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Prepared for a diverse, exciting, and meaningful career

2024 marks the summer where the first students in Data Science will graduate with their master’s degree from Aarhus University.

Something many companies will greatly benefit from and highly demand: “We see an increasing need for the competencies of data scientists. It is already a central part of our decision-making processes, and it will only continue to develop in that direction as we look ahead.”

– Bjarke Christensen, from Formuepleje

Many roads can lead to Data Science

Laura Marie Lynggaard Nilsson, Simon Hansen, Magnus Toft Conradsen and Andreas Tind Damgaard are four of the students who will soon be able to call themselves Master of Science in Data Science. What all four of them have in common is that they started on a completely newly created education. However, they had very different reasons for enrolling the programme.

Laura did not come from a scientific background but wanted to acquire skills that would eventually allow her to work with climate change. Simon had studied Computer Science for two years but discovered Data Science when he realized how computer science, mathematics, and economics were combined in the programme – something that united his interests and academic strengths. Andreas had always struggled with making decisions based on gut feelings. In Data Science, he saw the opportunity to learn how to make decisions based on data. Magnus knew he wanted to work with computers and mathematics, but only when his uncle sent him a message with a link to Data Science on the Education Guide and told him what the starting salary was, did he decide to investigate what kind of education it was.

An education that opens doors to all industries

The fact that the four students had different reasons for starting the programme is very much a reflection of the nature of Data Science. It is an education that opens doors to virtually all industries, as data is – and will increasingly become – a larger part of every aspect of our lives, our business operations, and our decision-making processes.

“These are bright young individuals with a solid theoretical foundation to excel in many types of roles within the data field.”

– Mathias Brønd Sørensen from Venzo, who has hired and worked with students from the Data Science programme.

“The qualities we value most in data scientists are their analytical mindset and natural approach to problem solving. They are proactive and capable of translating data into understanding. They have had the opportunity to take courses and specialize in various areas such as business economics, statistics, and IT, which gives them a versatility that enables them to contribute effectively to our projects.”

– Bjarke Christensen from Formuepleje

“The programme has enabled me to think very critically and analytically, which has helped me approach and solve new problems. Data is everywhere, so it’s only the imagination that sets the limits for how it can be used.”

– Simon Hansen

From thoracic surgery to passionate instructors and marathon question sessions

For both Laura, Simon, Andreas, and Magnus, the programme has offered many experiences and learnings. Simon and Andreas both participated in a module called Dataproject, where their group assisted a team of researchers and clinicians in the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Sciences at AUH to decode data collected during thoracic surgery:

“After the project, it all culminated when we were allowed to observe a very rare surgical operation where an aortic dissection had occurred. A thoroughly surreal experience, one I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to witness. It was probably also during this project that I really became aware that the skills we acquire during the study programme are very valuable to many different companies and industries.”

– Simon

The teaching and the lecturers are also aspects highlighted by the students:

“Regarding the lecturers at the various departments collaborating on Data Science, the passion for learning and teaching has always been evident throughout the programme. In every way, I have felt that the lecturers were ready to assist when students felt lost or needed guidance.”

– Laura

“I particularly remember the course in the 1st semester with Niels Lauritzen in ‘Mathematical Analysis and Convex Optimization’. Never have I met a more passionate and competent lecturer. You could clearly feel how much he was dedicated to teaching us a lot while ensuring a good learning experience. This was exemplified by his arrangement of a marathon question session before our exams – not just for one hour, but for the entire day.”

– Simon

The future

When listening to prospective employers, the future looks bright for upcoming data scientists, and when asking the students, it appears not only bright but also open and very meaningful.

“It might be a bit of a cliché, but I like the idea of keeping my options open. […] I can say this much, my future plans involve continually challenging myself and acquiring new skills within Data Science. At a later stage, I could consider moving towards taking up these skills at a higher management level. Ultimately, I aim to be in a position where I can help facilitate more gender diversity within STEM; motivating other women to see how their potential can also be realised within these fields.”

– Laura

“I’m starting a PhD in August. It’s a collaboration between the Department of Clinical Medicine and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at AU. Here, I’ll be using machine learning to research correlations between sleep and Parkinson’s disease. It turns out that a specific sleep disorder can be a good predictor of developing Parkinson’s later on. This project aligns well with both my Bachelor’s project and Master’s thesis, which focused on machine learning and sleep data.”

– Andreas

Useful advice for new students

“My first and most important piece of advice is of course to apply for Data Science. It’s a fantastic programme offering plenty of exciting knowledge and many opportunities to specialize in topics that interest you. You don’t need to be a coding whizz or a statistics genius to study Data Science; you’ll learn that along the way.”

– Magnus

“Go for it! You’ll be very glad you did. I’m so pleased that I chose Data Science and haven’t regretted it at any point, as you acquire an incredibly useful toolbox. When I was originally looking for a programme after high school, I was torn between Economics and Computer Science. Data Science is the perfect blend, especially because – through a wide range of elective courses – you get the opportunity to shape your studies more towards computer science, mathematics, statistics, or economics. It’s fantastic because it doesn’t necessarily confine you.”

– Simon