How to Get a Data Science Degree Online while Traveling the World
By Space Coast Daily // December 11, 2019
There’s no denying that data science is set to be one of the hottest job sectors in the next coming years. The rise of AI, machine learning, IoT, and big data are largely responsible for this, and more opportunities are to come, notably in the field of business, finance, healthcare, and science.
However, data science is a complex field, and you need to get the right formation in order to get access to these opportunities. Thankfully, there are plenty of great programs out there.
One of the options is getting the degree online. Online degrees from accredited institutions are highly respected, not to mention that data science is one of those fields that are naturally suited to online learning.
The best part is that you don’t have to be tied up and stay in one location when you’re studying online. You could actually travel the world and get your formation on the go. Here’s how you could get your online data science degree while travelling the globe.
Start with the Right School
The first thing you have to do is find a great school that is accredited and respected. You also have to make sure that you’ll actually like their programs and how they’re taught.
In addition, you should also look for a college that will give you some sort of flexibility as far as schedules go to facilitate things for you. Most online colleges will also allow you to stretch or condense your learning time if you want to get your degree as fast as possible or alleviate your workload.
One example of an online college with a great data science program is UNSW Sydney. UNSW online courses can be taken from all over the globe, and you can get your master of science, graduate diploma, or graduate certificate in data science or analytics completely online.
Another very important thing you’ll have to consider when picking an online school is support. As you’ll be moving a lot, it’s very important that you have a team that will be readily accessible if you’re experiencing any issues. You should also look at the teacher-student ratio. When the ratio is lower, this usually means that the teachers will be more accessible, which is a major plus.
Prepare for Logistics
While it’s possible to get your degree while travelling, it will be easier in some places than others. This is why you should have a clear itinerary first, and check how good the infrastructure is wherever you’re going.
And we’re not only talking about internet connection. You should also check things like the healthcare service, roads, public transit, water quality, safety, and amenities like shared working space for instance.
You should ideally pick places that are safe for tourists with good transportation, reliable electricity, phone, mobile, and internet. Your best bet is to go with cities that are popular with the digital nomad crowd. Some of the examples include Chiang Mai, Medellin, Lisbon, Kiev, and Mexico City, just to name a few.
Another point for these cities is that the cost of living is pretty low there, so your dollar will stretch a lot longer than it would back home.
Invest in the Proper Hardware
You should also think about getting the right hardware. A good idea would be to bring two laptops. Yes, this might seem like a big expense, but it’s well worth it.
Theft is an actual risk, and you don’t want to be stuck in another country trying to buy a laptop from somewhere you know nothing about.
One option could be to buy a cheap laptop as a backup, or to carry with you in public places. Chromebooks are great for this. These work on Google’s Chrome OS and can be found for as little as $200. These are also usually very compact. However, note they are largely dependent on an internet connection, and are browser dependent, so make sure that your courses are accessible via browser.
Another option would be to buy a refurbished unit on eBay or a site like Newegg. You’ll find great laptops for under $300 there that will give you everything that you need.
The next thing you’ll have to think about is a portable internet connection. You just never know what can happen, and you could end up with no internet for a while, so this is always good to have.
While some services will offer global Wi-Fi hotspots, these are not always the most reliable. The best option here is to get a dual sim phone that you’ll be able to use for an internet connection. It would also be a good idea that you check how much mobile data costs in the country you’re going to.
Another important piece of hardware you’ll have to invest in is a power bank. A good power bank will not only allow you to keep your small devices running, but bigger ones could allow you to recharge your laptop multiple times on one charge. We suggest you get a power bank with at least a 20000mah capacity that can charge items up to 85v like laptops and tablets.
Pay Special Attention to Time Zones
Another thing you’ll have to plan for is time zones. This is especially important during periods when you have assignments. Not keeping up with time zones could result in you missing important calls, classes, or deadlines.
So, make sure that you keep track of assignment dates, and know exactly what those are wherever you are. Also, knowing your time zones will ensure that you won’t have to wake up a three in the morning for classes.
You should also make sure that you always keep your assignments in mind when switching destinations. Don’t book a 20+ hour flight to Phnom Peng right in the middle of assignment week. Your schedule has to fit around your coursework, not the other way around.
Studying while travelling the world might seem like a dream, and in many ways, it is. However, always make sure that you have your logistics down, go with the right college, and juggle work, travel, and play efficiently.