Data Science Master’s vs. Data Science Bootcamp

Data Science is one of the fastest-growing professions, therefore data scientists are in high demand. For those who want to become data scientists there are several options out there, namely data science bootcamps and a Master’s degree.

What is a Data Science bootcamp?

Bootcamps are short, educational programs where students gain practical data science knowledge. Students are taught how to use various programming tools, such as Python or R. Then they develop a portfolio of 4-5 projects that showcase the skills they have learned. Bootcamps benefit those who already have real-world experience in the field and want to accelerate their careers.

How is a Data Science Master’s degree different?

When it comes to hiring data scientists, employers want someone who already has expertise in areas like statistics and data analytics. One of the advantages of a Master’s degree program is that it gives students extensive exposure to the field. Master’s programs at many universities guide students through the fundamentals of data science. Students learn the basic skills first and then they apply those skills to gain practical experience. Those who want to absorb new material while learning in a structured environment benefit more from a Master’s program.

Why a Master’s Degree?

If you’re already doing data science work in your day to day job, there’s a couple of reason why this degree would benefit you. And one is absolutely the credentialing. a master’s degree, quite frankly, raises your value. A master’s degree helps you stand out among the competition.

Data Science and UMBC

The Data Science graduate program at UMBC was designed to respond to the growing regional and national demand for professionals with data science knowledge, skills, and abilities. UMBC has many people on campus that are excellent data scientists. In fact, the adjunct faculty are top of their game in industry. And they bring a great perspective to the classroom.

The Master of Professional Studies in Data Science is a highly-applied graduate program consisting of 10 classes. In the core courses, students learn how to manage data, how to apply algorithms to data, and how to analyze data. The core courses will also introduce students to ethical and legal implications surrounding data science. There are also courses that focus on management, leadership and communications, which are important skills to have in any field.

Once students have completed their core courses, they choose a pathway that allows them to work in a particular domain to take classes specific to their industry. The last class every student in this program takes is the Capstone. Students will work with real clients and use real data to come up with a project. Students can use their projects as a portfolio they can show to future employers.

Formal education like the UMBC program offers comprehensive exposure to this exciting field. Learn more about UMBC’s Data Science program here.

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