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Uni Of Illinois Launches Degree To Produce Data Analytics, Cyber Security Masters

New course highlights how top schools are adapting to a digital-first business climate

Wed Aug 10 2016

The University of Illinois is launching a new masters degree to meet the growing demand for information professionals — highlighting how top schools are adapting to a digital-first business climate.

The Master of Science in Information Management will provide advanced data management and analysis skills that can be applied across sectors. There’s a growing need for trained talent in this area, as companies increasingly emphasize a data-driven approach to decision making.

In addition to technical skills, students learn how to use analytical insights to produce actionable results. Upon graduating, they are hoped to assume leadership roles.

“The goal of our program is to equip professionals to communicate across disciplinary boundaries with ‘design thinking,’ asking: What is the problem, and how can I use available technologies to address it?” said professor Michael Twidale, program director.

“They learn how information can be accessed, organized, and utilized to provide useful insights.”

In March Illinois launched a big data-focused online-only degree with Coursera, the San Francisco online learning company, costing $20,000.

The new program roll-outs come against a backdrop of swelling calls from corporations and business students for data science-focused content. Elite schools are scrambling to satisfy demand.

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in May launched a data analytics masters degree. Meanwhile, Wharton School in March launched an MBA major in business analytics and MIT Sloan rolled out a data analytics degree. And in April, Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management began teaching a big data course to MBAs with Lutz Finger, LinkedIn’s analytics chief.

Illinois’ new curriculum is flexible and can be customized around three of four professional pathways at the intersection of information and technology.

These include data science and analytics; privacy, trust, cyber security and ethics; and knowledge management and information consulting.

Initially offered on campus in Fall 2016, the new degree will be expanded to include an online degree option in Spring 2017. The application deadline for spring enrolment is October 15, 2016.