Microsoft wants more data scientists in the job market. But some young people need to acquire their knowledge by starting over completely, while mid-career professionals need to build on their previous experience.
To fill the skills gap in both categories, Microsoft launched a series of data science courses through edX.org, the nonprofit e-learning destination founded by Harvard University and MIT.
The Data Science program is the first offering in the Microsoft Professional Degree program, a Microsoft-led initiative to help professionals develop skills in critical areas. Launched today, the program aims to offer a “An employer-approved college-caliber curriculum for professionals at any stage of their careers,” the company said in a press release.
Data scientist is probably one of the most sought-after professions, with more job offers than applicants.
The Microsoft course consists of nine courses and a final project. All classes can be audited free of charge. However, to receive credits for the Microsoft Professional Diploma, students must purchase a certificate for each of the 10 stages of the program.
The certificate for the orientation class costs $ 25, the verified certificate for “Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analysis” costs $ 99 and all other classes offer certificates for $ 49 each (the full science course data costs $ 516).
Students must register for specific course sessions. A timetable for each class is available here; prospective students can read the detailed syllabus, review elective options for each unit, and register on the classroom edX page. Each stage requires a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 8 hours.
Microsoft isn’t the first major tech company to enter online computer education – Google and Udacity have teamed up to deliver an Android nanodegree and other classes, and Amazon offers AWS training and certification for advanced technical skills, including a Big Data class.