Youqing Xiang

MS in Data Analytics

Middle aged Asian woman sitting outside with her young son.
"There are four key success factors for a data analyst: computer programming and mathematical skills, domain knowledge, communication, and teamwork. CUNY SPS has prepared me in all of these areas."

Why did you decide to major in data analytics?

I have been actively involving stock market and managing my own investment accounts for 10 years. Although I read all kinds of numbers, I mainly rely on my intuition to make crucial decisions, which has worked fine so far. However, I believe emotions could conflict with intuition and then cause big problems, especially in the middle of a violent market. So, I am trying to bring more math/computer science into stock analysis, which is the initial reason why I got into this program.

Why did you decide to join the MS in Data Analytics program at CUNY SPS?

Before I joined the Data Analytics program at CUNY SPS, I spent one semester taking two undergraduate courses at CUNY SPS and I had very positive experience at that time. In addition, I am a stay at home mom and need to take care of my son. So, when I decided to apply for a master’s degree program in Data Analytics, I only considered online schools with low tuition. CUNY SPS was the only school I applied for and I luckily got into the program.

What is it like to go to school online?

It is a totally new and exciting experience for me. First, time is very flexible and convenient. All study materials are on Blackboard, including videos, links, files, etc. Even live meetings are recorded and are available on Blackboard shortly after meeting. So, I don’t have to worry about missing classes and I can study completely based on my own schedule.

Second, I have a lot of interaction with my classmates, which is the biggest surprise for me. If I ask questions on Blackboard, there is a good chance that one of my fellow classmates will answer that before the professors jumps in. We work on projects as a group and we do live presentations in front of the whole class.

Which courses/aspects of the program have you enjoyed most so far?

I have enjoyed all the classes I took so far. Each class is unique and I learn different knowledge/skills from different classes. I also would like to mention DATA 605 and DATA 606 because these two classes teach us Math and Statistics from a programming perspective, which makes the topics more interesting and easier to learn.

Are there any projects that you have worked on in the program that you are proud of?  If so, please describe one of them.

We do all kinds of projects in class and, for most of the classes, we have the opportunity to do a final project based on own interests and ideas. Last semester in DATA 607, I did TWTR stock analysis (https://rpubs.com/xiangyq/134700) as my final project. After that project, I realized how much I learned from the program and how the knowledge/skills I gained so far changed the way I look at the stocks.

What are your career goals after graduation?

I am very interested in stock analysis and I am hoping to become a stock analyst in the near future.

How is CUNY SPS preparing you to advance within the field? How is it different from other Schools you’ve researched?

As I understand, there are four key success factors for a data analyst: computer programming and mathematical skills, domain knowledge, communication, and teamwork. CUNY SPS has prepared me in all of these areas.

What advice would you offer to someone who is considering admission into the Data Analytics program?

Programming skills are very important. And the bridge program really helped me prepare for the program.

Read more about Master of Science in Data Science