Today, all digital gurus agree to the fact that data is the most valuable resource currently available. And it can even be dubbed as the “new oil” that makes the seamless functioning of every organization possible. This is due to the ease of data-driven decision-making. In such a scenario, it becomes all the more relevant that companies are eager to recruit young minds to fulfill their data science needs. This brings us to the list of best data science programs that can help students narrow down their choice of institution and boost their career prospects.
A field that didn’t even exist 20 years back, Data Science is projected to grow in demand by 28% by the year 2020 (source: report by IBM). In its 2017 U.S Emerging Jobs report, LinkedIn ranked Machine Learning Engineers, Data Scientists, and Big Data Engineers among the top emerging jobs (which have grown by up to 650% since 2012).
With such big growth numbers associated with it, Data Science as a field is turning many heads in the technology and also business spaces.
Big Data, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Data Science are the big buzzwords doing the round these days and you are bound to have heard them at least once. So what is all this hype about? What are the differences between them? And is Data Science a viable career option in India?
So let’s first understand what these fields are all about and then delve into the career opportunities and paths required to be successful in this domain.
What is Data Science?
Data Science is a broad field that has data at its core, as the name suggests. This data is accumulated, arranged, and also analyzed to examine its effect on businesses. Data scientists choose and also build appropriate algorithms and also models to analyze data better and uncover insights from it.
Netflix’s use of viewership data to give better movie recommendations, and Facebook’s use of past interactions to give more targeted ads to users, are all examples of data being put to use to gain a deeper level of understanding. In this way, Data scientists are like detectives, finding patterns out of data to help businesses make smarter decisions.
They also help create the algorithms behind products and websites that make use of huge amounts of data to make recommendations. For example, Google Maps estimates your ETA based on huge amounts of data accumulated from other people on the same route using the app.
Data Scientists convert raw data into valuable information for businesses. For this, they possess knowledge in many different areas including software development, data munging, databases, mathematics, statistics, machine learning, and data visualization.
What is the Difference Between Data Science, Big Data, and Data Analytics?
Since all three terms deal with the word ‘data’, there is a lot of confusion surrounding them. Most people are not aware that they are not the same, and there are many differences between the three different terms.
- Data Science is a science or study of data and involves creating algorithms and models to extract knowledge from data.
- Big Data is a term that describes large amounts of data. It is not a field in itself, but the analysis of big data is used in many different fields and to make better decisions by businesses.
- Data Analytics refers to the analysis of data for concluding out of it. It is mainly used by businesses to make strategic decisions and solve problems.
Thus, in simpler terms, data scientists build the tools and algorithms that can be used to make sense of data, including big data. For this, they utilize technology, machine learning, and mathematical principles.
On the other hand, data analysts apply these models to analyze business data of all kinds to help take smarter business decisions. Even the use of excel by businesses falls under the purview of data analysis. A big data analyst would just utilize large amounts of data, that cannot be processed by traditional tools like Excel.
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What is the Demand for a Career in Data Science?
Data is everywhere. From the votes we give in political elections to the pictures we upload on Instagram, everything is data. Reports estimate that by the year 2020, as much as 1.7 MB of digital data will be created each second for every single person on the planet.
With so much data and information available, organizations are focusing more and more on using the insights from this data to evaluate progress, build solutions and make decisions.
And it is not just a global phenomenon. Even India is witnessing a surge of opportunities in Data Science and Data Analytics. A recent report by Edvancer and also Analytics India magazine revealed that India has the most number of Data Analytics jobs after the US, with over 78,000 positions currently available. It is making its presence felt everywhere, and also according to McKinsey & Company, Big data will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus.
Top 10 Undergraduate Data Science Programs in India
1. Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Bhopal
The institute offers a BS program in Data Science and Engineering, which spans four years. The program is highly inter-disciplinary and helps students with the understanding of different tools and techniques to handle data. Any student with a science, engineering, and economics background can enter the BS program.
The program follows a common curriculum in the first year and is followed by a pre-major curriculum in the second year with compulsory subjects. The 2nd year molds the student on computational and also alsostatistical techniques. The 3rd and also 4th year consists of foundational and advanced courses with computational components to give students hands-on experience in implementation and also programming. Any student keen on joining a data science program must seriously consider this institute.
2. Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)
VIT offers a B.Tech program with a specialization in data science. The course encompasses the development of accurate and also efficient methods for developing physical and biological models, developing tools for better understanding of data. The curriculum has been designed to meet the critical needs of data science in scientific investigations, business management, and technological innovations.
The three main components of the program are computing, mathematics, and also statistics. These three subjects are perfectly blended to give the student a better understanding of the mathematical and also analytical components that underlie the foundations of the data science domain.
3. Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar
The university offers BSc in computer science – data science as a course and is intended for students studying in any discipline. The course prepares the student to solve complex problems that are emerging in the domain of technology, industry, and also the public sector.
4. SP Jain School of Global Management, Mumbai
The institute offers 3-year full-time undergraduate courses that are designed for students to conduct independent data-driven investigations through visual and also advanced analytics. The program is meant to develop a thorough understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods to solve complex problems. Students who complete the program will be capable of analyzing data and also spotting trends in the data in finance, banking, manufacturing, retail, and also healthcare. This is one of the best data science programs available today.
5. University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun
The institute offers a B.Tech in computer science – business analytics and optimization. Apart from learning the regular topics in computer science, students are also exposed to data mining, statistical analysis (foundational & advanced), predictive modeling, business strategy, business intelligence (BI), analytics operations and research, social and web analytics with cloud, big data, and content analytics. The data science curriculum is designed in such a manner that it is both innovative and future-focussed.
6. B.Sc CS with Data Science, Bharathiar University, Tamil Nadu
The university offers BSc in computer science with data science. The course has been designed to develop analytical and critical thinking in the student. After the completion of the course, the student would be capable of designing and developing research-based solutions with specific needs in the domains of technology, business, and the public sector. The course is divided into six semesters and comprehensively prepares the students with programming skills in Java, Python, C, and so on, specifically for data science needs.
The university offers a BSc degree in data science. It is a unique program that has been devised to impart necessary data science skills to students to solve problems in diverse industries. The curriculum is a blend of foundational and advanced specializations in statistics and predictive analytics using Python, machine learning, R, data visualization, and so on. The student is also given a strong foundation in mathematics and entrepreneurial skills.
8. Techno India University, West Bengal
Techno India University offers a 3-year bachelor’s program in data science to prepare students for a full-fledged career in data science. The purpose of the course is to develop an in-depth understanding of all topics related to data science. At the end of the course, students would have had exposure to machine learning algorithms and also artificial intelligence systems that allow them to generate business insights of tangible value for various industries and also businesses.
9. AMET University, Chennai
AMET, deemed to be a university under the University Grants Commission Act, offers a 3-years BSc (Hons) in data science. The 3-year program is divided into two stages, with the first 2-years spent in Chennai with the last year at Edge Hill University, UK. The student is allowed to master skills and tools like clustering, decision trees, R programming, big data, Python, data visualization. Along with data modeling, statistical functions, machine learning algorithms that use predictive analytics.
10. Symbiosis Skills & Professional University, Pune
Symbiosis offers a 3-year full-time BSc course in data science. The admission is based on a qualifying exam and also interview. Aspirants seeking admission to the course can come from any discipline in 10+2 from a recognized institution. All the new trends in computer science and also engineering are inculcated in this program.
These are the top data science programs currently available in India. Aspiring students must carefully go through the programs listed in the blog and do their research on the respective website of the institute for more details. Once done with the research, you must choose the best data science program for yourself.