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Psychology to Data Science/Analytics

TL;DR - I have a degree in psychology, after graduating I decided to take a year off to get some work experience, and have decided I want to go into Data science. I wasn’t to start masters in Sept ‘23.


Hello.

I graduated in July ‘22 in psychology, I got a first and applied for a few masters courses in neuropsychology. I decided I didn’t want to start a masters right out of undergrad and instead looked for some jobs. Not so surprisingly, I haven’t yet been successful

I had a voluntary position with CAMHS that I just let go of because I didn’t like it at all. So this has got me re considering my masters choice. Now I want to do a masters in data science starting in September 2023 or some Universities have the course starting in January 2024.

I would like some advice 👍 about this. Any experiences? Am I making the right choice? If you think it’s the wrong decision please let me know because I still have time to think about my options. Thanks a lot.
Original post by Wooord!
TL;DR - I have a degree in psychology, after graduating I decided to take a year off to get some work experience, and have decided I want to go into Data science. I wasn’t to start masters in Sept ‘23.


Hello.

I graduated in July ‘22 in psychology, I got a first and applied for a few masters courses in neuropsychology. I decided I didn’t want to start a masters right out of undergrad and instead looked for some jobs. Not so surprisingly, I haven’t yet been successful

I had a voluntary position with CAMHS that I just let go of because I didn’t like it at all. So this has got me re considering my masters choice. Now I want to do a masters in data science starting in September 2023 or some Universities have the course starting in January 2024.

I would like some advice 👍 about this. Any experiences? Am I making the right choice? If you think it’s the wrong decision please let me know because I still have time to think about my options. Thanks a lot.


I can't comment on the degrees that you should do (I am biased about this), but I can offer the following information:

As you have not done an undergrad in maths, physics, engineering, or something mathematical, you will need to do a conversion course instead. This will likely involve AI, which should interest you considering your psychology background. e.g.
https://aru.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applied-data-science#entry_requirements
https://www.coventry.ac.uk/course-structure/pg/eec/data-science-msc/#ct-section4
https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/masters-degrees/a-z/data-science/
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/taught/data-science-and-artificial-intelligence-msc-year-in-industry/entry-requirements/
https://www.essex.ac.uk/about/faculty-of-science-and-health/conversion-courses
https://www.wlv.ac.uk/courses/msc-data-science/
There are others, so you will need to search for them.

The requirements to work in data science:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/data-scientist
Note how you don't need specific qualifications to go into this field

Popular software and programming languages to become proficient in:

R

SQL

Python

Power BI - This is a Microsoft product

Excel


The main ones I would focus on are SQL, Python, and SQL

The most credible (but very unnecessary) qualifications for the above languages and software are:
https://pythoninstitute.org/pcad
https://education.oracle.com/mysql-80-database-developer/pexam_1Z0-909 (good luck, this is hard; see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raSojOrTgRw)
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/power-bi-data-analyst-associate/
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/mos-excel-expert-2019/ (although I prefer the MOS Expert; see: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/microsoft-office-specialist-expert-2019/, and yes it's probably not worth doing all the exams)

Commentary on data science roles:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhiw8ftAFZk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsWUxONYECk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJFSczoWfy0
Having said that, it's only coming from one particular source even though he has extensive experience in data roles and worked in the industry of one country for a long time

Alternative careers that I recommend you look at:
Data analyst -> Machine Learning Engineer, Data Engineer (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJcFxq7HQj8)
Get into a data analyst role after doing the following:
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/power-bi-data-analyst-associate/

Other courses for information (not necessarily the certificates) include:
https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-data-analytics
https://www.comptia.org/certifications/data
https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-data-analytics-specialty/
If you want a comparison of the other certificates, see: https://www.comptia.org/blog/best-data-analytics-certifications
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
@MindMax2000

This is extremely helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Will definitely check these all out. I know you said I need to do a conversion course, what do you mean by this? I have applied for a masters course that accepts social science graduates, this masters does involve AI
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Wooord!
@MindMax2000

This is extremely helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Will definitely check these all out. I know you said I need to do a conversion course, what do you mean by this? I have applied for a masters course that accepts social science graduates, this masters does involve AI


Conversion courses are postgraduate courses that allow you to enter a certain disicipline should you have an irrelevant undergrad degree (e.g. you normally can't go straight into data science with a psychology undergrad, because psychology has little to no maths or computing knowledge in it).
If you have found a master's that is willing to accept an unrelated undergrad (like the one that you have found), then there is no need to do a conversion course.

