NYU unrolls new graduate program to meet demand for data scientists

By February 21, 2013
NYU building with NYU flag

With the new Center for Data Science, NYU is helping to bring skills on managing and utilizing Big Data to the digital economy. The Initiative in Data Science and Statistics will offer students a place to develop new ways to collect data and apply it to help businesses, healthcare, government and more.


Big Data is making business more efficient as it is being implemented in any number of enterprise strategies. But as the demand increases, more people will need to be educated on how to best use Big Data, engineer new ways of harnessing the incredible power of huge streams of information, or apply it to improving industries. Right now, some of the main obstacles for companies trying to shift to a data-oriented model are the lack of talent and the lack of a corporate culture that supports Big Data. In response to this, New York University has launched its Initiative in Data Science and Statistics, which includes the creation of the Center for Data Science, the first US program to offer such an education offering.

Training the next generation of data scientists

The NYU two-year master’s graduate degree program will open in the Fall of 2013, and will be taught by faculty across the university. Its inaugural director will be Yann LeCun, CIMS Silver Professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, who explains the department’s critical role: “The way we are going to do science in the next decade will greatly expand the way we’ve done it so far. We currently collect huge data sets in the physical sciences, life sciences and social sciences. More and more, we need to know how to derive knowledge from them.” Currently, individuals are high in demand that specialize in applied mathematics, statistics, computer science and particularly machine learning.

To address tomorrow challenges

This demand will only increase as companies discover how Big Data is critical for their business strategy, but the applications of the department are much broader. The program will focus on developing the skills of researchers and professionals, especially in the fields of healthcare, business and government. According to Data Science figures, 28 percent of “the digital universe required some level of data security,” and 33 percent of data will be stored or passed through the cloud by 2015. Data Science recognizes these statistics as indications that the number of data scientists will need to grow steadily in order to keep data secure, useful and scalable.

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