Tadro, a Chemical Engineer from Australia, shares his experience of taking an edX MicroMasters® Program in Big Data, and how this helped him move from the field of chemical engineering, into the field of data analysis.
How did you first learn about edX?
Google. I used online search to look for Data Science Master’s Programs. This is where I discovered the AdelaideX Big Data MicroMasters Program through edX.
What were your goals in taking the Big Data MicroMasters Program?
Most of the work that I had enjoyed as a Chemical Engineer involved the analysis of large datasets. I decided that was the direction I wanted my career to head. I had been thinking of doing a full master’s in data science, but this looked like it was going to be a big time commitment and a large expense. Instead, the MicroMasters Program was a great foot in the door, with the potential option of getting credit towards a full masters at the University of Adelaide, if I decided to pursue further studies in the future.
How did the program help you?
After completing the Big Data MicroMasters Program, I got a new job at the CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) as a Science Performance Analyst. (The CSIRO is an Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research.) Completing the Big Data MicroMasters Program enabled me to acquire the tools and skills necessary to excel in this new position.
What did you like most about learning online?
I enjoyed the flexibility of learning online. An online delivery suited this particular program as it was solely computer based, meaning that it wasn’t necessary to have a classroom. Having the courses and the software all on my computer made sense.
Did your coursework result in any direct outcomes (career or personal)?
Yes, I got a new job at CSIRO as a Science Performance Analyst. The MicroMasters Program introduced me to bibliometrics (the statistical analysis of publication data) which I hadn’t heard of prior to completing the Big Data MicroMasters Program. Bibliometrics will make up part of my new position, so I will be able to apply what I have learned during the MicroMasters Program, in a real-world context.
What advice would you give new edX learners?
My advice would be to schedule your time effectively. Becoming a self-directed learner is vital to success. I would advise that you build regular time buffers into your schedule with so that you can accommodate life’s surprises and have plenty of time to revise at the end.