See the following for more information on conversion courses in general:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/conversion-courses
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
Conversion courses are postgraduate courses that allow you to enter a certain disicipline should you have an irrelevant undergrad degree (e.g. you normally can't go straight into data science with a psychology undergrad, because psychology has little to no maths or computing knowledge in it).
If you have found a master's that is willing to accept an unrelated undergrad (like the one that you have found), then there is no need to do a conversion course.

See the following for more information on conversion courses in general:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/conversion-courses


Are you currently in this field? (if yes) what do you think of it? do you think I'm making the right decision lol
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Wooord!
Are you currently in this field? (if yes) what do you think of it? do you think I'm making the right decision lol


No I am not. I am doing a course on it to help me with my studies and research in a degree that I want to do. It also helps me with a number of side projects that I am thinking of doing.

I do have a friend in the field though. I haven't asked him about it, but it seems to be a good field to go into. Having said that, it seems to be readily changing (as is a lot of tech in general). According to UK sources, it's a growing field. According to US sources, new entrants are taking a beating.

I would try to network and speak to the professionals in the field.

I don't know if you are making the right decision. That answer depends on a lot of factors as you would know. One of the bigger ones is whether you like tech and numbers.
Reply 6
Original post by MindMax2000
No I am not. I am doing a course on it to help me with my studies and research in a degree that I want to do. It also helps me with a number of side projects that I am thinking of doing.

I do have a friend in the field though. I haven't asked him about it, but it seems to be a good field to go into. Having said that, it seems to be readily changing (as is a lot of tech in general). According to UK sources, it's a growing field. According to US sources, new entrants are taking a beating.

I would try to network and speak to the professionals in the field.

I don't know if you are making the right decision. That answer depends on a lot of factors as you would know. One of the bigger ones is whether you like tech and numbers.

I love tech but hate numbers lol. Actually i don't *mind* numbers that much as long as i don't have to do any quick maths stuff. I recently did a voluntary internship thing for a tech startup (just a basic research role)
Original post by Wooord!
I love tech but hate numbers lol. Actually i don't *mind* numbers that much as long as i don't have to do any quick maths stuff. I recently did a voluntary internship thing for a tech startup (just a basic research role)


I don't know what you mean by quick maths. Do you mean arithmetric? If so, this isn't finance, accounting, or your market stall in town.

A lot of the maths in data science is computed. You will be using R, Python, Tableau (or similar) to compute your numbers.
A lot of the role requires you to know what data to extract, how to extract it, and then how to present the data. It involves a lot of code and requires you to know stats i.e. you need to know how to manage a lot of data and know what the outputted numbers mean.
If you reach machine learning engineer level, you're looking at refining models that better fit the data and draw out better conclusions/make more refined assessments. This is essentially strategic coding.

You can get a second opinon from someone who works in the field to verify though.
Reply 8
Original post by Wooord!
TL;DR - I have a degree in psychology, after graduating I decided to take a year off to get some work experience, and have decided I want to go into Data science. I wasn’t to start masters in Sept ‘23.


Hello.

I graduated in July ‘22 in psychology, I got a first and applied for a few masters courses in neuropsychology. I decided I didn’t want to start a masters right out of undergrad and instead looked for some jobs. Not so surprisingly, I haven’t yet been successful

I had a voluntary position with CAMHS that I just let go of because I didn’t like it at all. So this has got me re considering my masters choice. Now I want to do a masters in data science starting in September 2023 or some Universities have the course starting in January 2024.

