Columbia MSOR vs Berkeley MIDS for data science

Hi there. I was accepted into Columbia's MSOR program yesterday, and I have 2 weeks to deposit 4K to secure my spot. I also have an offer from Berkeley's Online MIDS program (For data science). Does anyone have insights on which program would be better for job placement? I read a couple of reviews online about Columbia's master programs being "cash cows", especially the non-financial engineering programs. 

A lot of people have expressed concerns about MSOR's lack of competitiveness against MSFE for financial engineering, but I'm personally more interested in data science instead. What is your take on this? 

About my background:

Undergrad: Top public school in the U.S. (UMich, Berkeley, UCLA, Georgia Tech, etc.)

Major: Business/Econ/Commerce/Accounting etc

GPA: 3.7+

Have a couple of major internships in business strategy & operations at large tech firms and tier2 consulting firms

Here are my pros and cons of my options:

Columbia MSOR - 

Pro: immense flexibility to choose classes (planned to do many of my electives in data), NYC location advantage for part time internships, Columbia as a brand, in-person experience

Con: lower bar/quality of classmates (MSOR is the easiest to get into out of all the programs in the IEOR department), internal competition? (200+ ppl in this program makes it harder to compete for the same positions), career search?

Berkeley MIDS -

Pro: more technical than Columbia's MSOR

Con: Completely online, fixed curriculum, career search?

A lot of the people who take MIDS program are working part time, so I also am wondering if doing MIDS without a job would be worth it. 

Again, primarily concerned with the career placement for the programs, as well as "internal competition". Thank you!

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Mar 27, 2021 - 9:02pm

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