Committed to expanding opportunities for students, Wittenberg University will introduce a new data science program beginning in the fall of 2017, allowing students to pursue a major or minor in data science.
Data science is a technical major consisting primarily of statistics and computer science courses. It involves gaining expertise in scientific methods, processes and systems to extract knowledge from data in various forms and is a way to unify statistics and data analysis in order to understand occurrences. This new major will be housed within the department of mathematics and computer science. In addition to this new data science major, the department has created new computer science and cybersecurity majors recently, and revised their math major and math major with concentration in statistics.
"This is an exciting major that will lead to high-paying jobs for our students," said Adam Parker, associate professor of mathematics and department chair. "Students in this program would be quantitatively minded and interested in developing the statistical and programming skills to gain new knowledge and insights from data."
According to an article from Forbes, the median salary of a junior-level data scientist is $91,000, and those managing a team of 10 or more data scientists have an earning potential of more than $250,000 per year. The abundance of job prospects and the higher salary range are in part because of the shortage of data scientists, which is driving Wittenberg to offer the major. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute recently released a survey indicating that by 2018 there will be a shortage of 190,000 skilled data scientists in the United States alone. These are the reasons that the Harvard Business Review called data science "the sexiest Job of the 21st century" and CNBC just listed data scientist as the "No. 1 best job" of 2017.
The data scientist is a high-ranking professional with the training and curiosity to make discoveries in the world of big data. The title has come about because of the volume of information that is now available as a result of new technology.