New Bachelor in Data Science Degree at University of Manitoba

The Faculty of Science is pleased to announce that Manitoba Economic Development and Training has approved the establishment of a new degree program, a Bachelor of Science (Major) in Data Science.

“We are at the beginning of an era of discovery in the field of data science. While the field has already seen explosive growth, there is much to be done to bring this field to fruition and reap its full benefits. With this new degree program, we will be training the next generation of movers and shakers in the field. This program is interdisciplinary, combining a foundation in mathematics, statistics, and computer science with newly developed courses in data science, projects from across the disciplinary fields, applications to broad swatches of industry, and a strong coop component. We see this program not only training the next generation, but fostering the development of collaborations and fueling the growth of the field of data science, so that its benefits are realized in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and beyond,” explains Stefi Baum, dean, Faculty of Science.

Data science has emerged as a significant influencer in nearly every sector of our economy and data scientists are in high demand, but a major challenge for recruiters is being able to find skilled employees. The new degree program offered at the University of Manitoba aims to bridge the data science skill gap and develop highly capable graduates able to address this growing demand, regardless of their profession.

The new Bachelor of Science (Major) in Data Science (120) credit hours degree program will be offered through the UM Faculty of Science, beginning Fall 2021.

“The data science undergraduate degree aligns perfectly with the current needs of major employers; and with the integration of cooperative education as a degree option; students will graduate with a competitive advantage. They’ll have actual work experience, and be able to jump in and solve complex real-world issues from the get-go. It will also serve as a solid foundation for further studies at the Master’s and PhD level,” said Ben Li, associate dean, undergraduate programs, Faculty of Science.

The Faculty of Science will provide a training ground in data science at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels. A robust understanding of data acquisition, data management, and modeling is required in order to change data into actionable information for effective decision making. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the critical role data science has to play for society.

The Faculty of Science aims to serve as a hub for innovators, academics, industry, and government to provide solutions to advance knowledge in the field of data science.

Already this past year, the UM Faculty of Science established Data Science NEXUS an interdisciplinary collaboration and hub of data science expertise. Data Science Nexus has hosted a variety of training and events, including an international conference, NEXUS Art of the Possible, held back in November 2019 at the UM’s Fort Garry Campus.

By Jennifer MacRae