In conversation with Mandar Satvilkar who is currently working as Senior Data Analyst in Ireland post completing his MSc. in Data Analytics from National College Ireland. Let’s understand, why Mandar opted for this course and country and what his experience has been as a student.
Before deciding to pursue a course on Data Analytics, Mandar worked as a Database Developer & Analyst in an Indian firm. During this role, he realized the importance of data and witnessed the massive growth of this segment. His curiosity and wish to know more, helped him decide to pursue a master’s degree in this field. With the guidance of his consultant and self-research, he identified Ireland as his study abroad destination. A lot of courses on Data Analysis were available in this country. It is not uncommon for an aspirant to find out how to get an education loan easily and continue their further studies in Ireland. Mandar mentioned that if he hadn’t researched thoroughly on the course and the countries offering this course, he would not have realized that Ireland was the perfect destination for him. His manager in his organization aided him to understand the various facets of this domain and encouraged him to take up the master’s course so that he could achieve a bright career in this sector.
When he stepped into the new country, one of the challenges he faced was to understand the curriculum, structure and studying mechanism as they were very different than that of India. For instance, some of you must be familiar with the theoretical examinations in Indian institutions. You usually write a lot and try to include detailed content in the examinations. In Ireland institutes, you are supposed to write to-the-point responses to score well. You will not receive any extra marks for adding unnecessary data. Mandar realized that the students do not need to include all the details that they studied as the professors only look for the exact information and its following explanation.
The format of teaching was also very new for Mandar. The professors usually expect you to read up before you attend the sessions. You are expected to do your research and gather information before going to the class. Professors will not handhold you during your academic journey. Mandar initially faced difficulty in understanding 2 of his subjects – Statistics & Data Warehouses as the curriculum was a lot detailed and challenging than what he had expected. Self-studying is extremely important as professors expect you to participate in classroom sessions. You need to have your perspective and share it during sessions. Also, you cannot just mug up something from textbooks and write it down in your examination. If you mention some parts of your textbook or some author’s idea, you have to cite it as an example, giving the author the due credit and then elaborate as per your understanding. This way of studying was completely new to him. Hence, he used to spend most of his time in the library to adapt to this new way of studying and taking exams.
This 1-year course structure accommodates a wide audience of learners whose specific interests in data analytics may be either technically focused or business focused. Students pursuing this program will also gain exposure to pertinent legal issues and product commercialization considerations associated with the data analytics field.
The course is delivered using academic research, industry-defined practical problems, and case studies. This approach fosters a deeper knowledge of the subject area and creates transferable skills for work such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking, communication, teamwork and research skills.
Upon completion of this course, graduates will be able to:
. Conduct independent research and analysis in the field of data analytics
. Formulate and implement a novel research idea using the latest industry practices
. Demonstrate expert knowledge of data analysis, statistics, and the tools, techniques and technologies of data analytics utilized in both technical and business contexts
. Critically assess and evaluate business and technical strategies for data analytics
. Develop and implement effective business and technical solutions for data analytics
. Critically appreciate ethical and data governance issues relevant to data analytics
While working, Mandar came across the idea of taking a step ahead in his professional journey by strengthening his academic career. Once, he made up his mind, his first thought was what kind, of course he would like to opt for. He decided that the course that he would take up should strengthen his knowledge on Structured Query Language (SQL) development, best techniques of reporting, along with analytical thinking and other behavioural skills. Accordingly, he started looking for colleges and courses which focused on data analytics along with the other identified areas. With the help of his research, he figured out that only three colleges offered the kind of course that Mandar was looking for – National College of Ireland, Dublin Business School and National University of Ireland, Galway. Most of the other colleges offered courses on Data Science and Decision Science. He prepared an excel sheet capturing all the colleges in Ireland, the available courses, a quick synopsis of those courses, fees, educational structure, duration and other important parameters which play an important role in decision making. This helped him easily identify the college and course which he wanted to go for.
Though Mandar was not at all homesick, but there were many of his friends who were missing their family and wanted to go back home. As a student, you need to prepare yourself to be on your own and independent prior to reaching the new country. Students who plan to study in Ireland should read up on the weather. It’s usually cold. There are days when you will be able to experience sunny weather, snowfall and rainfall consecutively. You need to be prepared as it’s very difficult to predict the weather in this country.
In terms of accommodation, there are multiple groups on Facebook that might be helpful. You can go to these platforms, type your queries and expectations and get responses accordingly. Also, before finalizing, you should see the apartment properly, ask questions such as how many people will be sharing the room and get all the necessary details. It is a tricky situation at times. One of Mandar’s college mates got stuck in one of the apartments where he had to share one room with four other people in a bunk-bed kind of a set-up. There was also a shared living room with a very small kitchen. Look for as many options as possible before finalizing because if you opt for an uncomfortable accommodation, you will get stuck there for a year as the contracts are for a duration of one year. Mandar himself looked at some seventeen houses before finalizing the one he liked. You have to go house hunting there once you reach the country to figure out the right accommodation for yourself. Only pictures of rooms might not give you the right idea about the apartment. Mandar travelled to Ireland two weeks before his orientation and booked a hostel for himself near his college. During this time, he went house hunting, visited multiple places and then selected the best option.
The job scenario is becoming competitive as more and more students are opting for Ireland as their study abroad destination. Post completing his course, Mandar started applying for jobs using online portals. While doing this, he learnt that simply applying for jobs on a regular basis will not serve the purpose. Applying for too many jobs and then facing rejection might demotivate an individual.He figured out a way to tap the correct job applications with the help of a friend who worked in a lot of countries prior to coming to Ireland. While applying for a job, you need to analyze well what the company is looking for in a candidate. Compare that with your résumé. For instance, if a company is looking at expertise in one segment which is not a part of your CV, try to recall if you have any learning experience in that segment. If you have the basic knowledge and understanding, don’t forget to mention that in your CV. Meanwhile, you can brush up on that skill set while you wait for the call. So either apply for jobs whose job description matches with your CV or try to figure out if the knowledge demanded by the employer can be learnt based on your basic understanding. This application technique increases your chances of getting the job. Based on Mandar’s knowledge and experience, he guides a lot of people in terms of how to create compelling CVs to attract the attention of employers.
You have to be prepared to face and overcome all the hindrances that come your way. You have to plan your course period in advance. Try to figure out the expenses that you will incur during your stay and chalk out a plan accordingly. Research is extremely important. You can get the course curriculum beforehand and thus, you will have the time to do your homework well. Go through the course structure in detail, download PDF books and go through study material; you need to be prepared before you start your sessions. If you go for your Master’s degree, a lot of professors will consider that you know most of the themes as you have done your Bachelor’s degree. Hence, read up on it and go prepared so that it is easier for you to grasp what is being taught in class.
Also, be prepared to face the unpredictable weather of Ireland. The winters are very chilly. It goes down to zero degree and hence, you need to carry enough warm clothes. If you are thinking about finances, Avanse provides an affordable education loan interest rate along with numerous education loan benefits, so do get in touch and we will be glad to assist you.
Team Avanse will bring more such experience sharing articles exclusively for you. Stay tuned for more. You can reach out to us for any query or assistance if you have any doubts on student loan repayment or any other aspects of loans. All the best!