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Photo via Flickr user Alan48.
Photo via Flickr user Alan48.

With the explosion of cloud computing, machine learning and other data-intensive projects throughout the tech field, companies are struggling to find enough data scientists to fill open jobs. A new master’s program from the University of Washington aims to fill that gap.

The new Master of Science in Data Science program was designed by faculty from six UW departments, but the university says it also took into account what companies are actually looking for in their next hire.

“This new master’s program was designed not only by six leading UW departments, but also with direct input from top data science hiring managers in Seattle and nationwide,” said Bill Howe, chair of the UW Data Science Master’s Development Committee in a news release. “The level of technical expertise from both industry and academia that went into designing this program makes it unique in the country.”

The interdisciplinary program covers topics ranging from data visualization and user interface design to machine learning and statistical modeling.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, there will be a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 with data-savvy backgrounds in the U.S. by 2018, and 1.5 million managers won’t have the necessary skills to deal with data-focused teams either. This new program won’t be pumping out that many grads, but may help fill some key positions, especially in the Seattle area.

The 45-credit program will launch in the fall of next year. Aimed at working professionals, full- and part-time courses will be offered in the evening to fit more people’s schedules.

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