lectures and complete presentations anywhere in the world with an internet connection. I also like how there are students that attend all over the world; it’s amazing how they are with you achieving the same goal.
Which courses/aspects of the program have you enjoyed the most thus far?
So far, I have completed four courses and I have enjoyed all of them. The most enjoying aspect of the program is the fact that we get to work on real-world programs and can apply our skills learned in these courses to solve real-world data science problems. Solving these problems helps us build experience and a portfolio that employers can see.
Which research have you conducted that you are most proud of?
Before I enrolled in the program, I did a voluntary project at Queens College which involved using Twitter, programming, and social network analysis. The project was a simple project that showed how we can use technology and social media to see friendships/followers who have certain characteristics around the world by time zones. The project involved getting and cleaning Twitter data and doing exploratory data analysis. Source code can be found here: https://github.com/jonathan1987/twitter-research-search-by-user (Other work I’ve also done can be found here: http://rpubs.com/JHernandez).
What is your relationship like with other students/professors?
I have had good relationships and experiences with professors and I can tell they all are passionate about the subject they teach. They want students to learn and succeed. The students are also well determined and motivated and sometimes assist or answer a question in the discussion board to help other people out.
What impact do you think your degree will have on your career/life?
I feel that having my MS in Data Science will open career paths and options in the field of data science and be able to acquire my dream job as a Data Scientist.
Which professional and/or personal goals would you like to achieve upon graduating from the program?
Eventually become a Data Scientist in the workforce and create a blogging website solving problems with data and showing the world how powerful Data Science is and what we can learn from it.
What advice can you give to someone who is considering pursuing an MS in Data Science?
Having some experience in programming, mathematics and a desire to be in this program and field is a must. I also recommend the bridge program offered by CUNY SPS, which prepares you for the program ahead. Like any other program, be committed, determined, and persistent while pursuing your studies.