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What Hands-On Skills Will You Gain in the Stevens Data Science Master’s Degree Program?

June 28, 2024

Big data and artificial intelligence loom large in business planning; 97% of businesses are actively investing in big data and artificial intelligence (AI), and 98% of executives believe it’s essential to increase their organization’s data analysis capabilities in the next three years. 

As a result, the demand for data scientists is soaring. According to LinkedIn, the number of data science-related job postings has increased by 256% since 2013, with further growth expected. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of data scientists will grow 35% by 2032. 

As businesses embrace emerging technologies, new job titles and roles have been –– and will continue to be –– created. Data science is also evolving; data scientists are increasingly expected to have skills in emerging disciplines like machine learning, big data processing and deep learning. Stevens Institute of Technology’s online Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) is rooted in a deep, math-based understanding of data science that helps students develop essential technical proficiencies in the leading industry tools. 

This article outlines the hands-on technical expertise you can gain through the Stevens data science master’s program and explains how these in-demand skills can help you advance your career. 

Machine Learning Skills

Machine learning — a subset of AI — allows systems to learn and improve autonomously. This technology is used across industries to process and analyze large amounts of data faster and to automate repetitive tasks. 

Machine learning skills are increasingly in demand. AI and machine learning specialists top the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) list of fastest-growing jobs over the next five years. According to the WEF, by 2027, the demand for AI and machine learning specialists is expected to grow by 40%, creating 1 million new jobs. 

The Stevens online MSDS curriculum covers various aspects of AI and machine learning. Stevens data science master’s students take courses in applied machine learning, cognitive computing and other specialized areas (discussed below) to help them develop sought-after skills.   

Deep Learning and AI 

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses neural networks to simulate the decision-making power of the human brain. Deep learning algorithms ingest and process unstructured data to improve automation, performing analytical and physical tasks without human intervention. Deep neural networks are trained on large amounts of data to recognize patterns and relationships, evaluate possibilities, and make predictions and decisions.

Deep learning is used in various industries, including financial services (to power predictive analytics) and healthcare (to analyze health data faster), making it an invaluable data science skill. Stevens’ online MSDS includes a course in deep learning designed to teach students deep learning methods to solve real-world machine-learning problems. 

Natural Language Processing 

Natural language processing (NLP) refers to the ability of computers to understand and interpret human language. NLP is widely used to help businesses analyze text and speech data. It allows companies to communicate more effectively with customers, respond to queries faster and gain insights into customer satisfaction. Companies increasingly use NLP to analyze data, creating demand for data scientists skilled in this technology 

As a Stevens data science master’s student, you will take an NLP course focused on applying dynamic programming to statistical learning in various industries, including engineering, business and finance. 

Predictive Modeling and Statistical Methods

Predictive modeling is a statistical technique that uses past data to predict and forecast likely future outcomes. Predictive models underpinned by AI and machine learning can complete real-time calculations, creating substantial business value. For example, financial institutions use predictive modeling to calculate the risk of a new credit card application and accept or decline requests almost instantly. This improves their customer experience without putting the company at risk.  

At Stevens, online MSDS students develop their predictive modeling and statistical skills through courses focusing on probability, time series analysis and statistical methods. The program also includes foundational mathematics courses to foster the skills needed to succeed in the more advanced statistical coursework. 

Data Visualization Skills

Data scientists need data visualization skills to communicate data-driven insights to business stakeholders clearly and effectively. Without adequate data visualization, insights and potential competitive advantages can go unnoticed, and companies won’t get true value from their data.  

The Stevens online MSDS covers data visualization skills in several courses, preparing students to communicate data-driven insights; “Statistical Methods” includes a focus on presenting one’s conclusions from statistical analysis. 

Industry-Standard Software, Tools and Technologies

The Stevens data science master’s program teaches in-demand skills using industry-standard software and tools. Students should graduate with a deep understanding of data science as well as technical proficiency in key tools like: 

  • Python
  • TensorFlow 
  • Keras
  • BlueMix
  • Hadoop
  • HBase

Some software vendors, like Google and Amazon, offer certifications, many of which are highly regarded by employers. Stevens MSDS graduates develop the necessary skills to pursue these certifications after graduation, which can further boost earning potential and employment opportunities.  

How to Develop In-Demand Data Science Skills

Data scientists are in demand across industries, and not just in the tech sector. Retail, finance and government organizations (to name a few) also seek skilled workers in the field. Irrespective of the industry, employers seek professionals with specialized skills

Enrolling in a master’s program, like the Stevens online MSDS, provides direct access to expert faculty members who bring their professional experience of ever-changing industry trends and technologies to the classroom. At Stevens, you can begin to build a network of industry connections as you develop in-demand skills that include machine learning, predictive modeling and data visualization. 

Next Step: Apply to the Stevens Data Science Master’s Program

If you are ready to accelerate your data science career and want to qualify for the most attractive jobs, earning your master’s degree can help you reach your goal. A master’s degree will not only allow you to develop the skills you need, but it can also help you stand out among other job applicants.  

Contact an enrollment advisor to learn more about the Stevens online MSDS program, the skills you can develop and the career outlook for graduates. Or, start your application today if you are ready to take the next step in this growing industry.