Data Analytics (MSc)Divjot Kaur Narula

Why Strathclyde

Before my MSc at the University of Strathclyde, I was working as a Software Test Engineer at Amdocs Development Centre, India LLP for the past 3 years. I got placed at Amdocs after completing my undergraduate degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering in my hometown Nagpur in India.

I had been researching a lot of universities for my Master’s program which could enhance my skill set and provide the latest advancement in the field of data analytics. I applied to top ranking universities in various countries like the UK, USA and Canada.

One of the main reasons that helped me shortlist Strathclyde was that the University had won the UK University of the Year award in 2019 and I had researched about the MSc Data Analytics curriculum, which provided students with the opportunity to work with clients on real-life projects to prepare them for the future. Another reason was the short duration: a detailed course taught over one year which could help me save one precious year, and I would be able to start a new job sooner.

Online learning

Due to the online learning experienced this year, there was not much of personal interaction with the lecturers and tutors. However, being the Student Representative for the department I had a few interactions with the professors, and I found them to be very helpful and friendly. They were approachable through emails at the oddest of hours to answer our doubts when we had any upcoming submission deadlines.

The online environment provided by the University was up to the mark and with the classroom interactions using breakout rooms and in-class activities, gave us an opportunity to an experience somewhat close to (of course cannot match) an in-person lecture.

The Data Analytics in Practice class in particular taught me the necessary soft skills and technical knowledge of learning how to use really huge datasets, to provide solutions to real-world problems. It offered a glimpse of what we will be working on after graduation. The class focuses on the application of data analytics techniques in corporate settings, as well as making educated decisions about which technology to utilise in order to extract insight from data and comprehending the fundamental ideas that underpin such technology.

I am currently doing my MSc summer project with Creative Carbon Scotland, under the supervision of Dr Ainsley Miller from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. It has been a great experience so far, as both my client and supervisor have been extremely cooperative and informative at the same time. I have not faced any delay in response or in terms of data collection till now and hope to finish my submission within the given deadlines (fingers crossed).

The course brings together and blends essential soft skills, mathematical/analytical skills as well as the technical programming skills like R and Python which cater to the current industry standards. Also, with the help of theory, rigorous practice, and industrial interaction all being part of this blended learning strategy helps, you work in a variety of domains.

Being a Strathclyde student

I couldn’t experience much of university life and don’t even know the Strathclyde buildings completely but living near the University I have explored the campus from the outside.

The Library is a good go to place when you need seclusion and focus to write your assignments close to your submissions. Glasgow is an awesome city to live in. I am not a fan of rainy season, so apart from the weather everything was amazing. If you love rain and wind, Glasgow is a city you would love as 8/10 days would be rainy. This year winter gave us an amazing time of snowfall in February which was the most snow seen in past three years, so I consider myself lucky there.

Advice to prospective students

Prospective students must keep in mind that there is going to be a lot of self-study and efforts in research and should be prepared to learn Python and R. Be ready to handle lots of data and numbers, and massive datasets in all your case studies, assignments and projects that you are going to do during the curriculum. Choose your electives only after having had a detailed look at the curriculum and class expectations, as electives help you select the future path or domain that you might choose based on the specific skills you acquire. The tools and techniques taught throughout the course will prepare you for your workplace.

Also, as Mr. Clive Humby said and I quote – ‘Data is the new oil’, because just like oil data is valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used even if you have it in abundance.