University of Pittsburgh Launches Online Master in Data Science Program for Non-STEM Backgrounds

University of Pittsburgh Launches Online Master in Data Science Program for Non-STEM Backgrounds

The University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information (SCI) is offering an accessible and flexible online Master in Data Science (MDS) program starting in 2024, allowing individuals without a data science-related degree or STEM experience to gain valuable skills in the field.

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information (SCI) is breaking barriers by launching an online Master in Data Science (MDS) program that is open to individuals without a background in data science or STEM fields. The program, offered through the popular online learning platform Coursera, aims to provide accessible and flexible education in data science to learners from all walks of life. With a curriculum focused on real-world applications and ethical considerations, the MDS program seeks to equip students with the skills needed to excel in the rapidly growing field of data science.

The Rise of Online Learning and its Continued Popularity

Online learning has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. The convenience and accessibility of online education have attracted students from all over the world. According to McKinsey research, most higher education students want to continue incorporating online learning into their education even after the pandemic. Online colleges and universities in the US currently enroll nearly 15% of all postsecondary learners, with public colleges alone enrolling approximately 8.5 million online students in 2021. The demand for online education is expected to continue growing, with institutions recognizing the importance of building online capacity for long-term viability.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Master in Data Science Program

The University of Pittsburgh’s MDS program is a collaboration with Coursera, offering an inclusive and innovative curriculum designed to explore the social impact of data science. The program aims to equip students with the necessary skills to become responsible data scientists, capable of making ethically informed decisions. The MDS program is open to individuals from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, with introductory courses provided to bring non-STEM learners up to speed. The 30-credit program can be completed in as little as 20 months, allowing students to learn at their own pace.

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Affordability and Return on Investment

The University of Pittsburgh has priced the MDS program at an affordable rate of $15,000, making it 38% more affordable than the average online master’s degree program. The pay-as-you-go model allows students to pay for the courses they are enrolled in, rather than committing to the full cost of the degree upfront. With data science being one of the fastest-growing employer needs, the MDS program offers a high return on investment. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 35% growth in data science jobs over the next decade, making this program a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking to enter or advance in the field.

Success Stories and Future Enrollment

Graduates of the SCI program have gone on to work at prestigious organizations such as ALCOA, UPMC, Apple, IBM Research, and Microsoft, showcasing the practical relevance and impact of the MDS program. Enrollment for the MDS program is set to begin on February 12, 2024, with the first course starting in May. The University of Pittsburgh’s commitment to accessibility, affordability, and real-world application positions the MDS program as a valuable opportunity for individuals seeking to gain the skills needed to excel in the field of data science.

Conclusion:

The University of Pittsburgh’s launch of an online Master in Data Science program for individuals without a data science-related degree or STEM experience is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to democratize access to data science education. By partnering with Coursera and offering an accessible and flexible curriculum, the university is providing individuals from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to gain valuable skills in one of the fastest-growing fields. As the demand for online education continues to rise, the University of Pittsburgh’s MDS program stands as a testament to the importance of innovation, inclusivity, and practical application in higher education.

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