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  1. #1
    devgupt is offline Registered User
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    Northwestern MS in Predictive Analysis vs UC Berkeley's MS Data Science

    How does Northwestern MS in Predictive Analytics compares to UC Berkeley's MS in Information & Data Science? Both are online courses.
    The NorthWestern's MPA is cheaper - 47k comapred to Berkeley's 60 K.

    Can anybody compare their acceptance rate, student experience and eventual job prospects ?

  2. #2
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    I don't know much about Berkeley's program. I was looking fairly hard at Northwestern's program (mainly because many of my family members graduated from NU and I live in Chicago). In the end, I decided against it for a few reasons:

    1) NO on campus classes. I live in Chicago, so at least having the option to take a few on campus classes would be a good thing for me. The one thing that I learned from my previous master's is that a HUGE benefit to going to a top school is the relationships you develop with other students and faculty. Without at least some face to face exposure, those relationships will be VERY hard to form.

    2) No video recorded lectures. You are given assignments on what to read, and apparently a lot of the teachers have section meetings to go over things that you have trouble with, but that is about it. The most frequent theme I got from other students (via linkedin and blogs) was that it really was a "self teaching " program. Now, I have ZERO problem with self teaching programs (I am in a self teaching MBA program now). However, I WILL NOT pay $50K just to teach myself the material.

    3) Too many other Analytics/Data Science program options that were cheaper. There has been an explosion of analytics/data science masters degree and certificate programs recently. 3 or 4 years ago, when this program started, there were far fewer options.

    4) I didn't need the Northwestern name/career center. While I have a soft spot for Northwestern, my previous master's degree has a stronger name, with a stronger career center, and (most importantly) I have developed stronger personal connections there. The Northwestern name would be nice, but would add little.

    5) The NU MPA cost about the same as a PhD from nearby DePaul with a similar concentration. I have been looking at the DePaul PhD in CIS for a while, and it would make more sense to do that instead of the NU degree for the same cost.

    6) I really don't need a second tech masters. As I said earlier, in addition to the explosion of analytics master's degrees, there has also been an explosion of analytics certificates. Combine that with the free coursera and udacity courses, and a person with an advanced degree can build quite the analytics focused resume without getting a second masters.

    With all that said, their tuition is not that bad for a school of their status. I would definitely consider it if I did not already have my first masters.
    ALM, Harvard University
    AB, Georgetown University

  3. #3
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    I don't know if you asked the question because of this, but there is a thread on Hacker News about the Berkeley program, including at least one post from a former student. It is a good read.

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8209062
    ALM, Harvard University
    AB, Georgetown University

  4. #4
    Warpnow is offline Registered User
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    I made the mistake of putting my info into their site. Non-Stop sales calls for 2 weeks.

    No way is it worth $60k.

    Get a MS in Statistics/Econ/CS for 10-20k, then take MOOCs for the specialized learning

    Johns Hopkins data science specialization for $500 is pretty awesome. I'm 5 classes in and pretty satisfied.

    Stanford via edx/coursera has quite a few free online classes that are data centric, including machine learning and data mining .

  5. #5
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    Warpnow mentioned the Johns Hopkins Data Science certificate. Getting that before (or even instead of) a Data Science or Analytics master's degree is a GREAT idea. Here is why:

    1) You can take courses for free to see if you even like data science as a field.
    2) If you chose to get the certificate, it is only $500 (and it includes a real world project at the end).
    3) The data science/analytics market is so hot now, you MIGHT be able to get a job (at least an entry level one) with that certificate alone.
    4) If not, you now have a MUCH MUCH better understanding of the data science field AND you now know what to look for in a master's degree program.
    5) The certificate would be a nice CV boost if/when you apply to master's programs in data science/analytics.

    This is such a good idea that I think I might do it myself.
    ALM, Harvard University
    AB, Georgetown University

  6. #6
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    Honestly, I would think Georgia Tech's Online Master of Computer Science (OMCS) program is still better choice than any others out there. A college does not automatically guarantee you a job. Even you make $100,000.00 a year after deductions leaving you not even $60,000.00. Why would you take the entire year of hard earn money for it.
    Ph.D| Nova Southeastern University (W/D)
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  7. #7
    Warpnow is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    Honestly, I would think Georgia Tech's Online Master of Computer Science (OMCS) program is still better choice than any others out there. A college does not automatically guarantee you a job. Even you make $100,000.00 a year after deductions leaving you not even $60,000.00. Why would you take the entire year of hard earn money for it.
    To be fair, a masters in CS might not get you the same jobs. Its really a different type of program and will teach you different things. Though I agree it is an awesome deal.

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  9. #8
    devgupt is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    Warpnow mentioned the Johns Hopkins Data Science certificate. Getting that before (or even instead of) a Data Science or Analytics master's degree is a GREAT idea. Here is why:

    1) You can take courses for free to see if you even like data science as a field.
    2) If you chose to get the certificate, it is only $500 (and it includes a real world project at the end).
    3) The data science/analytics market is so hot now, you MIGHT be able to get a job (at least an entry level one) with that certificate alone.
    4) If not, you now have a MUCH MUCH better understanding of the data science field AND you now know what to look for in a master's degree program.
    5) The certificate would be a nice CV boost if/when you apply to master's programs in data science/analytics.

    This is such a good idea that I think I might do it myself.
    Thanks for your insightful replies.

  10. #9
    Thatch is offline Registered User
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    Great information to have. I briefly looked over the Berkeley and NW programs and neither were a great fit for me. Especially when you compare the tech being used on some of the free courses out there to teach this same or similar materials. The Berkeley program uses 2U as their tech partner to pull it off and their live classes look really interesting. SMU is starting up the same program in Data Science with 2U as the tech partner, so I have been waiting a bit to see where they come out on cost. I suspect it still won't work for me as I am located in Germany and anything live is most likely not going to work with my work and/or sleep schedule, but it might be a great solution for one of you.

    I have a lot of interest in this area and have been actively looking for a degree program. I'll open a new threat to discuss data science degrees in general as to not take away from the OP's line of questions.

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