The Rise of the Data Science Course

Data is becoming a major industry and schools are racing to catch up. Recently, I have seen many schools, like NYU and Columbia, announce accredited data science programs. There are more than 80 university programs listed on the Data Science 101 blog, many from around the world. And if you just want a quick course, there are no shortage of data science classes offered on Coursera like introduction to data science and data analysis. Or look to our good friends at Zipfian Academy, who are offering an intense university-like data science class in the fall. Or even General Assembly is offering a data science course beginning in June.

With so many courses being offered, it seems like everyone is trying to put a data feather in their cap. There has been discussion that this is the era of data. Data will continue to be omnipresent and involved in all of our future business decisions. Just as the computer changed the way business was performed, data is changing the way we conduct business. And because of that these programs will likely be offered in courses across universities, and potentially, in the future, even high school students will be dabbling in the basics of data science.

New York University has already made their program a university-wide initiative, understanding that data affects a wide range of industries. They said it best on their web site:

Data science overlaps multiple traditional disciplines at NYU such as mathematics (pure and applied), statistics, computer science and an increasingly large number of application domains. It also stands to impact a wide range of spheres - from healthcare to business to government - in which NYU's schools and departments are engaged.

Columbia University recently did a panel discussion on what is data science and also discusses the impact of data science on our lives and in business.

With this many courses, you would think that the future will produce an army of data scientists. It is wonderful to see the various courses being offered and the academic community confirming the need to understand data and its impact on various industries. Yet, while we think there will always be a need for data specialists to solve the hard data problems, we also hope this trend will encourage everyone to gain a basic level of education on how to read and represent data. Its important that multiple disciplines embrace basics of understanding data classes, as we think, in the future, data understanding skills will be as basic as operating your laptop or iphone.

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