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How to choose the big data course right for you

Data gathering and analysis has taken centre stage in a variety of industries as it has proven to be amazingly beneficial to gather and examine figures and make business decisions accordingly based on them. Because the demand for data professionals has risen dramatically, this career path has become increasingly attractive. You may have made the decision to pursue data analysis as a career or interest, but there are many big data courses available through many different institutions and you want to choose one that maximizes the chances of it meeting your needs after completion. Following this guide will ensure you choose a reputable, helpful data course that will allow you to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

1. Identify your personal goals

Before deciding to enroll in a big data course, it is essential that you identify your personal goals that you are seeking to achieve. Are you looking for a job, to build on your existing skills in your current role, or merely pursuing an interest? If you are seeking employment, are you more interested in working in government, education, or business? Answering these questions will assist you in finding courses based on these factors and will save you time and money by not concentrating on courses outside of your identified requirements. Once you have identified your personal goals, attempt to contact people in that field. Ask questions about what courses they took to get into their current position, if their job has met their expectations, and if they have any tips for seeking employment in the field.

2. Identify steps needed to achieve your goals

You have identified what sector you want to pursue employment in but will the course you are considering make you eligible? Do you have other pre-requisites needed to enter the field? There are three common paths that you can take in data management. A Master’s degree is most useful for people with no experience but looking for a career in big data analytics. It is often combined with courses in computers and statistics to make your list of qualifications even more attractive. Single courses at a university are helpful for people already in the field that either want to expand their role or seek ways to complete their work more efficiently. Workshops, usually found online, are for people either looking for a brief overview of data management or professionals already in the fieldlooking to analyze and use data more effectively in their everyday decisions. Choosing what path you need to take will be beneficial in ensuring you choose the course (or courses)suited to your needs.

3. Confirm accreditation

There are many courses and workshops offered online that are usually cheap or free. While these can be helpful for someone just starting out, looking to see if data management is right for them, or looking for a refresher, these will either fail to give you any certificate of completion or give you a certificate not recognized by any organization looking to hire. Just because a course is online does not mean it is not an accredited course; many, if not all, institutions have shifted towards making a large portion of their curriculum online. Chances are your big data course will be online and if it is, there are steps you can take to ensure it will be recognized. Checking the institution’s website will give information about what governing bodies it is accredited with. Be cautious of institutions with only a post office (P.O.) box listed or a suite number, ones that boast about the short timeframe a course can be completed in, and places that offer sales for signing up for multiple courses. These are signs that an institution is more business-minded rather than educational.

4. Make sure it is an instructor-led course

You want to make sure that the work you are doing is correct and that you are getting help and support as you progress. Therefore, guaranteeing the course you are considering is instructor-led is imperative. Because data management is almost completely electronic, the chances of a big data course being offered exclusively online are high. Confirm that your instructor’s class time is live as opposed to recorded. A recorded video may be old and include information that is dated which would be useless to you. Confirm that your instructor is available for questions so you can check if you are completing your work correctly and get support when you need it. For those of you interested, Schulich Executive Education Centre has more information available on their website.

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