Tags: Caspersen, data analysis, dual degree, gradschool, students

Combining anthropology with data analysis

Josh Roberts C’22, G’23 shares his academic journey at Drew

November 2022 – Josh Roberts C’22, G’23 declared anthropology a major after taking a business anthropology course in his freshman year and “fell in love with it.”

Knowing he wanted to take advantage of Drew University’s 4+1 dual degree programs, Roberts decided to build on his anthropology degree with a Master of Science in Data Analytics (MSDA).

Roberts shared her journey with us and her plans to apply her degrees towards a successful career in the future.

Why did you choose Drew for your undergraduate degree?
I originally chose Drew because of the swim program as well as the many opportunities Drew presents. The head coach of the swim and dive team introduced Drew as a school with a wide range of opportunities, like New York semesters. I was able to participate in the New York semester on Wall Street during my senior year.

What inspired you to pursue your studies at Drew to explore the Data Analytics dual degree?
I am looking to enter a job market where data analysis is a big part of the job. My cousin, who works in the field, told me that Drew’s Data Analytics program seemed like a great way to stay ahead of the competition and enter the job market before a lot of people. For these reasons, I decided to pursue my education, as well as athletics, at Drew.

Tell us about Drew’s men’s swim team and his involvement as a grad student.
I had an extra year of NCAA eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The schedule is a bit busy, but my teachers and coaches have been very understanding. I’m very much enjoying my last year of swimming and looking forward to the team’s success this year.

How Does Drew’s MSDA Complement Your Undergraduate Anthropology Degree?
When I observe data and graph it, I can begin to understand why the data is shaped the way it is. Anthropology is the study of culture and humans. As an undergrad, I took many business anthropology courses that studied consumer culture and used ethnography to save dying businesses or to take a closer look at how humans respond to certain aspects of a market.

Having the knowledge to study the surrounding culture, for example, NBA fans, I can examine data trends and understand why anomaly may exist or why data trends are as they are. Instead of making assumptions or just treating the data as numbers, I can consult ethnographies that have been written in the field and perhaps learn more about consumers than just looking at the data.

What are your career aspirations after graduation?
I hope I will find a job in the mobile game market. I have family ties in this market and it is the one that interests me. I was always a fan of video games growing up and mobile gaming is a fast growing industry with a lot of potential right now.

I love watching market data. Mobile games are growing much faster than video games on Playstation or Xbox due to accessibility. Almost everyone has a phone, but not everyone has access to an Xbox or Playstation. I would like to be able to work in this field and know more about this subject.