MS in Data Science: self-paced, 10 months, under $10k

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Seylan, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Not a lot to update. I'm about half way through the reading in 690 and making my discussion posts. I recorded my presentation but it's a little short (15-20 minutes is the target and my first good take came in at 14:56) and I need to go a bit more in-depth on the machine learning before I record again.

    I'm also working on 600, the data visualization course. Basically you do some Qlik visualizations (building a dashboard) and then you complete a quiz that is based on the textbook reading and the dashboard you built.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  2. addision

    addision Member

    I would imagine that they do include the grades for their courses.

    After conversations with the enrollment counselor, it was the fact that my transcript showed no GPA that caused the issue. I am having the transcripts sent and I should be good to go for March.

    After I finish this degree with Eastern I was looking at the Graduate Certificate from Stanford in Machine learning to supplement my Masters. There are many other certificates I could choose from, but I would really like those units on a Stanford Transcript.

    I went with TESC because it was a State School and it would give it more legitimacy when someone looked at it first glance. Which is exactly what has happen when I needed it for jobs. But my transcript shows about 6 or 7 different schools, and then again no GPA from TESC which always seems to catch people off guard.
  3. addision

    addision Member

    Good news for me!

    I did submit my other transcripts and I got the acceptance email today. Doing the dual Data Science/MBA program as you can use 4 courses from the Data Science program towards the MBA. That's a good value to me.
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  4. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! I was the GA for the 520 course until this most recent term, now I'm the GA for 670.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member


    Somehow I missed that they had this dual program. That's a fantastic offering for those whose career goals it fits. I'll have to keep this in mind for if/when some my techie friends express interest in going back to school.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    It's a new offering, maybe 3 months old. For the MBA if you want the Data Analytics specialization you need to take 550 (Intro to Statistical Modeling), 600 (Data Visualization) 650 (Data Analytics with R) and 660 (Database Management), however 3 of those 4 those would be surplus credits on the MBA taken only for the specialization (so it becomes a 39 credit program instead of 30), but if you do the dual degree you're getting 2 Master's for about $20K which is a good deal.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  7. addision

    addision Member

    The inexpensive dual degree will be of good use to me.

    Although I want to ultimately head towards AI/machine learning this isn't the degree that will get me there, it is just not what it was designed for.

    On the MBA side, I may only need to take 24 units towards the MBA if I complete this Data Science Masters and since I do have a Business undergrad degree I get to waive the BUSA 505 Business Environment course as well. I would hope that one of the other Data Science Courses could be be the additional elective units to make up for the 505 course that is waived.

    That would be very nice. Any accredited MBA will do what I need it to in my career. I'm not looking to go to work for Goldman Saks or Google anything like that.
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  8. addision

    addision Member

    Alright, so I will get credit for the BUSA 505 course.

    However, I didn't look close enough and I didn't realize that there is the MBA in Organizational Management, and the MBA in Organizational Management WITH a concentration in Business Analytics.

    So, I believe I only get credit for using the DTSC 550 course from the DS degree if I go for the concentration (an extra 3 courses). Trying to decide if it is worth it based on time and value!

    Business Analytics (financials) is not where I want to be. But, IF I can't transition into ML/AI then it works well with my accounting and management background, there are ample well paying job opportunities and would be a more natural transition in the future.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on this, go for the concentration or not?
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  9. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Since you're doing the dual degree, the MBA concentration is superfluous. The courses that give you the concentration are in both the MBA and the DS degree, so you're not gaining any new knowledge. The MBA effectively provides the business knowledge that a business analytics student would have. So I would say, don't do the concentration since the extra $3000 you'd have to spend for it just to get the line on your resume isn't really worth it.
  10. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Re-recorded my presentation and finished all of the reading and posting.

    All that's left in 690 is for 3 people to write on the final week's posts so I can respond to them, and then to write feedback on everyone's presentations.

    Finally started 600. Submitted the first 2 projects (out of 6) and completed the first 2 quizzes.

    The projects involve doing a Visualization and then answering questions based on it. The quizzes are about the fundamentals of data visualization like Gestalt Principles of Visual Perception.

    I'm hoping over the next 2 weeks I can finish 600 and 690 and then I'll have extra time to focus on 691.
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  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    690: I made my 3 replies and uploaded my presentation so now all I have to left to do is wait for the presentations to roll in so I can give them feedback between Feb 15 (the deadline) and Feb 28 (the end of the course.)

