11 Data Science & Analytics Courses in Singapore that equip you with the hottest skills of 21st century

‘Data Scientist’ has been named the sexiest job of the 21st century by Harvard Business Review. The same article tells us that “demand has raced ahead of supply” and that the lack of data scientists “is becoming a serious constraint in some sectors.” A 2011 study by McKinsey Global Institute found that “there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data” – a shortage to the tune of 140,000 to 190,000 in the United States alone by 2018.

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With 2017 now upon us, it would probably be a good time to jump on to the data science bandwagon – education in Singapore certainly has. Here, we’ve aggregated the possible options to equip yourself with this skill in Singapore.

Competitive data science programmes should provide rigorous training in mathematics and statistics, as well as cutting-edge tools used in the industry. Most leading data scientists in the industry today come from solid statistics, mathematics, computer science & even economics backgrounds (at the graduate level or above) as these are fields where you’re likely to get a strong foundation in quantitative skills.

However, a new set of specifically named data science programmes has been cropping up around the world. This is likely to keep pace with the growing industry demand, and perhaps to offer unique inter-disciplinary curriculums that ‘data science’ is defined by – it is a combination of computer science, statistics, operations research, engineering, business insights & strategy.

Programmes which offer a similar skill-set to data science, but with more emphasis on business, can usually be found under the title of ‘business analytics’ or just ‘analytics’. We’ve added these programmes to the list to give you another point of view. ‘Business intelligence’ is another keyword to look out for.

Without further ado, we give you a primer on data science offerings in Singapore:

1. National University of Singapore – B.Sc. Data Science & Analytics

  • Four-year honours degree
  • Collaboration between Faculty of Science and School of Computing
  • Within Faculty of Science, jointly offered by Department of Statistics and Applied Probability and Department of Mathematics
  • Brand-new programme; the first cohort started in AY2016/2017
  • First Data Science and Analytics Degree Programme in Singapore
  • Industry-driven capstone project
  • Modules in mathematics, statistics & computer science
  • Per Annum Tuition Fees (for AY2016/2017 only):
  • Citizens on MoE TG: S$8,050; PR on MoE TG: S$11,250
  • Int’l Students on MoE TG: S$17,100
  • Students not on MoE TG: S$37,550

2. National University of Singapore – M.S. Business Analytics

  • Part-time (4 semesters or 2 years); Full-time (2 semesters or 1 year)
  • Collaboration between NUS Business School (3rd in Asia) and NUS School of Computing (1st in Asia)
  • Close industry links – e.g. IBM
  • Industry-linked capstone consulting project
  • Five essential modules: statistics, deterministic operations research, analytics in managerial economics, decision-making technologies, data management and warehousing
  • Pre-requisites:
  • First-year calculus and linear algebra
  • Good GRE/GMAT Quants score (some exceptions)
  • 2 years’ industry experience
  • Overall Tuition Fee(as at December 2016)
  • Citizens & PR: S$42,000
  • International: S$51,360

3. National University of Singapore –B.Sc. Business Analytics

  • Four-year honours degree
  • Offered by NUS’ School of Computing
  • Additional participation from Business School, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • First two years: inter-disciplinary curriculum – mathematics, statistics, accounting, marketing, economics, decision science, industrial & systems engineering, computer science, information systems
  • Years3 & 4: Electives such as in logistics, retailing, healthcare,

nus-b-sc-business-analytics

  • Per Annum Tuition Fees (for AY2016/2017 only):
  • Citizens on MoE TG: S$8,050; PR on MoE TG: S$11,250
  • Int’l Students on MoE TG: S$17,100
  • Students not on MoE TG: S$37,550

4. Lithan Academy – NICF Diploma in Business Analytics

  • EduTrust PEI – registered with CPE
  • Full-time; 9 months
  • Postgraduate diploma with certificate awarded by Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA)
  • Curriculum: Big Data, Hadoop, Pig, Hive, MapReduce, RDBMS and more
  • 50% lectures, 50% hands-on tutorials
  • Full Programme Fee: S$2800
  • WDA funding for citizens/PR
  • Pre-requisites: Graduate/diploma-holder with experience in Java, PHP, Python, C# or other object-oriented languages.
  • Meant for existing IT professionals to jumpstart Big Data Analytics projects in their organisations
  • Target Job Role: Data Engineer

5. Lithan Academy – NICF Diploma in IT Services (Database Management)

  • EduTrust PEI – registered with CPE
  • Full-time; 9 months
  • Certificate awarded by Singapore WDA
  • Known as ‘Professional Diploma in Business Intelligence’
  • Six Core Modules = Introduction to BI, BI Application, Data Modelling & Transformation, BI Queries & Reports, Strategic Use of BI, BI Project
  • Students who successfully finish this program receive SAP Alliance Certificate and are eligible to take the SAP BI Certification Exam.
  • Target Job Roles: Business Intelligence Analyst/Consultant
  • Programme Fee (before WDA subsidy): S$18,000
  • Pre-requisites: a bachelor’s degree OR a diploma and 5 years’ work experience; IELTS score of 6.5 (with exceptions)
  • Can upgrade to master’s level with further qualifications

