How to do Masters in Data Science in Canada? (Updated 2020)

Source: Centre for International Governance Innovation

What is Data Science

Data science is a branch that blends data interference, algorithms, and technology in order to solve analytically complex problems. It can also mean using data in an efficient way in order to generate business value.

In the era of vast choices, reviewing data on various applications as per user needs is what this stream is about. For example, Netflix data mines movie viewing patterns to understand which TV shows/movies interests the users and makes a decision accordingly.

It also helps to identify what kind of content the audience likes by analyzing per person’s account choices for shows/movies and hence developers can build content accordingly.

The next question that arises is how they do it. The data scientists are like detectives who keep a check on what kind of content you’re watching or reading, and then try to understand their characteristics; this needs a lot of analytical creativity.

Data Product

To understand the concept of data science, the first step is the formation of a data product. A data product is formed in the following steps

  1. Utilize data as input
  2. Process the data and bring out results in algorithm form

A famous example is the recommendation engine which one can see in Amazon, Netflix wherein if you choose one product there is a suggestion list ready below. Gmail’s spam filter is a data product where there are people working behind the emails to categorize it into important or junk mail. All kinds of data product are formed by the data scientists who build the algorithms, test and refines product etc.

Required skills

Data scientists should expertise in three major skills

  1. Mathematics – Building data product is the ability to view data through a quantitative lens. The texture, co-relations in data, data which is expressed mathematically is data product.
  2. Technology (Hacking skills) – The meaning of hacking skills meaning is entirely different here; it is to use technical skills creatively and find clever solutions to problems. These data scientist hackers are solid algorithm thinkers who can break down messy problems and recompose them in ways that are solvable.
  3. Business and Strategy – Data scientists are also business consultants, the way they analyze data no one else can, hence they create strategies to solve business problems.

Degrees available in Data Science

Data Science studies are available for higher studies like Masters or Ph.D. degrees. The program consists of subjects like applied statistics, lessons in programming skills (SQL, Python). You can later apply in fields of data architecture, computer engineering, programming etc.

Check out this extremely helpful student-mentor program for foreign education!

Other related degrees in data science are

  1. Business Analytics – Analysts study consumer and market-related data, observe the latest trends of businesses, market,s etc.
  2. Information Systems – Information systems students are trained in IS design and analysis, database management and systems architecture.

Data analytics is also another related field.

The key feature in this master’s degree is the capstone project where students will deal with real-world problem by collecting and processing real data to design the best method to solve that problem with the given data and then implementing it. USA and Canada are the most famous countries which offer you good courses in MS – Data Science.

Data Science in Canada

There are many universities and colleges offering MS in Data Science courses in Canada. Some of the universities are-

  1. The University Of British Columbia – the course is 10 months long which is aimed to build up the technical foundation and practical real-life experience with data. Students here will learn data extraction for practical use, application of complex techniques in data analysis.

The cost of the course is – $31,000 with the application requirement of IELTS/TOEFL and any undergraduate with a recommended self-assessment.

There are courses and ways one could adapt to visit Canada academically without having to give the IELTS.

  1. Simon Fraser University – this college offers courses in Big Data with the cost of course as $12,000. The requirements are TOEFL/IELTS and are good in programming languages like Python, Java, C++, etc.
  2. Carleton University – this college offers MS in Data Science with cost, of course, $14,000 per year with TOEFL/IELTS certificate.
  3. University of Waterloo – courses offered in Computer Science and Statistics specializing in Data Science. Cost of the course $6,400 per term.
  4. Ryerson University offers courses in Data science costing $16,000 per year and the requirements are TOEFL. Bachelors in engineering, science, business, and economics. Prerequisite courses in Statistics, data structures, and algorithms, databases, and software packages.
  5. University of Western Ontario offers courses in Data Analytics; the cost is $13,000 and requirements like TOEFL. Background in Mathematics and Computer Science, Introductory Statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and computer programming
  6. Saint Mary University – this university is offering courses in Computing and Data Analytics for 1 year and the cost is 22,694 EUR/year. They train students to deal with big data, software development design, customization, management etc.
  7. University of Toronto’s Master of Science in Applied Computing (Data Science Concentration) is offered jointly by Depts. of CS and Statistical Sciences and teaches Data science at the interface between computer science and statistics. (24-month program, $11,320 citizens, $27,590 International, per year)
  8. York University – Masters In Business Analytics

Apart from the masters’ degree, the University Of Ontario offers graduates i.e. bachelor’s degree in Data Science.

