Network Analyst, Программа PhD Oxford Internet Institute (DPhil in Social Data Science)
PhD program of Inter-university Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) and the Department of Sociology of the University of Groningen
PhD program in Network Science at Central European University
PhD program in University if Ljubljana
Data Scientist in Yandex
Operational Analysis and Reporting Development Specialist in Japan Tobacco International
Senior Content Analyst in Thomson Reuters
HSE doctoral program in Sociology
HSE doctoral program in Sociology
Consultant in Nielsen
Consultant in McKinsey & Company
Тьюторский центр: Менеджер
Director in VTB
I am a sociologist, as a last resort social researcher. Probably, like most people who entered the faculty of sociology (there were no departments at HSE at that time) I naively assumed that after four years of undergraduate study, I would get answers to questions about how society functions. I didn't get any answers, but there were only more questions. However, I’ve got two important skills: to formulate questions correctly and to find empirical answers to these questions. Mastering the latter skill was largely due to the study of applied statistics. In my second year of undergraduate studies, I suddenly discovered an interest in data analysis, which has only increased since then and largely determined my future direction of development.
In comparison to my classmates, my acquaintance with the program began a little bit earlier: in my final year of bachelor's degree in sociology, I was lucky enough to get a course on social network analysis from Valentina Kuskova, which turned out to be one of the most productive courses during my studies. At the same time, I learned about my master's degree in applied statistics and network analysis. I must say that I already had several options for continuing my education: two master’s programs in the Netherlands with scholarships that cover the cost of training, as well as a master's degree at HSE in sociology, where I entered early because of the Olympics. I didn't go to the Netherlands for financial and personal reasons, and then at the same time I submitted documents to HSE and made a difficult choice in favor of statistics.
I remember an extremely healthy atmosphere among the students and professors at the program. Perhaps the reason is that there are many mature and motivated students who know exactly what they want to get from education. Important is that the program allowed me to combine the passage of interesting courses in English from leading foreign professors with work in a relatively easy way. And, of course, to make friends from another continent😉. I have a clear feeling that with each new set, with each completed semester, the MASNA program will only get better!
Suddenly, the social sciences burst into my life. I am a doctor, graduated from Moscow State University in 2004, and have been developing medicines for the last ten years.
On August 9, 2017, while sorting out the morning mails, I was hooked on a letter: "Dear friends! The HSE International Laboratory for Applied Network Research invites you to the new master's program "Applied statistics with network analysis"...acceptance of documents until August 16." I swear, if at this moment there were fire letters on the wall "Andrew, go to MASNA" - I would not be surprised at all. Some things are just fated.
Two years passed almost unnoticed. Again, as in my youth: student freedom, lectures and exams - so nice! I've been jumping up and down for two years just thinking that today is a day of lectures and I can go to school — it was worth to go to study. My own Hogwarts, and relatively inexpensive.
Today I am holding a master's degree. These days, diplomas don't have crusts, but now they are three pieces of paper confirming my qualifications (HSE, applied mathematics and computer science). My God, I did it!
I got everything I had hoped and counted on. "Probability theory" by Vladimir Vasilievich Ulyanov, "Nonparametrics" by Vladimir Aleksadrovich Panov, "Generalized linear models" by Herwig Friedl, "Log-linear models" by Tamas Rudas, "Bayesian methods" by Erik Strumbelj, "Machine learning" by Janez Demšar - excellent courses, wonderful teachers. This knowledge alone would be enough for me to continue my career and further development in the field of biostatistics.
But I got a little more than I planned and expected. I admit that for a long time I was extremely skeptical about social network analysis. I was used to controlled experiments, and for a long time network analysis seemed to me to be something ...unreliable. But Vladimir Batagelj's academism and methodism (some professors tell stories about him, how tedious he is, and other professors tell that they developed programs for advanced machine learning based on his lectures), and Valentina Viktorovna Kuskova's vast practical experience changed my attitude. Or maybe this attitude changing happened right after a couple of exam projects (I analyzed the links between IRA fighters)?
