I’m having a really hard time with my classes right now. It is three modules compared to last year’s five, but it feels worse and takes up even more time. The classes I’m taking in programming and data science are near impossible to keep up in. We leapt into advanced stuff almost immediately, when I didn’t even know the basics of the software we were using. I couldn’t even load and save states.

I had taken statistical classes before, so I wasn’t a complete noob. But this is a whole different level. One month in and we were already told to do machine learning and neural networks. And it’s not by point and click. It’s typing out the code manually. So something that can be easily done in excel like creating a new column takes lines and lines of code. So I’m totally lost when it comes to the advanced stuff which no one is explaining. I’m basically just copying and pasting blindly at this point. Graduate-level studies assumes a lot, that you have gone out to read and practice by yourself. But even with that, I find it impossible to comprehend what they are teaching.

Oh to be clear, I’m in my second semester of the Masters of Information Studies at NTU. The first semester went by fairly smoothly, and I had B/B+ averages that time. I thought to take up some data science classes and see what the fuss is about. But I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as this! An MBA would have been much easier but much more expensive.

Since its online, I don’t know if others are struggling too. I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t have a coding or computer science background being able to understand what the hell is going on. I have more time than most to teach myself, yet I’m still lost. So I really wonder how the part-timers and others are doing.

I think they are struggling too. In my other groups, I basically wrote an entire project proposal by myself, since no one else was working on it. Another group project seems to have stopped entirely. No one seems to have time.

As sucky as it feels, I should consider myself lucky already. The part-timers are damn jialak. They have to do a full day of work, and come back and work on lectures and papers till late. Their weekends would be burnt for sure. There is no way I could have done that when I was working full-time. It really is a herculean effort.

Not even sure about the payoff. What I’m learning is overkill for most organisations. I’m not going to be a hardcore data scientist either. I realised I don’t have the capacity to go back and take on a demanding job. Right now I just want to take care of my health, and travel when the restrictions are lifted. It feels stressful at the moment, and every day I need to work on my assignments and projects.

I just want to get through with it.. about halfway through now. Too late to quit, and I would be thankful just to pass. Hopefully there is a grade curve and everyone else is doing badly.

Totally looking forward to the end of Apr when the semester ends, and I can take a three-month break. In the mean-time, just grinding away.

6 thoughts on “[Premium] Struggling on the path to upgrade

  1. I don’t know if you’d attempted to see if there are tutorials on YouTube. You’d be surprised to find free and clearly-explained videos online. I know I did, for videos like options trading, Python, etc… Even work-related stuff. Good luck!

    1. I tried everything! But even with the explanations I struggle to apply them to my projects. Only grade curve can save me

  2. If this is not a new course, then surely the university must have known that completing the classes is a problem?

    1. Yeah these are not new… I’m guessing its deliberately advanced and most students are muddling through it. Maybe to separate the weak from the strong? haha

      1. I suppose they have a standard to maintain, lest it becomes a fly-by-night U offering half-past-6 degrees! You are right that most Singaporeans are struggling with a day job and the need (pressure?) to upgrade especially the senior ones, just to keep up & stay relevant. Frankly, I find certifications are more valuable these days.

      2. Certifications are definitely more manageable.. those from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft look pretty good. But its harder to put on the resume. Though it’s difficult now, a Masters from a reputable university will be something that will be better for my career branding. I have the time and ability to sacrifice for that now!

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