Back to School

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 topics including Python, Jupyter Notebooks, how to find, clean, and apply data, how to visualize data, and an intro to machine learning.

I was hooked… now to look at majors.

There were several options that fit my idea of what I was after, so I looked at a few of them and the required courses that went along with them:

  • Computer science – way too general for my interests
  • Statistics – again, too general… but the courses looked more interesting than I’d expected
  • Data analytics – it seems too much like “create reports and charts, then go away” to me, like it was not going to make for a good career in the long run.
  • Data science – back where I started, it turns out the mix of all of the above really is what I found the most appealing.

Now that I had picked a major, one which seemed like the right one to do from the beginning, it was time to start researching schools.

The last time I picked a school was 2008 when i was looking to get my master’s in business administration and landed at Drexel, both because it was a good school and because it was nearby. I also through my company was going to pay for almost all of it at the time, so cost wasn’t a factor (though they ended up getting bought out and paid almost nothing, but that’s another story for another time).