'The demand for data scientists is extremely high, as the data in our world continues growing exponentially...'
Studying Applied Data Science has opened up a whole lot of career opportunities for Sy, after discovering the new subject and learning of its contribution to a variety of fields.
‘Data science can be applied in a wide range of sectors, ranging from business, energy, government to healthcare, security, and logistics for different goals such as extracting insights from data, predicting trends and development, or suggesting best actions for a desired outcome,’ he says.
‘Applied Data Science emphasises more on the practical side, which instead focuses on how to use the right tools and right approaches for a certain problem.’
Sy had initially completed master’s study in Physics in his home country Vietnam, and wanted to carry over his data collection and analysis skills into a new field that had more of an ‘immediate impact’ on society.
‘What I’d enjoyed most was actually obtaining data from experiments, exploring it and extracting something useful from it,’ he says. ‘That gave me my very first ideas about data science – the field that turned out to suit my interest the most. Data science is one of the hottest topics nowadays and the demand for data scientists is extremely high, as the data in our world continues growing exponentially.’
Wanting to gain more opportunities and perspectives from the world, Sy ended up deciding to study overseas with UC, in an environment that suited his personality well.
‘Being introverted and a little bit shy, I love quiet, peaceful and beautiful places where I can enjoy being alone. On the other hand, I would also like to have experienced studying and working in a multicultural environment and meeting people from all over the world. For those reasons, New Zealand became an ideal destination for my overseas study.
‘In addition, I decided on UC because of its reputation in Science subjects and being one of the best universities to study in New Zealand and even around the world,’ he says.
Attending Orientation Day and other events in the first week of lectures he found to be a great start to UC.
‘During this time, I learnt how to use and take advantage of learning systems and resources for my study, which are quite different from where I come from. I also learnt about a number of student services where I can seek help, advice and support during my study time.’
He particularly enjoyed that the master’s degree includes course options from a variety of different fields, such as Biological Sciences, Digital Humanities or Economics, which allowed him to build on his previous Physics studies.
‘It is extremely flexible as the curriculum is highly tailored for you to suit your needs and your career path. I chose quite a lot courses in Statistics since I want to expand my theoretical knowledge about different models, methods and algorithms in data science.’
Receiving both a UC International Dean’s Award and a UC Mathematics and Statistics Scholarship has given Sy recognition for his efforts and a lot of support towards his master’s.
‘I’m happy to study in an environment where students are fantastic and kind and lecturers are so helpful and supportive,’ he says. ‘I’ve met awesome people from different parts of the world and learnt many things from them and their cultures.’
After graduating, Sy hopes to start his career off working in technology companies to develop his skills further, and ‘take on new challenges’ towards real world projects.
‘In the long-term, I would like to become a machine learning engineer – a role which requires less on analysis and much more on technology and programing since I feel I’m good at these things. That role also gives me a chance to study more towards building automatic data systems that are able to provide insights and intelligence with less human intervention.’