In the 4th year of the bachelor's degree program in economic sociology at HSE, I had a course in network analysis with Valentina Viktorovna Kuskova. That spring, I discovered R for the first time and I realized how useful it could be for any kind of analytics. Valentina Viktorovna said that there will be a program in applied mathematics and computer science. But at that moment I decided that it would be too difficult, and what kind of mathematician I would be after sociology program. Nevertheless, after a whole summer of thinking, I finally made a decision: I want to develop and build a career in business in the direction of analytics. I definitely needed knowledge in statistics to be able to work correctly with data. Therefore, a few days before the deadline of the acceptance of documents, I submitted all the necessary documents and entered to the master’s program.
After two years, we can say with confidence that the decision to enter this program was correct. From the 1st year, I started applying my knowledge in practice, by working at VOLKSWAGEN Group Rus (all classes were in the evenings, so I could fully combine work and study). How do I check which economic and marketing indicators affect sales? How do I find out if there is a link between the socio-demographic indicators of the population and the demand for cars? How do I correctly interpret the results of testing an ad or website? Statistics can help to answer these questions, as many other ones.
The master's program provides theoretical knowledge on a huge number of methods. It is very important to understand what statistical areas exist and what they can be used for. This is exactly what this master's program teaches. Personally, I remember sleepless nights and holidays with my laptop in my arms, because sometimes you had to analyze huge amounts of data and several projects, which were layered at the same time. We learned how to draw maps using data that was downloaded from the Internet in real time, and to build complex models that explained some economic phenomena. We learned how to work with both text and numeric information and make it into a full-fledged report.
I was also lucky enough to get to the exchange program with the University of Ghent (Belgium) and to supply my theoretical knowledge of data analysis methods with their application in business. For example, how you can use data mining in business process management, or how you can use predictive and prescriptive analytics to optimize the location of gas stations.
After completing my master's degree, I actively started looking for a job, and I can say that the job found me on its own. In particular, I was very pleasantly surprised of how recruiters and HR managers are very interested in our master's program and the direction of applied statistics, because every day more and more companies are looking for analysts of the same profile as they are trained at HSE. I would like to wish future applicants to be not afraid of difficulties and achieve their goals.
The master’s program focuses on how to make an objective judgment using statistical methods, both simple and advanced, and designed for applied professionals from different fields who need to analyze data, draw conclusions, using principles more thorough than just A/B testing.
This is the visible part of the master’s program. The hidden part of it contains the most "delicious": foreign charismatic teachers, field seminars, and elements of training from MBA programs. Part of the seminars is devoted to how to start a career as a scientific researcher. As far as I can tell, few other master's programs offer this variety.
An interesting feature of the program is the departure from the classical way of teaching statistical methods, namely, from «dry» mathematics to the applicability and interpretation of methods: why, where and how they work. In general, the program focuses not only on graduates of mathematical and computer specialties, but on specialists from other fields, which is its beneficial advantage.
The student himself sets the complexity of studying, as in the «adult» master’s program, while there is a mandatory minimum, of course. A full volume of material with additional sources is able to load an inquisitive student from morning until evening.
Even before entering the master’s program, I had long been thinking about getting a serious education somewhere again, because my first higher education ("software developer"), received in 1999, was no longer enough for me, because I wanted to get some knowledge in a related field. I looked for some different programs, but something usually did not suit me: the composition of the program, the time of lectures, or the territory of educational buildings. I was acquainted with the master’s program at the Open Data Day in March 2017, got a brochure about it, and even then I had the idea that this is it! The idea did not disappear until the end of June, so the documents were filled and... the next two years were probably my best in the last 10 years. It is great to sit down at a desk after a long break, while still getting up-to-date knowledge. Most of all, I liked the subjects on theory of probability, nonparametric statistics, Bayesian statistics, and machine learning. The seminars of the Laboratory Head, Valentina Viktorovna Kuskova, have always been a source of creative inspiration.
I am glad that I passed the studying in the master’s program. It gave me a solid foundation for further growth in the world of data analysis. The whole world itself began to look different.
Perhaps you are currently looking for a suitable master's program because you do not know what to do next, you want to learn a different profession, or your mother said so 😊. I will share with you my history of studying in the program. Due to the fact that I am an analyst and writing long texts does not please me, I have prepared a diagram for you. It describes what I had when I arrived and what I acquired in two years. It is also worth noting that I saw the representatives of the program and the University live only when submitting original documents. All communication about the entering master’s program took place online, as well as the admission itself.
