University of Connecticut students will have the opportunity to declare majors in statistical data science (BS) and applied data analysis (BA) this semester.
The two new undergraduate degrees allow students to learn the technical aspect of data science and the social and ethical implications of how data is collected, analyzed and used according to the data science program website.
The statistical data science major will provide students with advanced data analysis, data visualization and data ethics.
Elizabeth Schifano, associate professor and program director of the statistical data science major explained how it’s designed with a strong focus in statistics, mathematics and programming, but can also be tailored to additional interests as well.
“The statistical data science major can stand alone as a single major, but it is also structured to allow students to double major or minor in programs related to the domain concentration,” Schifano said in an email interview. “This way, students can acquire further knowledge in the target application area if they so choose.”
Similar to the statistical data science major, the applied data analysis major will teach students how to use data ethically and basic data analysis and management, but the degree will tailor more to the social sciences, according to the applied data analysis program overview.
Lyle Scruggs, associate professor and program director of the applied data analysis major, explained how data science fields are fast growing, well paying occupations which combine basic skills in computer programming, statistical modeling and data visualization techniques.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data scientist jobs are expected to increase by 36% between 2021 and 2031 due to the increased demand for data-driven decisions as technology advances.
Scruggs describes how the data analysis major specifically bridges STEM and non-STEM degrees together.
“The major will allow many students to combine the benefits of a STEM degree with a substantive interest in non-STEM areas, particularly the social sciences. This is why we include a substantive domain selection in the required coursework,” Scruggs said.
Both majors offer a domain sequence, which allows students to incorporate data science into their interests which could range from advanced statistics, American politics, marine and earth science, population dynamics, public policy management and more.
For each degree, students are required to complete 36 credits of coursework. More information about major requirements and classes can be found on the statistical data science and applied data analysis plan of studies.
“Nearly every job in industry, government, or academics requires some sort of data analysis, and these degrees provide students with the tools to analyze that data. The possibilities are endless,” Schifano said.
Students interested in either major must apply for admission. The applications for the statistical data science major and the applied data analysis major can be found on their website.