UGA Launches Undergraduate Degree in Data Science

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A new degree program at the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences will train undergraduate students at the interface of statistics and computing to meet the growing demand for data scientists.

Data science is a rapidly growing field and the demand for data scientists in the workforce over the next five to ten years is expected to far outstrip the supply. The 2016 McKinsey Big Data Report concludes that the global demand for data scientists is growing even faster, perhaps by up to 12% per year. The net effect, according to the report, is that the U.S. economy could run out of up to 250,000 data scientists by 2024.

“The new undergraduate degree in data science will help fill this void by preparing students for jobs in a variety of fields, from technology companies like Google, Amazon, IBM, Intel and Samsung, to finance and insurance companies like Goldman Sachs, AIG, Liberty Mutual. , as well as in various other sectors, from Coca-Cola and UPS, to Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Boeing and Johnson & Johnson, and government agencies like NASA, the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Standards and Technology ” said TN Sriram, professor and head of the statistics department.

Solve real world problems

The Bachelor of Science in Data Science will teach students how to use their knowledge of statistical and computational principles to analyze and solve real-world data analysis problems. The major is suitable for students interested in a career in industry or pursuing more specialized graduate studies.

The degree was approved by the Board of Regents at its September 2018 meeting and makes UGA the only campus in the Georgia university system to offer an undergraduate specialization in data science. The new program will begin with its first cohort of undergraduate students in the fall semester of 2019.

“A data scientist will need to be able to manage the entire data lifecycle, which requires both computer and statistical knowledge and skills,” Sriram said.

“The computer science and statistics professors spent over a year imagining, planning and designing the new degree,” said Professor Thiab Taha, head of the computer science department. “This new interdisciplinary major will uniquely position UGA to become a leader in training and mentoring future generations of data scientists. “

For more information on the BS in Data Science, visit https://stat.franklin.uga.edu/data-science-major or https://csci.franklin.uga.edu/bs-data-science


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