Undergraduate student interested in Data Analytics/Big Data grad. education


I am a senior computer science student and I am interested in pursuing my graduate studies in a data-related field such as Big Data or Dana Analytics. Academically, I have an average GPA (3.12/4.00), but I am compensating for that with personal projects I’ve done on the side.
In my final semester, I am thinking about doing (academic) research about a topic in Big Data or Data Analysis with the hope of increasing my chances of admission at graduate school and show my interest.

I have a few questions regarding my current situation:

  • First, would it be a good idea to apply for a Master’s degree given my current GPA? Or should I maybe look for career opportunities right after my Bachelor’s because of it?
  • Would writing a research paper (supervised by a professor) as un undergraduate student hold any significant weight in my application to grad school?
  • If that’s the case, what subjects would be interesting to research in the field of Data Analytics and Big Data? I am conflicted in which one to choose as I am fond of both of them.

Any career advice would be most welcome :slight_smile:

  1. You can get into some programs with that GPA. I generally recommend that people go to grad school because they are interested in grad school. If you want to get a particular job or field, you can apply for it now with a bachelors.
  2. Undergraduate research helps, but strong letters of recommendation are big too. How much it helps depends on the program you are applying to.
  3. Big data, data science, data analytics, etc are not super different. It’s all statistics + programming.

Thank you for your reply.

Do you think I can get into Masters’ with that GPA with a scholarship? I am interested in grad school but I like to weight all my chances of admissions before jumping in, which si why I am considering joining the workforce in the worst case scenario.

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There are two types of grad school in STEM

  1. Professional Masters - you pay for this, but it’s intended for folks with a job
  2. Traditional Masters - you get a stipend for this to do research or teaching

If you don’t get funding for a traditional masters in STEM, then the school might not be expecting you to be able to pass.

If you can get a scholarship or funding depends on the school. The best people who can give you a guess on your odds are grad students at that school or faculty.