New computer science in data science master’s degree aims to fill gap in data science training programs

Coursera and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have partnered on a professional data science master’s degree.

The University of Illinois will open access to its data science curriculum at a fraction of the cost of a traditional on-campus or online master’s degree through the Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) degree on Coursera.

Data science has quickly become one of the most sought-after and highest-paid professions in the United States, yet few highly ranked master’s programs exist today that are developed specifically for training data scientists, and none offer the scale of an open online course platform. This degree taps a whole new demographic of potential data scientists who are unable to take a traditional education path by reimagining graduate-level education as a “stackable” degree.

Unlike other master’s degrees, students can test the waters of the MCS-DS degree with a shorter Specialization certificate program in data mining or cloud computing, earning a meaningful credential that can then fully transfer to the MCS-DS if they later decide that they want the full degree.

Next page: What makes the degree program unique?

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