- The University of California, Berkeley on Thursday announced plans to create an interdisciplinary Division of Data Science and Information to meet the needs of the booming data science field. Berkeley officials said this marks the biggest reorganization of the institution in decades, The New York Times reported.
- The announcement follows the launch of Berkeley's undergraduate data science major earlier this fall, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular degree programs on campus.
- Berkeley's Bachelor of Arts in Data Science is designed to collaborate across diverse disciplines. It was developed in response to strong interest from students, professors and business leaders, who are demanding graduates be equipped with skills to navigate a digitized world.
Data science is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand disciplines. Bloomberg reported in May that job postings for data scientists rose 75% from January 2015 to January 2018 on the website Indeed.com.
"Not only are opportunities for exceptional data scientists exponentially growing, but data science is being increasingly applied across diverse industries, in government, and in academia," Phil Bourne, director of the University of Virginia (UVA) Data Science Institute, said in a statement in August.
Berkeley joins the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington in the caliber and scope of its data science program, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. In October, MIT announced it would invest $1 billion in a college of computing that would integrate the institution's other disciplines with computing and data science.
Smaller colleges also are embracing the trend. For instance, the Center for Analytics and Data Science at Miami University, in Ohio, is an institution-wide initiative that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among students, faculty and staff, according to the university. They can benefit from space, materials and other resources offered by the center in support of the research and teaching of analytics and data science.
Many data science degree programs, though, continue to focus on graduate studies. For example, UVA's Data Science Institute plans to add a fully online version of its popular data science master's degree. The inaugural online cohort will start next summer.