Data analysis is an area of great opportunity and there is increasing demand for people with these skills in the jobs market, both here in Ireland and internationally. It’s no surprise that this is always a very popular course to chat about at our open events. Held at our city centre campus in Dublin’s IFSC, these events are the ideal opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to study at NCI.
We asked one of our lecturers on the topic, Oisin Creaner from the School of Computing, to put together some frequently asked questions on studying data analytics at National College of Ireland.
A. Students with backgrounds in the physical sciences, business and other technically minded domains, but without extensive experience in the computer science field, should consider the H.Dip course. This course starts off without the assumption of much knowledge of data analytics techniques, and rapidly builds the user up to familiarity with the skills required of a data analyst. It is possible to complete this course and move on to the MSc or PGD registers.
Students with more advanced computing skills, who have a background in programming or who have experience in the field of data analytics would benefit from the PGD or MSc courses, as these courses are designed to build upon existing skills and knowledge and allow the learner to hone their talents to perfection.
Q. What is the distribution of learning outcomes between mathematical/statistical elements and technical/programming elements?
A. Each of the three courses has a balanced blend of learning outcomes, including problem solving and design, mathematical and statistical rigour and technical skills. Most modules emphasise the use of technology to solve business or other domain problems with mathematically rigorous results.
Q.Which industries make use of data analytics?
A. Data Analytics is particularly prevalent in the financial services and large scale retail sectors, but it is also growing in importance to smaller-scale businesses as data availability and available processing power grow with each passing year. Analytics are also common in fields as diverse as IT Security, Defence and the Physical Sciences from Bioinfomatics to Astrophysics.
Q. How big are the class sizes?
A. MSc Classes are typically approximately 8-15 students. PGD classes are approximately 30-40 students. On occasion, shared modules are taken simultaneously by PGD and MSc students. H.Dip. Classes are typically 50-70 students in size, and there are occasionally multiple simultaneous cohorts of students on this course. At each level, peer support has proven an invaluable resource for the students on these courses.
Q. Do these courses require extensive programming and software experience?
A. The H.Dip. course does not require extensive past experience with programming or computing expertise, but this can give a student a bit of an edge. Courses start from the basics of programming, databases and relevant mathematical techniques for data analytics, and rapidly provide students with the knowledge they need to become an expert.
The PGD and MSc courses start with a higher level of assumed expertise: Students are assumed to be familiar with basic concepts like Databases, Programming and Statistics, which allows the student to learn about more advanced topics.
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