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UNC Charlotte opens state’s first School of Data Science

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In response to growing job demand in the state and across the country, UNC Charlotte opened the first School of Data Science in North Carolina and will offer a bachelor’s program in data science this fall.

“A central part of UNC Charlotte’s mission is providing access to education and meeting the region’s evolving employment needs by educating our students in competencies that will translate into a broad range of careers,” Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs said in a press release. “The School of Data Science will prepare students for careers across many economic sectors represented in Charlotte by giving students the interdisciplinary depth to understand real-world data and problems and to address them with the tools of data collection, storage, integration, analysis, inference, communication, and ethics.”

In 2018, the United States experienced a shortage of 151,000 data scientists and by 2025 experts say that gap is expected to increase to 250,000 jobs. In 2019, the number of positions in North Carolina that required skills in data science doubled to 4,777.

The new school is a collaboration among the Colleges of Computing and Informatics, Health and Human Services, Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Belk College of Business. It’s the latest step in UNC Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative, which dates to 2013. To date, it’s received nearly $20 million in state and industry funding and now includes Professional Science Master’s programs in Health Informatics and Data Science and Business Analytics.

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