The worlds of science, engineering, and business are now reliant on data-driven analysis and decision making. Data Science is the 21st century discipline formalizing this process, and making enormous impacts in new scientific discoveries, engineering how the world works, and driving business decisions which power much of our economic growth. A data scientist is one who can weave a complete story with data, from its humble and messy beginnings, through its maturation via sophisticated analysis, and concluding with an explanation of its real-world impact. This program teaches both technical data processing (programming, data wrangling, data management) and data analysis (machine learning, data mining, visual analytics) skills, and also guides students through the complicated explainability, ethical, and domain integration challenges.
If you want to get into a career in data science, where you have the opportunity to have the most direct impact on the most dynamic fields of our generation, this is the major for you.
The Student Experience
As a students in a new discipline (the major launched in only Fall 2019), you will get to be a pioneer and early adopter in a fascinating discipline. Yet many of the courses have been fine-tuned for several years as popular electives within Computing or Math. What sets this major apart is the stream-lined way the essential skills towards being a data scientist are stacked and integrated so students can reach cutting-edge courses in machine learning, data mining, visualization, and databases as quickly and as well-prepared as possible. They will also learn from an applied domain of their choice to help ground these skills, and be immediately able to make an impact.
Moreover, as a topic at the forefront and in high-demand for most of the disciplines on campus, your skill will allow you to slide into numerous research or industrial opportunities during your studies. There are new research centers, student clubs, and other events to help guide you towards these opportunities.
This major prepares students for a career as a data scientist. This is one of the nation’s most desirable careers. Since its rise as a profession, it has consistently been at or near the top of careers identified by glassdoor.com (a site which maintains statistics on professions), for its mobility, its ever-changing and interesting day-to-day duties, and its high salary. Moreover, this is a profession in high-demand both in nearby but international tech centers (e.g., Bay Area and Seattle), but also in the vibrant tech industry here in Utah (the Silicon Slopes). Students in this major can look forward to many meaningful internship opportunities, and job prospects after (and even before) they graduate.