    I'll be focused on 600 from now on, and then I've got a break week (from Feb 28 to March 7) to consider my project before 691 starts.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  12. addision

    addision Member

    I really appreciate the work you have done giving insight into these courses. I hope to read through your posts again and add to it with any changes that I see or some extra info that may help the next person.
  13. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Definitely! The courses are being updated every other term it seems, so the version of 650 I took a few months ago has different assignments than the one done today. And the final project is weighted much more (30% of the grade instead of 10%). So I think your insights will be very valuable to current/future students as the program changes and you're able to experience those new and updated courses.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  14. cklapka

    cklapka Member

    I have just enrolled in my first 2 classes for this program. Thanks for the great information you are providing so far!
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  15. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Finished up 690 today, I provided feedback on everyone's projects. All that's left now is to wait for my final grade in that course.

    In the meantime, I'm about half way through DTSC-600 which finishes on Friday.

    So far I've completed:
    • Quiz 1
    • Quiz 2
    • Quiz 3
    • Qlik Project 1
    • Qlik Project 2
    • Qlik Project 3
    • Tableau Project 1
    What remains is:
    • Midterm (the Midterm and Final are similar to the projects. Create a visualization and answer questions on it)
    • Quiz 4
    • Quiz 5
    • Quiz 6
    • Tableau Project 2
    • Tableau Project 3
    • Final Exam
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  16. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    600 done! I only have an 83 in 600 right now, but that may change because the Prof adjusts grades on some of the projects on the basis of the visualization. I'm not concerned. I just wanted to pass this one and move on to 691. Now all that's left is to wait for the end of the term for final grades to roll in.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  17. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I've thought about doing Data Science or Analytics or something along those lines, but I've always been concerned about how hard it would be on my arthritic hands to do all that computer work.

    What does the work breakdown look like, in rough percentages, in terms of doing math work vs making charts vs writing, vs whatever else is involved?
  18. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The vast majority of the program is focused on theory and then applying it. So it starts with exams and then moves into coding. The only course that is writing-intensive is 690. The only course with no coding at all, even optionally, is 600. Eastern is also building some new courses that will be electives you can substitute among the 10 (so instead of taking two ML courses you might take a course in Business Analytics or instead of taking Intro Stats if you know that material you could take Math of Machine Learning, etc.) It's definitely a lot of computer work.

    Here's my rough estimates:
    • 520 (Intro DS): 100% exams, studying code but not writing any (if you don't want to, optional Python exercises)
    • 550 (Intro Stats): 100% exams, studying statistical output but not making any (if you don't want to, optional R exercises)
    • 650 (Applied Stats w/R): 75% coding, 25% exams
    • 660 (Intro Databases/PostgreSQL): 55% SQL, 25% graphing/charting using Lucidchart, 20% exams
    • 670 (Intro Machine Learning): 90% coding, 9% writing, 1% math (you have to calculate the Mean Squared Error by hand for one problem and there are a few writing prompts under 750 words)
    • 680 (Applied ML): 80% coding, 20% math (there's a couple of assignments where you're doing linear algebra by hand, matrix multiplication and similar)
    • 600: 50% point and click chart making in Qlik and Tableau, 50% exams
    • 690: 75% reading and writing, 25% PowerPoint presentation
    • 691: 90% coding, 10% writeup of proposal
    There's 1 assignment in 670 and 2 assignments in 680 that require you to write them by hand, and there's a few writing prompts in 670. 690 is all reading articles and writing discussion posts, plus the presentation.
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  19. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member


    I hope someday soon, someone comes out with a voice-to-text program specifically for coding. That would be great!
    Dustin likes this.
  20. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Finished both 600 and 690 with a 4.0, that means my GPA will be 3.8 for the program since 691 is Pass/Fail.

    I've been working on my proposal and starting to write data cleaning functions I need. Right now they work on their own (as in, they can take my raw data and spit out the correct processed data as long as I tell the function what the source directory is.) Eventually I'd like to build a pipeline so that I could just download the data I need into a folder and then hit "run" and have it do all the processing without needing to have 8 function calls for 8 folders, but even if I don't I'll still have clean data for the model.

    Plan to submit the proposal the day the course begins.
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