The Master of Data Analytics (MDA) is a one-year, full-time, interdisciplinary, professional science master’s program designed to produce high-skilled professionals ready to pursue an analytics-focused career. Once our students have gained the necessarily technical and business skills through their coursework, they must complete a four-month full-time work term. The MDA program prepares our students for placements at all levels of government, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies. They are ideally suited for positions with titles like: Data Scientist, Big Data/Data Architect, Business Analyst, Operations Analyst, Data Engineer. 

Employer Benefits

  • Gain access to innovative, motivated students who have both advanced technical knowledge in data analytics and an understanding of business concepts and ethics, communications and finance.
  • MDA students are a reliable, responsible, and cost-effective solution for many employers seeking data analytics solutions.
  • Opportunity to build a talent “pipeline” to provide on-going support to business projects while supporting Western and the Faculty of Science in developing industry-ready graduates who will be able to meet a growing need for data analytics expertise within your organization.
  • The Master of Data Analytics (MDA) is a registered co-operative education program with the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Development and enables an employer to be eligible for the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit that can reimburse an employer up to $3,000 of the costs incurred as a result of hiring an internship student.
  • The ability to 'test drive' potential employees during a work integrated learning experience (co-op) allowing organizations to identify a strong ‘fit’ for full-time positions that may be available in the near future.
  • Given the timeframe of the program, should a strong ‘fit’ be identified, employers may choose to offer our students extended placement terms, short-term contracts or full-time jobs, which are still eligible for the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit. The first four months of any such option will still be considered internship and thus be eligible for an additional grant to offset up to $3,000 in costs to the employer.

Employer Expectations

As a co-op host, we ask that you commit to the following:

  • Offer the students work projects that are relevant, and degree-related
  • Provide orientation and training for the student when they begin their work term
  • Impart your experience and wisdom through regular supervision and mentorship

Typical Salary and Costs

The average hourly wage for an MDA candidate is typically within $20-25.  For a four-month placement, which equals about 500 hours of work, the overall cost, excluding benefits, will range from $10,000 - $12,000.

All of our four-month placements are eligible for The Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit (maximum credit $3,000 per four-month placement). Other funding for employers include the MITACS – Accelerate program ($15,000 per four-month placement), where grants are available to offset the cost of employing our students.

Hiring a Student – The Process

Students will first complete academic studies between September-April and then a work integrated learning experience from May-August or beyond. As of May, candidates are available for 8, 12, 16-month work-terms, contract term positions or full-time roles. 

MDA recruiting may begin in the Fall term; however, the most significant recruiting period for work term positions is typically from January-April with organizations posting opportunities, students applying, organizations interviewing selected candidates, and formal offers being extended to students throughout the months of February, March and April.

Action Timeline
Summer work placement jobs posted to MDA class* Starting November 1
Applications for posted positions typically due January  - March 
Interviews for posted positions held January -  April
Students begin their placements From April 30 onward
Identification of learning outcomes and professional development for students Within the first two weeks of the internship
Mid-term evaluation of learning outcomes At the end of eight weeks
End-of-term evaluation of learning outcomes End of internship
Review of student final report August

*Please note: Employers are encouraged to submit summer work term postings by January 31 at the latest in order to gain access to the greatest number of applicants.