Colin Hehir

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As part of their graduate programme, the Risk Assurance Solutions department at PwC offered and sponsored the opportunity to study the MSc in Computing part-time. I chose to specialise in Data Analytics as I have a keen interest in quantitative modules such as statistics and computational science, as well as emerging technologies such as AI. The course has exceeded my expectations with its comprehensive scope where most modules also contain a practical element in the form of a project for example, which allows you to showcase the skills you’ve learned to then add to your portfolio for future employment opportunities. 

A significant part of the course is the practicum project, which allows the student to write an academic research paper on an area of interest. My supervisor Professor Alan Smeaton and I looked into how an algorithm for pattern recognition and anomaly detection in time series performed on real-world datasets. I found all the modules offered unique and valuable learning outcomes. We covered essential topics from data management and cloud technologies to machine learning and data visualisation, where they all offered something different and each were enjoyable in its own right. The course has allowed me to acquire the knowledge and skills to become competent in delivering projects using the Cross-Industry Standard Process for Data Mining (CRISP-DM) end-to-end. 

This has been particularly helpful in my current role as a Data Scientist at Bank of Ireland. Here I design, develop and deliver strategic analytics solutions to businesses across the group - using the latest technologies in data exploration, modelling and visualisation to realise the value of our enterprise data. For topics that are unfamiliar or new to you, it may seem very daunting at the beginning, but the lecturers are eager to help and share plenty of resources available to them. Keeping in touch with each module during the semester in terms of tutorials etc. will definitely help during exam time, as well as having a willingness to learn and an inquisitive mindset.

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