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Loyola launches master’s program in data science

| By Nick Alexopulos
Loyola University Maryland data science

Beginning in spring 2017, Loyola University Maryland will offer a new Master of Science in Data Science program that blends the computer science, statistics, and business courses necessary to prepare students for competitive careers in the fast-growing data science field.

The 31-credit, part-time program will be based at Loyola’s Graduate Center-Columbia Campus, with most classes designed in a hybrid format that blends in-class learning and online activities. Students can complete the required 10 three-credit classes and one one-credit class in under two years. The final two semesters include both coursework and a capstone project where each student collaborates with a sponsor company to address a data need in its operations.

“There’s a huge demand for people with quantitative skills for analyzing data,” said Christopher Morrell, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and statistics and director of the data science program. “Our goal is to help motivated professionals gain entry into this wide open field, and to help those who already have a data science career better position themselves to grow in their role and deliver more value to their firm.” 

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the United States could face a shortage of more than 140,000 people with deep analytical skills by 2018. In addition, 96 percent of the major corporations surveyed by KPMG in 2014 said they could do more with big data and make better use of analytics in their organization.

Companies of all sizes across market sectors use data science to predict outcomes—what might happen in the future—so they can make business decisions based on information from data, ultimately to gain a competitive advantage. Loyola’s data science program features an interdisciplinary core of courses in statistics, computer science, and business analytics/intelligence to ensure students can effectively adapt and thrive in this diverse array of industries. The program also highlights the ethical dilemmas data scientists face in the social context of the profession.

Students who complete the program will be able to:

  • Analyze complex data from diverse sources by discovering key relationships within the data;
  • Model data using machine learning techniques;
  • Model data using statistical models; and
  • Predict future outcomes that can be used to advise decision makers on their course of action.

The application deadline for the spring 2017 semester is Dec. 1.

More information about admission requirements, how to apply, and the program’s structure and curriculum is available at loyola.edu/academics/data-science.

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