Data Analytics (MSc)Matthew Shedden

After completing an undergraduate degree in Business Management & Finance at Aberdeen, Matthew chose to join us at Strathclyde by pursuing the MSc in Data Analytics. Here, Matthew tells us about what it's like being a student within the Business School.

What lead you to study MSc Data Analytics at Strathclyde?

I joined the MSc having completed an undergraduate degree in Business Management & Finance at the University of Aberdeen. My module choices and internships expressed a desire to work in a traditional finance role, but I realised I was most excited when creatively using data to aid decision-making.

Recognising this desire at the end of my undergraduate, the full-time MSc programme offered by the University of Strathclyde allowed me to accelerate my skills in data science – around analytics, engineering, and machine learning. As a collaboration between the Departments of Management Science, Mathematics & Statistics and Computer & Information Sciences, this programme offers unmatched variety, in terms of modules available and skills taught.

What has been your experience of the classes?

Further, wishing to use this MSc as a springboard for career ambitions, I was attracted by the practical focus of the programme, exemplified by the approach of each class. Content is geared towards modern technologies such as NoSQL and Deep Learning and is brought to practice during assignments that frequently involve real-world data and external clients.

In addition, the ‘Data Analytics in Practice’ module and summer project provide an environment exclusively where skills can be reapplied to real-world problems. Personal highlights from ‘Data Analytics in Practice’ were predicting Glasgow traffic activity and building ML models to predict (somewhat successfully) the price of cryptocurrencies. My summer project saw me working with an agricultural technology company to use data to improve transparency between farmers and stakeholders. The plethora of practical aspects of this programme enhanced my CV, skills, and industry-knowledge which I leveraged at interviews.

Is there anything you would especially recommend about the course/classes?

Coming from a non-computing background, the programme is demanding but rewarding. Supplementary learning and projects (e.g. DataCamp, Kaggle) are encouraged to get the most out of this programme. It’s amazing to look back where I was before this programme in terms of skill sets.

What has been your experience of the virtual/online learning environment and support offered by the University?

The nature of this programme has lent itself to an online learning environment for 2020. Whilst this is suboptimal in terms of experiencing Glasgow and university facilities, it has had no detriment to the quality of the programme in terms of content or support. Postgraduate programmes, generally, are hands-off. Online learning only amplified this.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Unlike what is suggested by the title of the programme, this programme is not only for prospective data analysts as it provides a high level of competencies across the data science umbrella. The global demand for greater utility of data, for organisations large and small, means this programme is suited for applicants from all domains. After pursuing the MSc Data Analytics, I am working within the realms of data science for a Scottish investment manager.

Aside from wholeheartedly recommending this programme, my advice would be to be motivated – to get the maximum from this programme – and be curious – to supplement your learning with self-driven projects.