Coursera launches MOOC-based Data Science Master’s Degree

UK online learners opt for data science courses to cash-in on high pay and job options

Online education company Coursera, is launching a professional data science master’s degree in the UK.

Developed in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – home to one of the top five computer science departments in the United States, the aims to open access to its world-class data science curriculum at a fraction of the cost of a traditional on-campus or online master’s degree.

The Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) degree reimagines graduate-level education as a “stackable” degree. Unlike other master’s degrees, students can test the waters of the data science degree with a shorter Specialisation certificate program in data mining or cloud computing, earning a meaningful credential that can then fully transfer toward the MCS-DS if they later decide that they want the full degree.

“There is huge demand for high-tech skills in the UK. At a time when highly paid jobs can be hard to get, especially for young people, studying a course in this field is both supporting better wealth distribution and closing the skills gap,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera and former President of Yale University.

There is huge demand for high-tech skills in the UK. At a time when highly paid jobs can be hard to get, especially for young people, studying a course in this field is both supporting better wealth distribution and closing the skills gap

“The Illinois Master of Computer Science in Data Science degree on Coursera combines an education in the most high-demand career skills with an entirely new educational structure that empowers the student with choices in how to pursue his or her education,“ added Daphne Koller, President and co-founder. “This degree offers people a unique opportunity to choose exactly how much learning they need at different stages in their careers.”

Charlotte Stevens, a recent university graduate in London who was unhappy with her low-paying job, is one of thousands in the UK who have turned to studying online to gain tech skills for their careers. She decided to take the Johns Hopkins University course “R Programming” on Coursera, and soon found a new, higher paying career as a data scientist. Charlotte said: ‘People are going to be in and out of jobs their entire lives. They can’t go spending £50,000 every five years because their job’s been automated or it isn’t working for them anymore. That’s why I think Coursera is the future of adult learning.’ 

 

 

 

Open for admissions today, the deadline to apply for the Master of Computer Science in Data Science degree is June 15, 2016. The first cohort of 150 will begin classes on August 22, 2016, with larger cohorts to be admitted in the following months.

Learn more about the program at online.illinois.edu/MCS-DS or explore other courses offered on Coursera by the University of Illinois.

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