5 reasons to study data science at the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University

The ability to harness data has evolved from a competitive advantage to a necessity — evidenced by the discipline’s importance across industries. For example, Amazon’s recommendation engine utilises complex algorithms to predict customer preferences, enhance user experience and drive significant revenue through targeted marketing. Similarly, healthcare organisations use data science to analyse patient records, leading to more accurate diagnoses and personalised treatment plans.

These examples illustrate the role data scientists play in shaping industries and influencing outcomes. Anyone can become one with the right education, which is precisely what the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University offers through its Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS). Here are five reasons why it is the top choice for anyone seeking the technical expertise needed to lead in the digital frontier.

It lays a solid foundation

The 36-credit-hour MSDS was designed to accelerate the careers of professionals in the fields of data science, business analytics, business intelligence, or big data. It teaches them to use advanced technologies and statistical methods to manipulate data and translate findings into actionable organisational strategies.

Core classes cover fundamental aspects such as Statistics for Data Science, Scripting Languages, and Database Concepts, ensuring that students build a strong foundation in the basics. The inclusion of advanced topics like Machine Learning, Big Data Strategy, and Business Intelligence reflects Rawls’s commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends.

Flexible, accessible, customisable

In a world where professionals seek to upskill while managing existing commitments, this programme’s flexibility stands out. MSDS students have the option to tailor their course choices to align with their personal and professional goals, and the programme itself can be completed in one or two years.

Texas Tech University

Source: Texas Tech University

This flexibility extends to the choice of completing coursework either on campus or online, accommodating the diverse needs of students in various life stages and career paths.

Expert instruction

The strength of any degree programme lies in the quality of its instructors. At Rawls, educators bring not only academic expertise but also significant industry knowledge to the table. For example, award-winning researcher Alireza Sheikh-Zadeh doubles as an assistant professor. His students are often working on various real-world problems, in contexts such as portfolio and risk optimisation in finance, supply chain analytics, and queuing simulation in healthcare services.

“As a scholar, I try to create synergy between my research and teaching,” Sheikh-Zadeh says. “Research and teaching in data science help me to stay current with the most recent advancements in the field.”

In Multivariate Analysis classes, assistant processor Eric Brown tasks students to find a dataset of their choosing and explore it using cutting-edge techniques. “It’s a valuable opportunity for the students, as it simulates the data exploration task which occurs regularly in the data science setting,” says Brown, whose research focuses on the intersection of optimisation and machine learning, with application to the power grid and medical treatment.

It has a clear path to success

The Rawls Career Management Centre has been a cornerstone of student success since its inception in 2003. It goes beyond traditional career services by offering expert coaching, workshops, mock interviews, hosting etiquette dinners, and organising career fairs that attract over 150 esteemed employers. “I appreciate the focus on my future career,” says MSDS student Wyland Harris. “With lunches and meetings with our career advisor, I feel confident that I will be successful after I graduate.”

Texas Tech University

Source: Texas Tech University

The vast majority of MSDS graduates — 92.3% — found work within 90 days of completing their programme. However, their university’s support doesn’t end with a diploma. Rawls goes a step further with The Techsan Connection. The free, online platform was built exclusively for Texas Tech graduates to apply for jobs, reconnect with former classmates and engage in meaningful networking with industry professionals. It also enables them to give back by volunteering as mentors to current students.

A gateway to a rewarding life in the US

The programme’s STEM designation positions graduates for success in a nation where technological expertise is highly valued and sought after. For international students, who currently make up 43% of MSDS students, the designation makes them eligible to apply for a two-year extension of their Optional Practical Training (OPT), allowing them to work and live in the United States for up to three years.

To further discover the limitless possibilities that await at the Rawls College of Business, click here.

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