There have been an increasing number of applications for Data Science programs in universities. So, with various online programs, is it really necessary to go to a university for a Data Science degree?
The field of Data Science has been growing rapidly ever since, and the data shows that this trend will continue to be stable in the future. Data Science is the backbone of many fields.
Data Science makes it possible for many, to make sense of the information that is collected during various business projects and marketing campaigns. With this, companies are able to construct economic models that predict the market.
If you are someone who wants to be a part of the Data Scientist club, you have multiple ways to achieve your goal, which includes going to a university or just enrolling yourself into a well curated online course. Self learning is also an option but it will only take you till a certain point.
Which is the best way to start your journey towards Data Science you ask? We’ll make it easy for you.
What does a University offer?
Universities existed predominantly for diving into academic studies, and those days are kind of behind us since the Pandemic. Therefore, the advances in technology and the excess of online learning material has made it extremely easy for motivated people to learn on their own.
The only downside of not being able to go to a university is that socialising with peers and professors of the same field is difficult. Universities provide numerous opportunities for presenting yourself and your skills to faculty and influential people who may be able to help you kickstart your career.
It is much easier to do this when you are in direct contact with the employers rather than being just another lost online resume that these companies receive every day.
Offline vs Online Learning
Every academic field is not created equal when it comes to learning and teaching online. There are only a handful of specialisations like Computer Science that can work in an online setting and become easy subjects to cover without the need to go to a university.
Since Data Science can be considered as a subfield of computer science, it requires a good foundation of subjects like statistics, probability, coding and maths, which are fundamentals in the field of Data Science.
And this kind of fundamental foundation can be found in many online schools that provide excellent programs for your benefit. They curate programs that guide individuals from the beginning of their Data Science journey and help them successfully transition into a Data Science role.
Such new approaches to learning and teaching are making the university space obsolete, and the interactive learning space for freshers has become a game changer.
Why is an interactive learning platform better?
Interactive learning platforms were created with the goal of making an online learner more proactive. Passively listening to online lectures be it live or recorded is not effective if participation is not involved.
Online learning platforms won’t only help you learn the basics like coding, but you will also be asked to use what you have learned to solve a problem there and then. Every theory you learn about, for e.g. Price Equilibrium in Economics, you will be asked to explain a system using that exact theory.
With this way, you will be able to learn and immediately apply what you have learned. By this method, learning becomes much easier for everyone. Now which way should you choose? That’s the next thing to figure out.
How does one start a career as a Data Scientist?
If you choose to opt out from a university degree, it might prevent you from networking, which is literally the only problem you might face. But there are many ways and platforms where your skills can be showcased.
Sites for Competitions
Kaggle, IDAHO, DrivenData and many such online competition platforms provide excellent training ground for budding Data Scientists to show their skills. Such platforms provide competitions from various fields ranging from economics, arts, technical or even medical.
The people who are able to devise the best solution don’t only win and get the cash prize, but they also get a good chance to get great job offers. Most companies are also impressed if you achieve good results in the competition even if you did not win it.
These platforms showcase your practical knowledge of the field of Data Science beyond theory.
Online Data Repositories
Repositories like Github and Jupyter Notebook allow individuals to present their data analysis in a readable format. Instead of just presenting resumes, employers can be captivated by a rich portfolio present on such repositories.
Making use of such free tools is a good way to increase your reach and the only limit becomes real life projects that you have tackled. You can build a great portfolio by comfortably sitting at home.
So in conclusion, since universities aren’t going to open soon, it’s best to be safe at home while achieving your dream through the wonders of easy online learning.
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