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Data Science masters goes from strength to strength

Tuesday 31 July 2018

THINGS just got better for some of Salford’s most employable students – thanks to huge interest from industry.

Graduates from the Masters in Data Science – described as the sexiest career of the 21st Century by the Harvard Business Review – are massively in demand with the UK alone needing 70,000 data scientists in finance, the NHS and the Civil Service.

Salford's recruits come with first degrees in mathematics, physics, geography, pharmaceutical science, biomedicine, sport science, psychology, social care and more.

And the placement opportunities are fantastic, with more than 40 companies and organisations inviting our Masters students to put their learning into practice on ‘live projects’ in the public and private sectors.

“Companies really want a part of this with the number of organisations offering placements almost double the 24 we had last year,” affirms Dr Mo Saraee, a reader in data science and a specialist in data mining and informatics.“The graduates are so employable that they all want to get first in line to recruit them.".

Now recruiting

That list now includes Dunn & Bradstreet, Slater & Gordon, Visit Britain, Camden Council,  Capita, Heathrow, Digimasters, Social Media Compliance, DOMO, InfoPro Digital, Instinctif Partners, Hounslow Council, the Environment Agency, Mizuho Financial Group, Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Which?. 

The Masters in Data Science recruited 32 postgraduates in September 2017 and a further 24 in January 2018, and could recruit as many as 50 this coming September.

2018 graduate Ambreen Khurram she says the course “improved my prospects of a job tremendously” receiving two offers before accepting a post with Catapult Energy Systems in her home town, Birmingham. 

Computer Engineering graduate Lakshmi Lineshah, from India, was offered FOUR jobs before accepting a £32k post at the University of Anglia Ruskin, and described the course choice as "the best decision I've ever made".


John Galloway – a jobbing programmer – was propelled into a £55k post after thriving on the Master's course, and is now a fully-fledged data scientist at digital firm SopraSteria, one of the top 5 technology consultancies in Europe. 

He explained: “I approached SopraSteria during my final semester at the University of Salford, and they took me on whilst I was still studying, which was great. Prior to my MSc I was a programmer who wanted to do more, and the Salford course has given me the confidence to move into the analytics and visualisation space.”

Dr Saraee, whose team has already won a teaching award for the course, added: “It's a massively growing field, and people from a wide range of backgrounds are finding the skills complement their discipline. Whatever area you specialise in it will be data reliant, so we teach our students how to manage data pertinent to their own field.”

Business graduate Ambreen believes the Masters, which included a placement and ‘live’ project with Mizuho Bank Ltd, gave her the knowledge and confidence to return to the business world as an analyst: 

“This was a great experience for me. We received tremendous support from the course leader and his team and the partner organisations.”

'Well paid'

Graduates from the course also earn an industry recognised certification from SAS, a University partner organisation.

With a background in biological sciences, including a master’s degree in biotechnology, Anthony Barnett came to the course with no stats background but found the course provided experience across a broad array of skills that employers value. He is now working as a statistical programmer at PRA Health Sciences in Swansea, and said: “Data science is very well paid and roles are virtually cropping up everywhere all over the world so there are many opportunities available."

Christina Matsiafa, a mathematics graduate, was amazed how fast the field is growing: “It’s allowing people to extract data and results that you would never expect. It really helped me find a job. Christina, a former maths tutor and 2017 graduate, landed a post as a statistician at scientific research firm Envigo.

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Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895