When choosing the MSc Business Analytics programme, many of my classmates had the same question: Do I need to know how to write code before starting this course?

The short answer is no… but it definitely helps.

As someone who did an undergraduate degree in computer science, I was confident in my ability to learn data science. Among my cohort, roughly 50% had previous experience with programming. The other half had experience in a combination of statistics, economics, finance and management. To my surprise, both of these backgrounds held their own advantages. In our first three months, our modules have required an equal amount of IT and stats/econometrics. This meant the majority found themselves strong in some areas, and weak in others.

However, some things we all had in common: an interest in technology, comfort with logic/maths based reasoning, and a class full of people willing to share their knowledge.

As I was new to statistics, I had to work hard to get up to speed in the first few weeks. Fortunately, I received a lot of help from my classmates. Likewise, those without prior programming experience found themselves going to people like me for help. Now, only a few months in, we have all progressed massively in these two areas.

If you are unsure whether or not you have the right background to study Business Analytics, you should instead ask yourself what you want to gain from this course. The world of business is becoming increasingly dependent upon data. This course will give you the knowledge and abilities required to thrive in this era of rapid transformation. The curriculum covers a broad range of areas in 12 months. It is fast-paced and challenging, but it is also interesting, exciting and extremely valuable. Whether your background is in IT, business or something entirely different, you will work hard but come out the other end with a modern and unique set of skills; and, like me, you will meet people from all over the world and enjoy yourself along the way.

Mark studies our MSc Business Analytics programme