6. Byte Academy Singapore – Certificate in Python Full Stack + Data Science

  • EduTrust PEI – registered with CPE
  • Full-time; 3 months
  • Pre-requisite: Complete the short course – Fundamentals of Computer Programming in Python
  • Curriculum: data acquisition, exploration, analysis, and visualization, big data and cluster computing, statistical modelling and inference, and machine learning
  • Programme Fee: S$10,000 before subsidies
  • Partnered with IMDA.
  • 70% subsidy for Citizens
  • Byte Academy is at 991D Alexandra Road; nearest MRT is Labrador Park

7. NTU – Master of Science in Analytics

  • One-year programme by coursework
  • Interdisciplinary: School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences (SPMS), School of Computer Engineering, and Nanyang Business School
  • Curriculum: statistics, optimization, and data analysis; exposure to software systems, practical applications, and case studies.
  • Meant for both fresh graduates and working adults with degrees in quantitative majors
  • For AY2017/2018, the programme targets to take up to 40 students.
  • Industry partners – PWC, Breadtalk, Charles & Keith, JR Group Holdings
  • Students will be attached to one of the partners as interns
  • Tuition Fees for AY2016/2017 (inclusive of GST):
    • Citizens: S$31,458
    • PR: S$40,446
    • International: S$50,558

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  • Note: SPMS also offers a Business Analytics track in their B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematical Sciences programme

8. NTU – Bachelor of Business, Business Analytics specialisation

  • Three-year honours degree
  • Nanyang Business School – one of Asia’s top business schools
  • Specialisation starts from Year 2 of the bachelor’s degree.
  • Curriculum: business insights, data modelling, data management focus in business operations, digital marketing, finance & accounting
  • Tuition Fees per annum (2016 rate):
  • Citizens on MoE TG: S$9,250; PR on MoE TG: S$12,950
  • Int’l Students on MoE TG: S$19,700
  • Students not on MoE TG: S$36,280
  • Admits 60 students each year
  • Career opportunities: management & technology consulting, consumer analytics & marketing, supply chain management, risk management and business forecasting across industries (retail, hospitality, healthcare, finance)

9. SMU – Master of IT in Business, Analytics track

  • Full-time 1-2 years; Part-time 2-4 years
  • By School of Information Systems
  • Meant for professionals with computer science, information systems, engineering or science background
  • Pre-requisites: GRE/GMAT; TOEFL/IELTS; bachelor’s degree in fields mentioned above; 2 or more years of relevant work experience preferred
  • Curriculum: Analytics Technology & Applications, IT & Project Management, General Management for Technology & Operations, Internship/Capstone Project
  • Strong industry links; industry seminar and networking once a month
  • Two intakes each year: January, August
  • Tuition Fees (Aug 2017 intake onwards): S$48,000

10. Auston Institute of Management – Higher Diploma in Business Intelligence

  • EduTrust PEI – registered with CPE
  • Full-time 16 months; part-time 24 months
  • 12 core modules including professional development, programming, DBMS, BI, project management, systems security & business research methods
  • Next intakes in February, June, October 2017
  • Pre-requisites:
    • 18 years or older
    • One of: 12 years of formal education, A Levels, Auston’s Foundation Certificate Programme
    • IELTS 5.5 or equivalent (with exceptions)
  • Overall Tuition Fee (as of December 2016):
    • Full-time: S$14,700
    • Part-time: S$10,500

11. James Cook University – Bachelor of Business, Business Intelligence & Information Systems major

  • Full-time: two years
  • Curriculum: Fundamentals of Problem Solving and Programming, Web Design and Development, Information Processing and Management, Database Modelling, Collective Intelligence & Social Networks, e-Strategic Management, Data Mining, Information Security
  • Pre-requisites:
    • 12 years education OR JCU Singapore Foundation Programme
    • IELTS 6.0 OR TOEFL iBT 79 and above OR JCU ELPP
  • Overall Tuition Fee (including GST, as of December 2016):
    • Citizens/PR: S$48,741
    • International: S$50,154
  • Intakes in March, July, November
  • Target Careers: business analyst, e-business manager, information systems consultant, project manager

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As always, choose a programme in alignment with your needs and situation. You could stay updated with the latest happenings in data science by following DataScience SG on Facebook or by attending their events. Be on the lookout for data science ‘boot camps’ as well as MOOC specializations, though these may not give you adequate depth to start a career in this field.

Disclaimer: Programmes are listed in no particular order; fees and other data accurate as of December 2016.

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Spatika is a final year Computer Engineering student at National University of Singapore. Before that, she lived in Chennai, California & Canada. She enjoys Journalism & Psychology in addition to CS & all things Tech, and is on the look-out for a mythical field involving all three. She likes getting to really know people & playing Agony Aunt, so feel free to get in touch if you're going through a rough spot; you can find her on WordPress or Twitter(click below). She also finds it weird to talk about herself in the third person, so she will end this here.

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