What to Consider Before Pursuing an Online Master’s Degree in Data Science

If you are looking for an interesting, challenging career in tech, why not consider pursuing a Master’s Degree in Data Science? Data science is one of the fastest growing industries in the Australia and further afield, and the demand for highly skilled personnel continues to grow day by day.

Data science is a multidimensional discipline with many professionals showing outstanding skills in programming, statistics, machine learning, data wrangling, software engineering and much more. So, what does it take to become a skilled data scientist, apart from enrolling on a degree course which is accredited by a council for higher education.

Do You Really Require a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

You can enter the field of data science from several different angles, coming to a point where you are knowledgeable enough to enrol in a Master of Data Science course to further your understanding of the subject. You don’t necessarily have to study an undergraduate programme in data science to achieve a master’s in the same subject. You can enrol in an online course if you meet some of the following criteria:

Bachelor’s degree: Your undergraduate degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in data science, but it should be in a field which requires excellent numerical skills and an outstanding level of mathematics including advanced algebra and calculus. If your undergraduate degree doesn’t cover some of these modules, you might struggle with the course material in an online master’s programme.

Industry Experience: If you’ve amassed many years of experience working in a science-related field or IT job, you may have the necessary skills to study data science at an advanced level. If you are applying for a master’s programme, you’ll need to have a solid background in areas such as:

  • Data Analysis
  • Programming
  • Machine Learning
  • Calculus & Linear Algebra

In addition, you’ll need several professional references to substantiate your claims, including proof of work experience and the position you held in each company.

Mixture of Several Disciplines

One thing you must understand when thinking about becoming a data scientist is that the field involves a variety of disciplines. This is one of the reasons why you don’t need to have an undergraduate degree in data science to enrol on an online master’s course, if you’ve experience in other fields, you may be perfectly suited to an advanced degree.

Data science specialists are highly sought-after individuals because they can adapt to all kinds of fields without being confined to just one. The job is basically a mixture of several different disciplines, all rolled up into one, so being innovative and knowing a bit about everything will help you once you enrol on a master’s course. Most people who pursue an advanced course in data science usually come from a statistics or computer science background, but the most effective individuals learn about both fields which helps them immensely during their master’s course.

Evaluate the Online Programme

When selecting an online course, it is imperative to thoroughly analysis the programme and evaluate the university offering the course. Do as much research as possible to find out what you’ll be studying once you enrol, as mentioned previously, data science is an interdisciplinary field which requires students to cover a multitude of subjects including:

  • Mathematics
  • Information Technology
  • Data Analysis
  • Business
  • Data Mining & Machine Learning

You must beware of online courses that just repackage material and sell it as an advanced degree. Try and choose a programme which is both practical and theoretical, combining the skills you’ll need on the job with a solid academic background.


Apart from having a degree, it is also important to have numerous other skills which will benefit you greatly in your pursuit to become a data scientist.

  • Do your utmost to improve your management skills and get involved in group projects.
  • Try to consult with clients while on work experience or on the job, this will help you grow and develop as an individual.

Data science is a rapidly evolving field, so it is important to choose an Australian university which understands the importance of creating an innovative, engaging course. It is a multidimensional profession which requires individuals from a variety of backgrounds, not just undergraduates with a background in data science.

You can achieve a Master of Data Science with qualifications in several diverse subjects, so carefully consider your options before pursuing an online course. There continues to be an increased demand for data scientists, so it is a great career path to choose if it truly interests you.

If you have any questions, please ask below!