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The Argument for a Data Science Degree

Data science degreeWith the rise in popularity of “data science” as a term and a concept, journalists are increasingly pointing out the lack of a formal data science degree from any university in the country.

This is important because a well-rounded data science degree could produce graduates who are capable of handling all facets of data analytics and data management, rather than the current custom of companies hiring people who may only be skilled in one area of analytics, and training them for the rest.

Recently, Government Technology took the call for a data science degree a step further and outlined 3 key ingredients that such a degree would have to possess to be effective. Writer Tanya Roscorla suggests:

  1. Multi-discipline – the ideal data science education would include mathematics, statistics, computer science and content discipline. This presents a unique challenge for universities, as in order to achieve this mix in the current popular university structure you might have to cross over between several colleges to achieve the well-rounded curriculum.
  2. Graduate-level – undergrads with a focus on one of the four aforementioned disciplines could pursue a graduate data science degree where they’d learn the other three. According to Roscorla’s interview with Jennifer Lewis Priestley, associate professor of statistics and director of the Center for Statistics and Analytical Services at Kennesaw State University, “Young students can’t study all four things at once at an undergraduate level because they don’t have the absorptive capacity to understand all the concepts.”
  3. Research orientation – big data presents big problems, when it comes to analyzing enormous amounts of data and culling the wisdom within it. A data science degree that teaches research would lead to data scientists who can actively seek solutions for performing analytics on rapidly, massively growing data.

For the full article visit Government Technology.

Are you for or against a formal data science degree?

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