The School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
The B.S. in Data Science program will offer a broad, blended curriculum that provides the foundation to build the knowledge and experience necessary to thrive in this rapidly growing field, and five specialization tracks will allow students to focus on an area of interest, including foundational data science, data systems, network and applied data science, data science design, and biological and health science. The program also is a collaborative effort with IU’s College of Arts and Sciences and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
“This degree embodies a truly multidisciplinary approach to curriculum design, from core courses in statistics, mathematics, and computer science to the variety of specialization areas that connect this core to other areas outside data science proper as well as allowing a deeper dive into the foundational aspects of data science as a discipline,” said Esfan Haghverdi, the executive associate dean for undergraduate education at SICE. “We think that it is a timely addition to the portfolio of degrees at SICE which will also help shape the evolution of the data science as a discipline in the nation. Students enrolled in the program will benefit from an education that pays special attention to providing them with a solid foundation which will in turn facilitate their understanding of how to work with tools coming from a variety of fields in a productive and efficient way.”
In 2016, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a total of 20,000 new jobs in the area of data science over the next decade, and data scientists saw a 56 percent increase in job openings in 2018 according to LinkedIn. Data scientists also topped Glassdoor’s list of Best Jobs in America over the past three years.
The growth of data science as a discipline is a direct and logical consequence of the emergence of devices and software that is collecting data at a scale never before imagined. By 2020, it is estimated that 1.7 Mbs of data per second will be created by every person on Earth, and that data will need to be collected, processed, cleaned, and analyzed by trained scientists, paving the way for an explosion of careers in the discipline.
“The new degree offers an option for students who want to learn the fundamental concepts of data-driven computational methods as well as their applications to a variety of real-world problems,” said Haixu Tang, director of the data science program. “The maturation of low-cost technologies for collecting, gathering, storing, communicating, and mining data, and the acknowledgement of the power of data-driven approaches to addressing our problems, is the reason for the rapid grown in the field.”
Data science, which is also offered by the school at the master’s level with both residential and online options, will accept its first cohort of undergraduate students in fall 2020.
“The addition of data science to our bachelor’s degree tracks is the latest evolution of SICE that allows us to keep our students at the forefront of the world of tomorrow,” said Raj Acharya, dean of SICE. “Data science permeates every aspect of our lives, and it’s creating a high demand for trained data scientists who have the skills and tools to turn raw data into decisions that shape policy that will improve the environment, make us safer, save millions of dollars, feed the hungry, and more.”