Currently, on the Web there exists the ability to complete a Masters curriculum in Data Science using Free/Open Source classes, ebooks, workspaces, software. DataScienceMasters.org provides a full curriculum and links to each resource.
Will it be an official Masters? No, but an official Masters is not always what is needed, it’s knowledge and experience working with the tools and techniques necessary to actually do Data Science. For some, this free curriculum will allow business-line leaders, Analysts and Programmers from other fields to fill in the education gaps and get better at their job, as well as, one step closer to being an actual Data Scientist.
The open-source curriculum for learning Data Science. Foundational in both theory and technologies, the OSDSM breaks down the core competencies necessary to make data useful.
With Coursera, ebooks, Stack Overflow, and GitHub — all free and open — how can you afford not to take advantage of an open source education?
We need more Data Scientists.
…by 2018 the United States will experience a shortage of 190,000 skilled data scientists, and 1.5 million managers and analysts capable of reaping actionable insights from the big data deluge.
There are little to no Data Scientists with 5 years experience, because the job simply did not exist.
— David Hardtke How To Hire A Data Scientist 13 Nov 2012
Classic academic conduits aren’t providing Data Scientists — this talent gap will be closed differently.
Academic credentials are important but not necessary for high-quality data science. The core aptitudes – curiosity, intellectual agility, statistical fluency, research stamina, scientific rigor, skeptical nature – that distinguish the best data scientists are widely distributed throughout the population.
We’re likely to see more uncredentialed, inexperienced individuals try their hands at data science,bootstrapping their skills on the open-source ecosystem and using the diversity of modeling tools available. Just as data-science platforms and tools are proliferating through the magic of open source, big data’s data-scientist pool will as well.
And there’s yet another trend that will alleviate any talent gap: the democratization of data science. While I agree wholeheartedly with Raden’s statement that “the crème-de-la-crème of data scientists will fill roles in academia, technology vendors, Wall Street, research and government,” I think he’s understating the extent to which autodidacts – the self-taught, uncredentialed, data-passionate people – will come to play a significant role in many organizations’ data science initiatives.