Data Science: The Numbers of Our Lives

The rise of big data over the past few years has motivated universities to offer programs to prepare students to be the data scientists of the future. For example, this fall Columbia University will offer new master’s and certificate programs that emphasize data, and the University of San Francisco will soon graduate its first class of students with a master’s degree in analytics. Data science also is being taught at New York University, Stanford University, Northwestern, George Mason University, Syracuse University, University of California, Irvine, and Indiana University. Some students intend to apply their degrees to e-commerce, in which consumer data functions as a currency, while others will enter government service; for example, analyzing tax return data to create algorithms to detect fraudulent filings. Employment opportunities for data science graduates will abound, as the United States needs an increase of up to 60 percent of such graduates, according to McKinsey Global Institute. In five years, half a million data science jobs and a shortfall of up to 190,000 qualified data scientists will exist. To address the nascent academic discipline, universities are working to define curricula that span statistics, analytics, computer science, math, and other specialized fields of study.

More info: New York Times (04/11/13) Claire Cain Miller

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