There is more to Data Science …

There is more to Data Science …

... than just techie stuff.

Even though I thought I was done with school forever, I felt a sudden thirst for knowledge again about a year ago. With a BSc in Business Administration in the bag and a promising job with SBB, I was looking for a new challenge. I wanted to broaden my horizon, learn new things and continue to expand my skills.

While I was researching the right programme, it became clear to me that I didn’t want to specialise in a specific industry and limit my options. I wanted to acquire knowledge that gives me the tools to address any future challenges and that opens as many doors as possible for me.
And that’s how I discovered Master of Science in Applied Information and Data Science. With the technical and analytical specialist knowledge I gained in the multidisciplinary Data Science master’s programme, I’m qualified to assume specialist and expert positions in the digital economy. As an applied data scientist, I have broad career prospects in terms of potential employers, chosen discipline and place of work. Across the globe, data Science has a place in SMEs, large corporations, public institutions and NGOs alike.

I have to admit, the first two semesters were no walk in the park. A lot of it was new for me and the extensive curriculum was quite demanding at times. And this is where the qualities of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts became evident: being in constant exchange with my lecturers and my fellow students helped me face any challenges and kept me motivated. I might have lost a few weekends to revision, but I also realised that you can learn almost anything. And when a self-programmed code suddenly works, is used in a real setting even – that sense of accomplishment is beyond compare and a massive motivation.

I don’t consider myself a techie, but I feel at home around numbers and statistics. I have solid analytical thinking skills and I like all things that can be proven and substantiated through data. The broad range of my fellow students’ backgrounds continues to inspire me. Of course, some are trained in Information Technology, but others have a Psychology or even Art and Design background. While this can be a challenge in group work, it is invariably a great asset in that everyone gets to apply their strengths where they’re required. Data Science is much more than just analytical thinking and technical skills. It requires creativity, good ideas and a flair for working with others. I find these moments when I can use my personal skills to advance the group at certain points extremely reassuring.

The Open Hack Day in Lucerne is a great example. Real-life companies from the Swiss tourism industry made some of their data available to advance a specific goal: to make Lucerne more transparent, social and sustainable as a tourist destination. Among other things, we then developed solutions based on the user data from WiFi hotspots. The interdisciplinary collaboration within the teams, where each student had their specific skill set – that was a brilliant experience.
What I find even more intriguing is the current initiative around the #CodeVsCovid19 network. The IDS Master’s program gave us the opportunity to apply our skills in the search for Covid19 solutions alongside researchers and IT professionals around the globe. It allowed us to address real-life problems associated with the crisis. This joint initiative of the ETH and Hack Zurich was launched under the patronage of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) and almost everybody in the study program (i.e. around 180 people) played their part. The School even agreed to reschedule exams to make sure HSLU students could participate.

I can see myself travelling the world as a digital nomad after graduation, using my skills and knowledge in all sorts of places. I’m particularly interested in the health sector. I believe there’s great potential for creating actual added value for society with the right kind of data utilisation. This is where I see my future. I want to work in a holistic way, with a great team, and achieve something with independence and responsibility.

Carmela Wey
Junior Digital Transformation Consultant at SBB Swiss Federal Railways

Are you interested in an interdisciplinary education with a state-of-the-art curriculum that revolves around the collection, analysis, visualisation as well as targeted and responsible utilisation of data? Do you want to harness data competence as a success factor? Learn more about the Master of Science in Business Administration in Applied Information and Data Science programme.

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