In the same way that world economies once ran on gold and oil, Dinesh Kumar Govindaraj explains that data has become the most valuable resource of the Information Age.
"Data science, computing power and artificial intelligence turn raw data into valuable insights that modern organizations need," says Govindaraj about the reason he decided to undertake a master's degree in data science.
Excellent student/faculty ratios, achievements in data contests, flexible schedules and instructors who are industry experts are only some of the reasons why Govindaraj chose to pursue a Master of Science in Computing and Data Analytics at Saint Mary's University.
Govindaraj knew he wanted to move to Canada from India for its welcoming nature and safe and secure environment. The Saint Mary's program was a top contender when he searched for programs in the field, and he says it has been the best decision he has ever made in his life.
"The opportunity to experience inclusive learning and to study with highly experienced professionals is a dream for any techie," he says. "The MSc CDA program elevates your data science knowledge and provides opportunity for professional accomplishment. Our exposure to technology is invaluable."
Govindaraj's graduate program is a 16-month professional program designed to meet the complex challenges associated with Big Data. It combines essential aspects of computing and data analytics: software design, development, customization and management; along with analytics and business intelligence. The program prepares students for rewarding careers in the data science industry through experiential learning opportunities and industry interaction.
The program didn't come without its challenges for Govindaraj.
"Winter in Halifax!" he laughs, having started the program in January. "Jokes aside, the biggest challenge was to keep myself focused on learning cutting-edge technologies day in and out, while managing internship and course works," he says.
Highly professional instructors and tutors and the flexible learning schedule helped Govindaraj meet his challenges head on, and he's currently giving back as an academic mentor to MSc CDA students. Govindaraj is grateful to his mentor, Dr. Pawan Lingras, Saint Mary's MSc CDA program director.
"The way he motivates students, his remarkable career, and his commitment, professionalism and care he shows for every student has greatly influenced me, and I am still learning from him," Govindaraj says.
Govindaraj is pleased with the way the experience he gained has opened doors in his career.
"It checked off all the boxes both academically and professionally, and helped me land a data science internship—and ultimately a full-time position—with HomeEXCEPT.
"The career guidance, leadership connections and industry partner meet-ups in the program brought out the best in me," he says.
Govindaraj's passion for data science and the welcoming community at Saint Mary's University made him a "SMUdent" first, and a data scientist second.