Data Science Masters

July 17, 2020

Student Profile: Vikrant Bhosale

Hi Vikrant! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was raised in Mumbai which is the financial hub for India. It is also a densely-populated city with almost 19 million people. I completed my bachelor’s degree in electronics in 2000. Since then, I have been working as a software engineer. I moved to the U.S. in 2010 to work at Microsoft. During my 10 years at Microsoft, I found myself gravitating towards problems that involved analyzing and processing huge amounts of data. After working at Microsoft for a decade, I transitioned to working at startups, including one that focused on natural language processing and voice recognition. I currently work at a company called Sift. Sift uses machine learning and data science to provide digital trust and safety for businesses.

Why did you choose the M.S. in Data Science program at the University of Washington?

Apart from the fact that the University of Washington is renowned, I liked the fact that a lot of the curriculum’s focus is on honing the basic fundamentals of data science. This makes learning advanced techniques easier. I also liked the fact that it is a cohort-based program. The diversity of professional backgrounds in my cohort means that I get to learn from my fellow students and make lasting connections across industries. I also like the flexibility of the program. The part-time program enables me to earn my degree while working at Sift.

You recently finished your first year in the program. What was your favorite class? Why?

It is difficult to pick one course. I loved Statistical Machine Learning for Data Scientists. I liked the fact that the professor chose to teach us the basics and help us understand the fundamentals behind several machine learning techniques. The course empowered me and gave me the skills to teach myself any advanced technique in machine learning in the future. I also liked the way the professor designed the homework. Our assignments required us to explore concepts on our own.

How has the M.S. in Data Science program shaped your career outlook so far?

I find myself proposing more innovative solutions and new ways to present my ideas to my colleagues at Sift. The MSDS program has been a great career booster, and I have already used what I learned in to the program to take on bigger projects and opportunities.

What tips do you have for future students?

Make sure you understand the “why” behind your decision to earn your master’s degree in data science. This motivation will inspire you. If you have a family, talk to them and make sure you have their support. It would be impossible to work full-time and be successful in the program without the support of my family. If you are working full-time, make sure you schedule time for studying and completing homework assignments. Take advantage of the cohort experience. Your classmates will go on to work at very influential companies in the future. This is the best time to form a lasting connection with them.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience in the program?

My experience in the program has been great. I like the fact that several guest speakers from industry come to our classes every quarter. The fact that they find it worthwhile to meet MSDS students speaks to the reputation of the program.

I also like the fact that the curriculum is rigorous and our professors have very high standards for students. This ensures a high-quality experience.

Another thing to note is that the cohort is extremely diverse with respect to demographics and professional experience. This makes it a very well-balanced program where you learn from different perspectives.