I would like some advice 👍 about this. Any experiences? Am I making the right choice? If you think it’s the wrong decision please let me know because I still have time to think about my options. Thanks a lot.


Hey,

Another good option that bridges the gap between Psychology and data science is this one:

https://online.hull.ac.uk/courses/msc-people-analytics

It is mainly online however so I am not sure how this method of study suits you.
Original post by Wooord!
TL;DR - I have a degree in psychology, after graduating I decided to take a year off to get some work experience, and have decided I want to go into Data science. I wasn’t to start masters in Sept ‘23.


Hello.

I graduated in July ‘22 in psychology, I got a first and applied for a few masters courses in neuropsychology. I decided I didn’t want to start a masters right out of undergrad and instead looked for some jobs. Not so surprisingly, I haven’t yet been successful

I had a voluntary position with CAMHS that I just let go of because I didn’t like it at all. So this has got me re considering my masters choice. Now I want to do a masters in data science starting in September 2023 or some Universities have the course starting in January 2024.

I would like some advice 👍 about this. Any experiences? Am I making the right choice? If you think it’s the wrong decision please let me know because I still have time to think about my options. Thanks a lot.


Hi @Wooord!

I am currently studying a masters in Applied Data Science and Statistics at the University of Exeter after studying Biosciences as my undergraduate degree, so have been in a similar position! I was really interested in data science and statistics after seeing in my undergrad how important they are in all areas of science and research, so decided I wanted to do the masters degree. As already mentioned in this thread, most of the MSc courses I found I met the entry requirements for were conversion courses (meaning they teach you from scratch and therefore accept students with unrelated undergrad degrees) as I didn't have much experience in statistics or coding, but the end result is the same level qualification so this didn't bother me.

I'm really enjoying my course and am so glad I decided to do it, but ultimately the best advice I could give is to consider if you have a genuine interest in the topic, if you want to pursue a career in the area, and if you want to spend another year in education. If you do then I'd totally recommend going for it!

Hope this helped, please let me know if you have any more questions I can help with :smile:

Hannah
University of Exeter Student Ambassador
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 10
Original post by ExeterStudentRep
Hi @Wooord!

I am currently studying a masters in Applied Data Science and Statistics at the University of Exeter after studying Biosciences as my undergraduate degree, so have been in a similar position! I was really interested in data science and statistics after seeing in my undergrad how important they are in all areas of science and research, so decided I wanted to do the masters degree. As already mentioned in this thread, most of the MSc courses I found I met the entry requirements for were conversion courses (meaning they teach you from scratch and therefore accept students with unrelated undergrad degrees) as I didn't have much experience in statistics or coding, but the end result is the same level qualification so this didn't bother me.

I'm really enjoying my course and am so glad I decided to do it, but ultimately the best advice I could give is to consider if you have a genuine interest in the topic, if you want to pursue a career in the area, and if you want to spend another year in education. If you do then I'd totally recommend going for it!

Hope this helped, please let me know if you have any more questions I can help with :smile:

Hannah
University of Exeter Student Ambassador


Hi Hannah. Thanks for your comment. Exeter was actually one of the first universities i had a look at for masters. Unfortunately it is too far from home (I am in Yorkshire), and moving away isnt an option atm ;(
Reply 11
Original post by DimT
Hey,

Another good option that bridges the gap between Psychology and data science is this one:

https://online.hull.ac.uk/courses/msc-people-analytics

It is mainly online however so I am not sure how this method of study suits you.


oh I shall have a look. thanks so much. Actually being mainly online is great in this case because Hull is far from me and im not looking to move away atm
Original post by Wooord!
Hi Hannah. Thanks for your comment. Exeter was actually one of the first universities i had a look at for masters. Unfortunately it is too far from home (I am in Yorkshire), and moving away isnt an option atm ;(

Hi, glad to have helped! I completely understand, location was a big factor for me when choosing a university. If you have any more questions about the experience that you think I could help with please do let me know! Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Hannah
University of Exeter Student ambassador

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