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This article was published on March 30, 2016

    Coursera launches Data Science Masters program for a fraction of university prices

    Coursera launches Data Science Masters program for a fraction of university prices
    Lauren Hockenson
    Story by

    Lauren Hockenson

    Reporter

    Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.

    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.

    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.