I can say with confidence that the last two years have been the most exciting in my life, and the MASNA program has fully met my expectations. The knowledge base is significantly replenished, and I want to test it in practice as soon as possible.
I found out about the program through a search query in 2016 before it opened — when I was looking for an opportunity for further education. In order not to waste time, I signed up for courses in higher mathematics, organized by the faculty of pre-university training of HSE. Since my first education was in social sciences, this was a reasonable decision. To be honest, without a basic understanding of linear algebra, mathematical analysis, probability theory, and mathematical statistics, it would be more difficult for me to study on the program.
The decision to enroll in the program was not easy. It was a bit scary because the program is new, and I really wanted to wait another year and see how the first group of students copes there. On the other hand, MASNA program is unique in terms of its content, and it, mostly, has no competitors, so why to wait?
The first six months of the program were probably the most intense. Sometimes it seemed that it was impossible to cope with all this flow of new information. On the other hand, we went to all the lectures offered by our program. Fortunately, working in groups was always encouraged, and we often used this opportunity to have time to deliver projects in time. In general, MASNA program is a unique mix of subjects and high-level professors. I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to everyone who made this program a reality. If I were asked to go through the program again, I would do it without thinking.
I learned about the program from my classmate, with whom I studied at the undergraduate level. At that time, I was already thinking about where to go to the master's program, what program and what to do in this way. Therefore, I found information about MASNA. I was still interested in statistics during my undergraduate studies. I thought about linking my future career with analytics, but I didn't know what field I wanted to go to and what I needed to do. MASNA program was an ideal option.
There were 2 days left until the end of the application proccess, I collected all the necessary documents, made a portfolio and rushed to the Admission Committee on the last day of its work. I soon found out that I was enrolled.
Even from the first meeting with our Head of the program, Valentina Kuskova, I realized that I was waiting for a very exciting and tough schedule in the next two years. Numbers of programs for working with data, trying to understand their languages and not making mistakes in every line of code, courses with foreign professors, and huge home projects. I remember that I spent the New Year holidays in my first year with my laptop, doing exam projects in 3 subjects. I went to bed for a couple of hours just so that my body would think I was taking care of it at least a little.
Sometimes I didn't think I could do it. When I was writing my diploma, I thought about taking the break and trying again next year, but I was able to do everything. I was able to identify the research topic and answer the main question: why do you do this at all? I was able to collect data, process it, and write conclusions. In the process, I encountered a mathematical paradox, which I understood and even explained at the defense so that the commission had no questions for me.
I am very glad that I went to this program. These two years were very intense, bright, and emotional. I met great people, discovered the scientific community, conferences, and HSE itself. And if you ask me whether I want to go through all this again, my answer is “YES!”.
"I work as a specialist in analysis in the field of organizational networks. My primary motivation for coming to this program was a desire to build a career in network analysis. The main problem was that I tried to implement several projects, but I didn't know how to do it correctly and didn't know the right people who could help me with this. Through the program, I gained the right connections and valuable skills to build a successful career."
Международная лаборатория прикладного сетевого анализа: Ведущий научный сотрудник
Analytical consultant: World Bank
Международная лаборатория прикладного сетевого анализа: Стажер-исследователь
Leading analyst at the rating agency "RAESK-Analytics"
Data Scientist at VimpelCom
Analyst in Avito
Analytical consultant: PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC
HSE doctoral program in Sociology
HSE doctoral program in Sociology
PhD program in Economics of Natural Disasters in Victoria University of Wellington
Analyst in Profi.ru
HR analytics project supervisor in Deloitte
"I work as a data scientist and analytical consultant at PWC. The most important thing about the Master's program was that it gave me a clear understanding of algorithms for working with absolutely different data. This allows me to be as flexible as possible when I receive many completely different tasks that cannot fit into a single template. All courses in the program form good understandings of data culture and techniques used for particular cases."
These were not easy two years, but they were filled with new knowledge, new friends, new acquaintances and opportunities. #MASNA is not just a master's degree, #MASNA is a family in which they love you, whoever you are, provide unlimited support and teach the coolest things ♥ ️