Back to School

A change of direction

Well, this is probably when I lose any followers I still have. Almost two years since my last post, and I’m about to change everything this blog is about.

To pass time during the pandemic, I’d signed up for a certification course in product management, which is kind of what I do now. I thought maybe it would help me as I move ahead in my career.

What was interesting was that I ended up finding a new interest that, in hindsight, should have been obvious: data.

I’ve been a data junkie most of my adult life. I have workout logs of time, speed, and heart rate going back to 1995. Now I spend as much time analyzing a workout as I did performing it. I’ve always wanted the usage data at work. I always wanted to see the volume of competitors and tracking trends in viewing vs purchasing in my side business.

It should have been obvious, really.

I did some Googling and found the field of data science. I took a couple basic online courses on it and was completely hooked. It’s a mix of statistical analysis, computer science, and business. It also includes machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Since I already have a master’s degree, my first thought was a PhD. I started looking at requirements and different programs and found two things I really didn’t like:

  1. The length. It took 4 to 6 years to take the classes, do the educational requirements, and then the thesis.
  2. Most programs are in-person, so I would have to pick a school close by.

I felt kind of stuck until I realized that I could get a second master’s degree.

Suddenly my options were wide open, with dozens of programs across the country where I could enroll. It was almost too many, but I found a few that I really liked the look of.

More on that next time!

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