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Data Science Careers: UW Graduates in the Workplace

UW Online Collaboratives May 17, 2023
Photo of a female data scientist graduate wearing glasses who is typing in front of multiple desktops.

As one of the fastest-growing professions in the job market today, there are a number of data science opportunities available for graduates of the University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Data Science. Many have found employment in the industry as data analysts, engineers, and developers for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and everywhere in between. Graduates say the master’s degree program has helped them become experts in the field and improve data science practices at their organizations.

Data Science Careers

Cole Kline, 2022 MS graduate, UW-La CrosseA photo of UW Data Science graduate Cole Kline.

Lead Financial Analyst at American International Group (AIG)

American International Group is a multinational finance and insurance corporation that offers financial services and property casualty insurance.

How his degree improved his career: “The MSDS degree improved my career by strengthening my technical skill set and problem solving mindset. One thing that I found particularly helpful was how the program made it a focus to ensure that graduates are able to communicate technical topics/ideas to non-technical business users. It’s been my experience that this type of miscommunication is quite common in the workplace, so to have the skills/knowledge to mitigate these risks has been invaluable to me.”

What he loves about his job: “The thing I love most about my job is the problem solving aspect. A large part of what I do at AIG is fixing/automating outdated broken financial reporting data flows. I’ve found that taking an existing process, breaking it down, identifying its flaws, coming up with a solution, and implementing said solution is one of the most rewarding activities.”

Asim Kanungo, 2020 MS graduate, UW-Eau Claire A photo of UW Data Science graduate Asim Kanungo.

Data Engineer at Amazon

Amazon is a multinational technology company with services in e-commerce, cloud computing, and digital streaming.

How his degree improved his career: “I joined the UW MSDS to learn the language the economist, statistician, and data scientist are talking about. This was purely to make me a more mature data engineer, and this program did exactly that.”

What he loves about his job: “The first thing I love in my job is pure implementation of the data scientist concept in an ultra big data world. I work with many data scientists, research scientists, and economists in prediction and routing tech. It gives me happiness when I understand the task from my stakeholder and play a part in bringing and transforming the data they need for their model.”

Allie DeLonay, 2019 MS graduate, UW-Stevens Point A photo of UW Data Science graduate Allie DeLonay.

Data Scientist at SAS

SAS is an independent vendor in the business intelligence market and specializes in business analytics software and services.

How her degree improved her career: “While I had worked as a data scientist for many years prior to getting my degree, I first learned about the field of data ethics while earning my MSDS degree. The data ethics course sparked my passion in the field, and now I am one of many folks participating and contributing to the field!”

What she loves about her job: “I love the intersection of technology and people my job offers. The simplified mission of my practice is to make sure that wherever our technology shows up, it doesn’t hurt people; moreover, it helps people to thrive. I love that I can use my background in sociology and data science to inspire both my coworkers and other data scientists around the world to innovate responsibly and develop trustworthy AI.”

Eduardo Castro-Puello, 2019 MS graduate, UW-Green Bay A photo of UW Data Science graduate Eduardo Castro-Puello.

Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft

Microsoft is a multinational technology corporation known for its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office suite.

How his degree improved his career: “The MSDS program helped me to transition from an engineering career to a data science career, where I learned the applied statistical methods and data mining techniques to start working on data science. But MSDS was not just statistics—it also covered very important topics such as data visualization and data communication, which are ridiculously important in my work at Microsoft. The data and the numbers in a table would not have the same meaning and would not obtain the same traction as if we did the proper communication and data visualization to tell the story. The MSDS degree has given me the perfect turn in my career. I am now working in a team fully dedicated to data science and AI, creating impact at a global level.”

What he loves about his job: “I enjoy working on state-of-the-art topics, creating AI features for Microsoft Dynamics, analyzing and properly presenting the data results to the decision-makers here at Microsoft, and creating an impact on millions of people across the world. I also enjoy being able to work and understand other areas in the industry and not just focusing on engineering.”

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Austin Hagerty, 2018 MS graduate, UW-La Crosse A photo of UW Data Science graduate Austin Hagerty.

Director of Data and AI at Microsoft

Microsoft is a multinational technology corporation known for its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office suite.

How his degree improved his career: “I would not be in the position I am if I had not gone through the program and had that foundational knowledge and practitioner knowledge. Each step of the way, the program has benefited me. I’ve been able to be an effective data science leader because I can understand the concepts and speak the language.”

What he loves about his job: “It is a great way to expand my knowledge, to help Microsoft deliver value for customers through data science, and it’s in a field that is growing and booming. There’s a lot that I’ve learned over the years too that I’m able to apply to this role because of the UW program.”

Read Austin’s Story: UW Data Science Grad Takes On Leadership Role at Microsoft, Co-Authors New Book

Venmathi Shanmugam, 2018 MS graduate, UW-Eau Claire A photo of UW Data Science graduate Venmathi Shanmugam.

Modeling and Simulations Engineer at US Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides healthcare services to military veterans at medical centers and outpatient clinics across the country. Venmathi works for the VA office in Austin, Texas.

How her degree improved her career: “I have a brand new portfolio, including knowledge and skill set on all cutting-edge technologies and tools like NLP, deep learning, AI, Hadoop, Python, R, SQL, Spark, Pig, Scala, and Java, and I find myself becoming useful to my team more and more from everything I learned from the UW courses. It’s a really good feeling when you actually apply your learned skills at work and know that your project can get you a lot more than good grades.”

What she loves about her job: Venmathi manages large amounts of government data pertaining to veterans healthcare and finance. She also holds responsibilities in the supply chain division of her department—using data to positively impact patient needs.

Read Venmathi’s Story: From Dentistry to Data Science: A UW Grad’s Career Journey

Victoria Wenker, 2018 MS graduate, UW-Eau Claire A photo of UW Data Science graduate Victoria Wenker.

Lead ML Engineer – Systems at General Mills

General Mills is a multinational manufacturer of processed consumer foods.

How her degree improved her career: “The UW MSDS program helped me transition from a data engineer to a data scientist. It helped me improve my coding skills, my statistics knowledge, and communicate effectively with business owners. When I started as a data scientist, I felt that I had the knowledge and skills to effectively do my job.”

What she loves about her job: “I am no longer a data scientist, but I work very closely with data scientists. I consult on machine learning workflows and manage our analytics platform. In my current role, I am constantly supporting new and existing use cases and I love it! I love being able to help others and learn how data science and analytics are being used within General Mills!”

Take the Next Step

Ready to explore UW Data Science? Start here.

If you have questions about the master’s degree program, such as how to apply or which courses you’ll take, our enrollment advisers are happy to answer them.

Call: 608-800-6762

Programs: Data Science