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Job Skills Masters in "Analytics" vs Masters in "Statistics"?

  1. Sep 24, 2016 #1
    Hi all, I'm considering getting a masters in Analytics at U San Francisco: https://www.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/graduate-programs/analytics

    i'm interested in this because i would have met all the prereqs after i finish my undergrad, and also because i live in SF. However, the program costs $45k for the one year long program, so i want to make sure it is profitable before i invest this money that i might not be able to pay back.

    The other option would be to get a masters in Statistics at CSU eastbay, which is self-proclaimed to have high admission rates as long as prerequisites are met. The prereqs of the program, however, basically is a whole entire statistics major, which i would have to stay a whole year in uni to complete all those prereqs (and maybe get a few classes down more to declare as double major in statistics).

    My question is : is a masters in "analytics" employable or even known - that is, is it a legit degree? Or do you think it's just a wishy washy name put on a wishy- washy program ? it seems "statistics" is a more common name. Which do you think it is a better choice: MS analytics or MS statistics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2016 #2
    So, I don't know anything about usfca, or about the quality of the specific courses in that Masters in Analytics degree. . .

    But the course list itself seems quite good and eminently employable. If those classes really teach what their names suggest, there is interesting work out there for people with that degree.

    Having said that, MS Stats may still be better. There's no reason you can't learn almost all the content of the analytics degree while getting a stats degree, and Stats will still be better known. The few classes the stats degree may leave out that you want (SAS, Machine Learning) you could take on the side.
  4. Sep 25, 2016 #3


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    I've had bad experiencing with interviewing M.S. Analytics students along with the few interns peers of mine have hired. Allow me to provide you with context. Generally, I need well versed individuals in either computer science, statistics, or experimental physics. The problem with M.S. Analytics students is that they tend to come with poor programming skills, (for example, some programs focus on solely excel), their statistics knowledge is barely above an average undergraduate student. For example, during an interview, I asked a student what their method would be to identify a distribution. She stated that she'll find the first 4 moments because they would completely describe the distribution. Of course, this is completely wrong. There exist distributions whose infinite moments are all same, but whose distributions are rather different. I tried to help the individual by alluding to Carleman's condition, but alas she didn't pick up on it, but I suspect she did not know about it either.

    With that said though, the degree is employable. Other business units have had success finding candidates to perform BI work and become Business Analyst with this degree. So if that's your goal, then awesome!

    p.s. I did find two people with such degree that were exceptional, so i'm not completely bias against it.
  5. Sep 28, 2016 #4
    thanks for your honest opinion and for sharing your experience.
    what was the job position that you were hosting the interview for?
  6. Sep 28, 2016 #5
    thank you for your honest opinion
  7. Sep 28, 2016 #6


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    I interviewed people with that degree for Data Scientist, Data Analysts and Software Engineers.
  8. Sep 28, 2016 #7
    i see. So what tends to be the educational background (degree) of the people that you do end up hiring?
  9. Sep 28, 2016 #8


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    M.S in Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics, mostly. For my more senior positions, I also have PhDs in Physics, Statistics and Mathematics.

    I also have a 15% of people with undergraduate degrees mostly in computer science, a few in math/stats.
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