The University of California, Irvine Extension is offering a new data science certificate program online for winter quarter 2014. The program is designed to meet the need for employees who are skilled at using a blend of science, art and business to leverage the ever-expanding amount of data into a competitive advantage.

The program provides the skills required to become a data scientist and provides existing data analysts with the opportunities to broaden skills, according to the university. A course titled, “Introduction to Data Science” will be offered from Jan. 13 through March 9 and will provide an overview of basic techniques required in the field of data science.

"With recent mention from USA Today indicating that there are only 20 percent of data scientists available to meet the unprecedented demand, there is a great advantage for those interested in shifting gears to join this growing career field," Dave Dimas, director of engineering, sciences and information technology at UC Irvine Extension, said in a statement. "Offering a complete certificate program online helps fill the void, as it is not easy to obtain the knowledge and skills needed under a single traditional undergraduate or graduate degree.”

As a required course for program participants, "Introduction to Data Science" will allow course participants to learn about data design, management and manipulation tools and processes commonly used by data scientists. Course content will include data analysis, statistical modeling, data engineering, relational databases, SQL and NoSQL, manipulation of data at scale (big data), algorithms for data mining, data quality, remediation and consistency operations.

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