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Accepted

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program. If you’ve kept up with  my blog, you’ll know, I applied to three schools: Northwestern University, where I was accepted, Johns Hopkins University, where I was provisionally accepted once I completed five specific prerequisites, and University of California, Berkeley, where…

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Staying on track

The hardest part of where I’m at right now is staying focused because of so much uncertainty. I still have 2 to 4 weeks until I will know if I got into NorthWestern. In many ways, getting in there is my best result. They have a few starting review classes that would really help me and they offer a wide…

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The Joy of Rejection

A couple weeks ago, I got turned down by the top school I wanted to go to. It was crushing, but it also told me something important: As of today, experts in the field don’t believe I have the qualifications needed to succeed in this program. I wallowed in it for a couple hours, then pulled myself together and started…

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Onslaught

Then big thing you forget about math classes is the problems. Every section of the book has 100 or more problems in it, presumably so the teacher can select ones out of the list and give them to students to develop their skills and an “intuition” about them (a term I keep hearing but have yet to experience). They start…

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Pushing forward

It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since I got declined at Berkeley. In the last week, I’ve found other programs where I’d like to apply and (the big shocker) enrolled in prerequisite courses. I had been looking at different Computer Science graduate certificates to build a background in programming and data structures, and found several that I…

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Setback

I’ve spent the last couple weeks seriously flying through prerequisites, mostly focusing on Python and statistics (including statistics using Python), then last night I got this message: Crap. Berkeley was really my top choice and most of my focus was on preparing for their program. This response, plus a few other discussions I’ve had, really confirmed something that I was…

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Online Course Platforms: My impressions

As I work my way through the prerequisites for a Data Science program, I am taking several different courses on different platforms, including edX, Udacity, and Coursera. I have to say up front that I didn’t go through every course to see every option, this is what I found on the Python, math, algorithm, and Data Science basics courses I…

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Prerequisites

Data science is a pretty intense field to get into. Most degree programs really prefer you to have an undergraduate degree in computer science, statistics, or some other related field. Some schools required college credit in certain topics, but most were ok with professional experience, passing a proficiency exam, or a certificate from an online course. Some of them are…

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Selection criteria

Now that I was (mostly) sure I wanted to take data science as major, it was time to start shopping programs.I tried to be thorough. I searched a number of schools and types of programs. I started out looking at “boot camps”, since I already had a master’s degree and several years of experience. It seemed unusual to go for…

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Picking the major

Getting a degree was not a foregone conclusion. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing before I sunk that kind of time and money into it, so I got on a few platforms to check out the offerings. I landed on the IBM Data Science cert on edX. It was 9 classes covering a variety of…

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