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Masters in Data Mining

by mynameisfunk
Tags: data, masters, mining
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Feb22-13, 05:45 PM
mynameisfunk's Avatar
P: 126
I am curious for the opinion of career statisticians on how marketable a Masters in Data Mining would be. I am currently a high school math teacher who has a degree in Economics. In college I had intended to pursue grad studies for statistics and have some SAS programming experience as well as a pretty good amount of statistics undergrad courses under my belt. I left college when I felt like I needed a break from being a student and now am considering going back. I had always wanted to be a statistician. Here is a link to the program I want to apply to:
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Feb22-13, 07:51 PM
P: 4,578
Hey mynameisfunk.

My recommendation is if you want to be a statistician then do a Masters in Statistics with proper graduate coursework.

The program you showed looks a little light with regards to the statistical coursework and more like an applications coursework for specific data mining techniques.

If you ever have to use your own techniques or quickly adapt to other techniques submitted by other researchers and experts, then it's going to be a lot harder if you don't have the right background in statistics.

With regards to data mining, I would suggest you look at probability modelling and also look at Bayesian Modelling and Inference.

You should also look at signal processing in some degree to get an idea of how patterns are extrapolated from general signals (think data) and how classification works in this domain.

In summary, if you want to be a statistician then do a proper Masters course. If you want to do data mining, I would still suggest you get the appropriate experience in a broad set of statistical courses at a high level and supplement them with the relevant computer science courses, along with the appropriate applied mathematics courses.
Feb24-13, 05:44 PM
mynameisfunk's Avatar
P: 126
Chiro, thanks for the input.

I don't really have a whole lot of options as far as moving to another city to enter into a much better program because I am not single and have a son. However, I would really like to break into the field and I feel like I need a master's degree to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed statistics and statistical programming and feel like I would enjoy the career more and make a better living for my family. Teachers in my state don't make a whole lot of money. I realize that the program is not the best as it is unranked and relatively new, but I was hoping for some opinion as to whether people in the professional community have an opinion as to whether or not the program would lead to a good job or not.

Feb24-13, 09:00 PM
P: 4,578
Masters in Data Mining

With regards to being a statistician, you will need to have a Masters in Statistics and the courses that you have listed in terms of the electives do have quite a lot of content that is relevant to this pathway.

Does the university offer a Masters in Statistics program as opposed to a data mining program? If so, what reasons do you have for choosing the data mining program over the statistics program?
Ben Espen
Feb24-13, 09:29 PM
P: 192
I'll second chiro's recommendation. Get a Masters in Stats, because data mining is too specific to be worth doing a Masters. You will easily learn data mining with a thorough grounding in stats, but the reverse will be much harder.

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