With the increasing amount of large data sets being collected by corporations and institutions across all sectors of the economy, the demand for individuals with skills in data processing and analytics is growing dramatically.

Recent studies show that the time to fill these position is also increasing, which suggests that there just aren’t a sufficient number of data scientists in the job market, further evidenced by the fact that the starting salaries for professionals with big data expertise is well over $100,000 per year. 

Not only is there a great demand for skilled data science practitioners, the demand for individuals that can market big data solutions quintupled from 2014 to 2016. In addition, the demand for deep analytical skills in the United States could be 50% greater than its projected supply by 2018, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) today announced a new master’s degree program in Applied Data Science (ADS), a degree that will allow students to build practical analytical and technical skills that they can apply to analytical concepts, allowing them to gain insight from small and large datasets.

This degree program will provide students with the background they need for a career in the data science field, a field with the No. 1 ranked best job by job search engine Glassdoor in 2016 and 2017.

The M.S. in Applied Data Science is a fully interdisciplinary degree and is offered in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. This degree is built for those who have either a strong background or a strong interest in the applications of data science to solve problems for organizations. 

“We believe in teaching students the skills they need to be successful on the job market,” said Art Thomas, associate dean for academic affairs at the iSchool. “The MS in ADS directly addresses the need for data science and problem-solving skills in business and academia, and our ADS graduates will enter their job searches with a portfolio demonstrating their applied data science expertise.”

ADS students will learn and experience the direct application of data science practices and principles, and will graduate the 36-credit program with a complete professional portfolio that demonstrates their ability to solve real-life business and scientific problems using data science. 

“We have seen job opportunities for professionals with experience analyzing big data accelerate at high rates over the past three years, and we anticipate this demand to continue on its upward trajectory as data-driven roles within businesses continue to grow,” said Donald Harter, associate dean of graduate programs for Whitman. “This degree will enable students to develop the analytical business skillsets that are needed by organizations everywhere.”

The new program is available in both on-campus and online formats, and is typically completed in under 2 years. The curriculum combines a primary core, analytics application core, and electives to provide students with a strong data science and analytics foundation and allow a secondary focus of their choosing.

Successful students in the program will be able to:

  • Describe a broad overview of the major practice areas of data science.
  • Collect and organize data.
  • Identify patterns in data via visualization, statistical analysis, and data mining.
  • Develop alternative strategies based on the data.
  • Develop a plan of action to implement the business decisions derived from the analyses.
  • Demonstrate communication skills regarding data and its analysis for managers, IT professionals, programmers, statisticians, and other relevant professionals in their organization.
  • Synthesize the ethical dimensions of data science practice (e.g., privacy).

In addition to the new ADS degree, the iSchool offers degree programs at the master’s level in Enterprise Data Systems, Information Management; Library and Information Science; and Library and Information Science with a School Media specialization, a Ph.D. program in Information Science and Technology, and a B.S. degree in Information Management and Technology.

Applications for the ADS degree will be accepted for fall semester enrollment both on-campus and online. For more details, visit the degree program page.