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Higher Education Review ›› Magazine ›› June-2018 ›› Special issue

The Need of Initiating Data Science Course at Undergraduate level by Universities in India

Author : Ujjyaini Mitra, Head Analytics and AVP Strategy

Ujjyaini Mitra

Ujjyaini Mitra , Head Analytics and AVP Strategy Viacom18

I, as a child, passionately loved solving Mathematics puzzles. I left behind the opportunities to join IITs but chose to study Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Chennai Mathematical Institute. After completing BSc., I was not sure what to do and wasn't necessarily ready to follow the trend and do a Ph.D. like my peers did. I was more curious to see real-life applications of what I learned. I loved Game Theory and wanted to explore its use cases, which made me pursue MSc. in Quantitative Economics from ISI Kolkata. I received an offer to join McKinsey, one of the world's best management consulting firm as an Analyst when I didn't even know what Analytics is. McKinsey introduced me to the world of Analytics and Data Science. And I finally found the answer to my long search - where to use what I learned so far.

Today's young generation is way more smart and aware about opportunities available around them. Due to huge industry demand, they know that Analytics is one of the highly demanded skill now and therefore one of the best-compensated career options. But what they don't know is where to start to become a Data Scientist? Most of them prefer to go for Engineering courses and pursuing any field of engineering irrespective of their true choices. They land up into a job which not necessarily their choice too and very soon become frustrated. Because they have heard about Analytics, they want to now change their career path towards Analytics and opt for many online or executive courses available. I call these courses as 'capsule course'. It's like taking an aspirin when you get a headache.

[HER_QUOTES]

It might reduce a headache for the time being but may not solve the actual cause of a headache. From these courses, candidates get a perception that they can finish these short 6-9 months crash course and become a data scientist quickly. But learning a couple of coding tools or few analytical techniques doesn't make one data scientist, because they don't get a holistic picture of what Analytics or data science is. They get a very restricted picture and come out with colored glasses on their eyes and judge the opportunities from those lenses too. It either creates another round of job frustration or their growth after a couple of years become stagnant.

When I ask these people why they want to join Analytics field, they mostly say 'because my current career path has no better growth' or 'because Data Science career pays better'. I hardly hear 'because that's where my passion lies'. It's a huge system failure, therefore. But it's not the fault of the candidates. Because we don't have a suitable course which can structurally introduce them to the world of Analytics or Data Science! They don't get time to love the subject or build their passion into it or explore the subjects in details.

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