Higher education degrees are appealing, but involve significant financial sacrifice: in America, an opportunity for a higher paying job also comes with a sentence of paying more student loans for longer. That’s why Coursera is busy establishing a host of masters courses, today announcing a new Data Science program in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The program, which promises a full tuition at under $20,000, combines courses from the university’s top-ranked computer science school with the top library and information sciences school to teach concepts like data visualization, machine learning, data mining and cloud computing.
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But users also don’t have to take the whole course to get benefits: Coursera is also offering classes broken up to create a “stackable” program. So, users can decide to take one class that catches their interest, several courses for a certificate program, or all required courses for a full Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) degree.
“Unlike other master’s degrees, students can test the waters of the MCS-DS degree with a shorter Specialization certificate program in data mining or cloud computing,” the program’s press release said, “earning a meaningful credential that can then fully transfer to the MCS-DS if they later decide that they want the full degree.”
The program is currently open for application with a deadline of June 16 of this year. The first batch of students, limited to 150, will begin their studies in August. Coursera promises larger classes available later on.