The online education startup Udacity has announced a new data science degree track program that will allow anyone with basic computer science skills to get an education in data science led by the companies that helped pioneer the field.
With its new program, beginning November 14, Udacity will not only be offering a comprehensive data science degree, but a degree at a substantially lower price than traditional universities (like the UC Berekeley masters program with a price tag of $60,000). Courses are free for anyone to take, but also give students the option to pay (starting at a few hundred dollars/month) if they want access to more instructional support.
The first class on this track is Introduction to Hadoop and MapReduce and is available now. The other selling point for Udacity’s new online data science degree program is that the classes are co-developed by Udacity and other leading industry experts. Its preliminary course, for example, was developed as a collaboration with Cloudera, the veteran Hadoop distribution company. In the course, Cloudera experts and Udacity instructors start with high-level concepts like “What is Big Data?” and then work through the fundamental principles of Hadoop and MapReduce technologies.
Students can access the courseware for “Introduction to Hadoop and MapReduce” in a self-paced mode similar to self-study MOOC style. Then in January 2014 the company will commence offering its full course experience that will include feedback and hands-on student projects, along with career mentoring.
Ultimately, with industry experts co-developing the courses, not only will students have an opportunity to get an affordable data science education, but also have a better shot at landing a lucrative job in the field.