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UW Online Master’s in Data Science Earns Outstanding Program Award

University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the leader in professional, continuing, and online education, recognized the online UW Master of Science in Data Science with one of its highest honors: “2018 Outstanding Program” in the credit category.

The online master’s degree is an innovative solution to a marketplace need. The recent explosion of data and the unique mix of skills required to interpret it, has led to demand for a new occupation that combines analytics, statistics, programming, business and storytelling into a position called data scientist.

Businesses representing every industry— healthcare, computer science, science, security, government, nonprofit, and law enforcement just to name a few—are seeking graduates with this skillset. With demand high and supply low, many employers are turning to higher education to produce more data science graduates. The problem, however, is that few universities have the right mix of faculty and resources ready and available to prepare a high-quality degree program fast enough to meet market needs.

University of Wisconsin-Extension developed an innovative solution: a collaborative, multi-campus online degree program. UW-Extension harnessed resources and faculty from six UW System campuses to deliver the much-needed Data Science program fast. Launched in fall 2015, the online UW Master of Science in Data Science curriculum combines computer science, statistics, business management, communication, and more. The fully online master’s program represents a 36-credit curriculum offered jointly by UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Superior.

Since its inception, the UW Master of Science in Data Science program has experienced unprecedented growth. The program now hosts more than 300 students.

“Leading innovative and impactful education is at the core of professional, continuing and online education,” said Michele Long, Assistant Dean of Admissions & Student Services, University of Denver and Chair, UPCEA Association Awards Committee. “The exceptional submissions for this year’s awards demonstrate the remarkable contributions our members bring to higher education.”

Members of the UW Data Science team and other UPCEA award recipients will be honored at the 2018 UPCEA Annual Conference, March 14-16, in Baltimore, Md.

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