Sep 26, 2018

Now UC Berkeley Undergraduates Can Master in Data Science with a 5th Year at the I School

UC Berkeley undergraduates interested in data science careers have a new opportunity to extend their Berkeley experience with a Master of Information and Data Science degree. The 5th Year Master of Information and Data Science program (MIDS), only available to UC Berkeley students, offers an interdisciplinary approach to data science. It will equip students for careers working with data in a wide range of organizational settings.

“Today’s job market favors people with professional skills,” said AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the I School. “Our one year master’s will help Berkeley undergraduates enhance their careers.” The degree does not require a technical background, said Saxenian, which will allow students in the social sciences, humanities, or professional schools to embark on a career in data science.

In 2014 the School of Information launched the country’s first fully online Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) degree program, designed for working professionals. The 5th Year MIDS is the same degree, with advising and support tailored for UC Berkeley undergraduates.

Building on their UC Berkeley undergraduate degree, the 5th Year MIDS offers Berkeley students a streamlined path to earning a professional master’s degree through focused advising and guided preparation in one calendar year. The curriculum prepares students to derive insights from real-world data sets, using the latest tools and analytical methods to interpret and communicate their findings in ways that influence decision-making, changing both minds and behaviors in a variety of settings.

“I’m delighted to welcome fresh Berkeley undergrads into the I School community,” said Dean Saxenian. “Undergraduates already bring brains and diverse perspectives to many of our courses, and this is another opportunity for us to expand our interactions beyond our graduate programs.”

According to the BHEF & IBM Quant Crunch Report 2017, by 2020, the demand for Data Scientists and Data Engineers is projected to grow by 39% with an additional 364,000 new job listings.

Through a hands-on, project-based approach to learning, the 5th Year MIDS program features a multidisciplinary curriculum that draws on insights from social sciences, computer science, statistics, management, and law. Coursework focuses on problem solving, preparing students to creatively apply methods of data collection, analysis, and presentation to address and solve problems in areas of public interest, policy, and business.

“We’re passionate about using data to serve the public good. This is a part of the Berkeley culture, and the degree embodies that commitment, so it’s a great fit for students who have already chosen Berkeley.”

— Dean Anno Saxenian

“Ours is a holistic degree,” said Dean Saxenian. “We’re passionate about using data to serve the public good. This is a part of the Berkeley culture, and the degree embodies that commitment, so it’s a great fit for students who have already chosen Berkeley.”

The one year master’s program offers a high touch online learning experience delivered using professional quality videos and self-paced online coursework as well as live online seminars driven by problem-solving and discussion among groups of 15 students or so. In addition to the online classroom, there is a 3-4 day on-campus immersion crafted to deliver additional learning, networking, and community-building opportunities. The Immersion offers an opportunity to meet faculty and classmates in-person, attend lectures and workshops, participate in career workshops and company visits, and attend networking events with industry leaders and alumni.

The program is fully integrated into the I School community, and will offer dedicated academic, technical, and career services support. 5th Year MIDS students will receive career coaching and advising designed to help them transition smoothly from student to data professional, as well as valuable connections in the San Francisco Bay area, the epicenter of the data revolution.

The 5th Year MIDS program welcomes applications from UC Berkeley undergraduate students in the spring semester of their senior year.

Last updated:

September 26, 2018