The strength of the MDSI degree is in its diversity. Free-range electives from any faculty (just so long as it builds towards YOUR ideal data science skillset). Varied teaching styles, formats and modes of interaction - from industry panels to student-led pre-hackathon tutorials. And most of all, the diversity of the students themselves. We all come from such differing backgrounds , we're from different domains, and it means we don't compete directly and that creates a real sense of fraternity. We're not just building a network. We're establishing an entire industry. The feeling of belonging this offers is a rare and unexpected benefit.
If you had told me when I started, that one year into this degree (I'm only studying part-time), I would be offered a data science role, then I would have found it hard to believe. I mean we all want a Masters degree to pay-off, but the pace of the degree and its results are unparalleled! UTS has a very strong reputation for being relevant to industry and this course exceeds it. Through participating in hackathons that were invitation-only (I only got in because I was an MDSI student!), I was able to make a good impression with the management of the newly-formed NSW Government's Data Analytics Centre. The centre is like a data science hub for the NSW Government and it encourages cross-agency data sharing. They offered me a temporary role and I took the plunge. I've gained incredible first-hand experience. It's so important to be applying what you're learning, as you're learning it and this role is allowing me to do just that as I continue to finish my degree.
Data science is the ultimate enabler for curiosity. I didn't want to be afraid of asking a question because I didn't know how to find the answer. The power of being able to enter any domain and start making discoveries is a highly compelling skill to have. When practised ethically, society has much to gain from practitioners of data science. Its potential to enhance the efficient allocation of finite resources to improve standards of living is immense.