Online courses in Data Science in Canada

Many people opt for online education, and getting education online has become an easy task after the advent of technology. One can have virtual classrooms, teachers, exams hence data science stream can be taught online, many universities all over the world give the facility to students gain online education in this subject. Some of the online courses are

  1. Data Sciencetech Institute- MS in Data Science (France)
  2. Illinois Institute of Technology – MS in Data Science (Chicago)
  3. Merrimack College – MS in Data Science (Massachusetts)
  4. North Central University – MS in Data Science (San Diego)
  5. The University Of California – MS in Data Science (California)
  6. The University Of Missouri – MS in Data Science (Columbia)

Courses that provide Data Science and Machine Learning

Machine learning, data analytics, statistics, all of them are related subject, let us take a look at some courses which offer both data science and machine learning

  1. Computer Science (Acadia University)
  2. Mathematics and Statistics (Acadia University)
  3. MS in Machine Learning (Montreal Institute for learning algorithms)
  4. Data Mining Courses (University of Toronto)

Implications of studying in Canada for an Indian student

It is important to consider whether studying data science abroad could get one a good job in India.

  1. The curriculum abroad includes topics such as machine learning, data mining, applied statistics, probability models, inferences, database management, data analysis, data visualization, and big data analytics, among others. A Master’s degree from abroad focuses not just on academic credibility but on the training outlook as well. Hence it adds great value to your CV and a good impression on the interviewer when you apply for a job.
  2. There are also de-merits for the same. The masters’ degree for data science is extremely costly but in Canada, you need to pay comparatively less amount of fees in the universities.          
  3. MS in data science abroad is beneficial as it makes the CV improved and one can get a high-paid job in India for the same. The course is highly exhaustive where students are loaded with a bunch of assignments and projects all semester. Applied learning and on-field tasks make students ready for the real world which usually they don’t get to experience if they study in India.

Requirements for studying in Canada

Canada is the largest employer of Data Scientists hence it has a large scope for its education and work. Canada sets different tuition fees according to the course chosen and level (graduate or postgraduate) or accordingly if you’re an immigrant or a home student. The average post-graduation fees are CA$16,252. The living costs along with university fees if you’re studying at the University Of British Columbia is CA$15,500 per year. For Canada Student Visa, here is the Complete Overview.

The basic requirement for applying in any university of Canada needs TOEFL score above 100 and IELTS to score a minimum of 6.5 or 7 in all the subjects.

The Career Prospects

Obtaining data science can get you the following jobs

  1. Business Intelligent Analyst – this analyst helps the company show where it stands in the market and analyses business, market trends for the company
  2. Data Mining Engineer – this engineer examines data for the company they’re working for and even the third parties.
  3. Data Scientist – As we know from above, their job is to analyze and explore data, its pattern etc., and come with a solution to the data problems occurring.
  4. Senior Data Scientist – Apart from gathering data, they also analyze it thoroughly in order to resolve highly complex business problems well.
  5. Data architects work with users, system designers, and developers to create blueprints that are utilized by data management systems in the centralization, integration, maintenance, and protection of data sources.
  6. Business Analyst – they work in the foreground and connect with the stakeholders of the company.

A few companies who hire data scientists are –

  1. NextDataScience
  2. LatentView
  3. BlueOcean
  4. Manthan
  5. Fractal Analytics

In today’s data-based world, companies are using the insights that data scientists provide to stay one step ahead of their competition while keeping their overhead costs low. Big companies like Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Booz Allen Hamilton, State Farm, Walmart, and more all regularly have job postings for data scientists. These companies also pay a good package for the job and getting into these companies is a matter of pride.

Hence, it is clear that the field of data science is not just educationally prosperous but also holds a lot of value in the job market.

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About the Author

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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