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UC Berkeley Launches the First Fully Online MIDS Degree Program


Responding to the national shortage of data scientists, on July 17, 2013 the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information (I School) today announced the launch of the country’s first fully online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) degree program.

“ 'This new degree program is in response to a dramatically growing need for well-trained big-data professionals who can organize, analyze and interpret the deluge of often messy and unorganized data available from the web, sensor networks, mobile devices and elsewhere,' said AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the I School. 

"The United States may soon face a shortage of people who can connect the dots using the massive amounts of data critical today in finance, energy, health care and other fields, according to a 2011 McKinsey Institute report.

“ 'These new professionals need an assortment of skills ranging from math, programming, communication to management, statistics, engineering and social sciences, not to mention a deep curiosity and an ability to translate technical jargon into everyday English,' Saxenian added.

"By 2018, the U.S. may face a shortage of up to 190,000 people who have the analytical skills — and another 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how — to make wise use of virtual mountain ranges of data for critical decisions in business, energy, intelligence, health care, finance, and other fields, said the McKinsey Institute in the June 2011 report, “'Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.' "

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