Enrolling in the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) can be a life-transforming experience. Not only will you learn new skills—in areas that employers want—you take part in a rigorous learning process that sets you up for long-term success in your career path. That's exactly what Matthew Long, a graduate of the MPP in Data Science, discovered.
A single step
Matthew's journey began when he realized he wanted to expand his career options beyond his first job after college. Matthew loved his work—especially the analytical side of things involving data—and has enjoyed solving problems since he took engineering and programming courses in high school. In fact, he originally went to college for engineering but transferred to biology partway through, and ended up combining both passions in his early career working for the US Environmental Protection Agency in South Carolina.
When it came time for exploring the next stage of his career, Matthew looked for fields that matched his interests. "I took courses in both engineering and statistics," he said, "and ended up repeating some of them when I changed majors. But it gave me a good foundation for analytical techniques and statistical sampling." He explained that when you see a number on a screen, you can begin to understand the process by which it got there. For example, "In photosynthesis," he said, "it's a big process. On the surface you understand how it works, but there's a thousand other processes inside of it, and each of them are iterative. I wanted to understand how all the cogs in [that] machine work."
The intersection of interests and jobs
Matthew was looking for career options that would leverage his scientific skills and be highly sought after by employers, and that led him to look into Data Science programs. "I read about data science, and specifically the MPP program, after searching for options online," Matthew recalled. He started exploring and found the Microsoft program had more credibility than others. Its rigor and the capstone project at the end solidified for Matthew that the MPP was the right choice. "[Some programs offered] learning data science in three weeks. I felt like something like that needed to take longer."
Matthew had heard of Microsoft certifications before. "The brand name was there, and the time it took to complete seemed right," he said. "So, I went for it." Even while completing the MPP, Matthew was able to add skills to his resume that helped him secure interviews. Matthew continued to study during his evenings and weekends, and he completed the courses and his capstone project, which examined the mortgage loan crisis. "Every single interview[er] asked about that," he said. "And having that practical experience was absolutely helpful."
From learning to career change
Within weeks of completing his MPP in Data Science program, Matthew entertained multiple job offers, including one in California. He opted to stay in his home state of South Carolina. "If I'd been open to moving, especially to New England and the Northeast, [I would have found a job] much faster," he guessed. He wanted to stay close to friends and family, and even with that location limitation, soon had a dream career.
For Matthew, a career in Data Science is the culmination of many personal interests. The scientific method and data analysis of biology, the logic and process of playing and teaching chess, and abstract methods of problem solving have always been passions for Matthew. Applying passions to a career in such a fulfilling way is something most people only imagine.
It can work for you too
When he started the program, Matthew was very busy with his full-time job, his family and their activities, and his nationwide search for job opportunities. In a perfect world, he said “I’d have taken a month off and done it all at once.” However, he was able to fit the self-paced MPP into his lifestyle, earn the MPP in Data Science, and secure a dream job.
Discover which doors MPP can open for you. In addition to Data Science, MPP offers programs in Big Data, Front-End Web Development, Cloud Administration, and DevOps. Whether you want to advance at your current job or change career paths into a new passion, MPP gives you the skills to land those jobs.
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