Sloan, along with the MIT Operations Research Center, said it launched the “M.N.An” in response to “intense” demand from employers, too.
“In the ‘era of big data’, the demand for skilled practitioners who understand how to mine and analyze the vast amount of digital data that’s being created is a well-known challenge,” said David Schmittlein, dean of MIT Sloan.
“In recognition of this need for innovation and excellence in analytics, our mission is to build a world class masters program in data science that leverages the intellectual resources of MIT, is based on cutting-edge research, and, as a result, attracts the very best applicants.”
The McKinsey Global Institute says the US will see a shortage of 1.5 million data managers and analysts over the next two years; MIT says job posts to Sloan related to analytics have increased 78% over the past three years.
“The new degree is a timely addition to our portfolio of programs,” noted Jake Cohen, senior associate dean for Sloan masters programs.
Dimitris Bertsimas, professor of management, added that companies from IBM and Dell to Amazon and Google are investing billions in big data. “This is a transformational moment in business and management science,” he said. “The professional opportunities for our graduates will be extensive.”
The inaugural class of 30 students is slated to enter Sloan in fall 2016*. By 2020, the class is expected to reach 60 students.
The full-time, 12-month program features a 10-week capstone project for a company on a real data science problem.
“It gives students an opportunity to get out in the field....We want them to dive into data: to handle it, to organize it, and to interpret what it means,” said John Hauser, Sloan professor of marketing.
Interested students should have strong mathematical, computer science, and statistical backgrounds. The program is tailored for recent college graduates who plan to pursue a career in the data science industry, as well as those seeking a career change, especially engineers, mathematicians, physicists, computer programmers, and other high-tech professionals.
Candidates must submit a personal statement and optional essay, a transcript, resume, recent GMAT or GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation.
*Correction: MIT Sloan has updated its initial release to correct the start date from fall 2017 to fall 2016.