Online Data Science Courses Lay the ‘Foundations’ for Graduate Degree Programs

At The Data Incubator we run online data science courses for busy professionals, as well as a Data Science Fellowship Program for PhDs and Master’s graduates to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Our Data Science Essentials course is the perfect way to launch a new career in data science, or supercharge a current career with new data science skills. Diana Sujanto, after completing Data Science Foundations, went on to a graduate degree in data science program and ultimately got a job offer based on her new data science skills. Diana shares some of her story with us.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I currently work for an airline reporting company as a Quality Assurance engineer. After earning my MBA in Information Systems from Louisiana State University, I worked in various engineer and consultant positions in Information Systems roles. While working full time, I was looking for a way to gain some additional skills in data science to develop my career further. When I learned about The Data Incubator’s Data Science Foundations online course, it seemed like a perfect fit for what I was looking for at that time. After completing Data Science Foundations, I decided to pursue a graduate academic program for a degree in data science with New College of Florida.

How did you find TDI’s Data Science Foundations, and what made you decide to try it out?

While attending an event with Girl Develop It, a non-profit group for women in tech, I heard about The Data Incubator’s Fellowship program from one of the speakers there and decided to check it out online. The speaker mentioned that TDI’s Fellowship was a good option for people looking for non-traditional education programs in data science. After visiting TDI’s website, I ended up speaking with Sarah Fugate, from the Online Learning team and learned about the Data Science Foundations online course as a part-time option for learning data science skills while I continued working full-time.

Were you considering any other online data science courses at that time?

Yes, I was looking at one other online data science course with another company. I decided on TDI’s Data Science Foundations online course for a couple different reasons. Firstly, the other program I was considering had a solely project-based curriculum, there was no class sessions and no live instruction. It was a self-paced program and didn’t have the academic feel of TDI’s Foundations online course with live instruction and 1-on-1 instructor support that I was looking for.

What was your next step after completing the Data Science Foundations online course?

After completing the Data Science Foundations online course, I wanted to continue my learning path and gain more data science skills, so I decided to pursue a graduate program in data science with New College of Florida.

Do you feel that the Data Science Foundations online course prepared you for that academic degree in data science program?

Yes, the two programs complemented each other well. The hands-on Python and pandas material I learned in the Data Science Foundations online course was very helpful in preparing me for what I saw in the graduate degree program. It familiarized me with the vocabularies, such as supervised vs. unsupervised learning, the basic vocabularies for machine learning and statistical learning, etc.

Did the Data Science Foundations Course help you find success in your career?

Certainly, the Foundations course actually helped me to land my current job. At the time I was pursuing the graduate degree program, I had taken a break from the role I was in at that time, to attend classes full time. I was approached by my current company after they found my resume online and having the Data Science Foundations course on there was one of the things that helped me stand out to this potential (now current) employer, and I got a job offer. So I’m currently taking a break from the graduate degree program.

What are your plans for the future of your career in data science?

I definitely plan to continue pursuing data science as a career and to continue learning those skills for my job roles. Eventually, I’d like to return to the graduate degree program I was working on, or take some further online data science courses from The Data Incubator. I enjoyed learning through the live lecture and working hands-on with data throughout the course. Once I’ve settled into my new role, I will continue on my learning path with a Machine Learning course and advanced statistics course.

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