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UGA launches undergraduate degree in data science

Alan Flurry

It has been a very busy semester (so far), and we'll close out the news before Thanksgiving break with a new interdisciplinary degree program for undergraduates:

A new degree program from the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences will train undergraduates at the interface of statistics and computer science to meet the rapidly growing demand for data scientists.

Data science is a fast-growing area and the demand for data scientists in the workforce over the next five to 10 years is projected to far outpace supply. The 2016 McKinsey Report on Big Data concludes that the worldwide demand for data scientists is growing even more quickly, by perhaps as much as 12 percent per year. The net effect, according to the report, is that the U.S. economy could be short as many as 250,000 data scientists by 2024.

“The new undergraduate data science degree 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 firms like Goldman Sachs, AIG, Liberty Mutual, as well as across a variety of 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 T.N. Sriram, professor and head of the department of statistics.

Great news, and terrific work by faculty and administrators to shepherd this new opportunity for students. Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the break and rest up for the stretch run. And as coach says, go Dawgs!

Image: Brooks Hall, home of statistics, during a class change.

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