East Tennessee State University to launch applied data science master’s program

BY Sydney LakeJune 21, 2022, 7:19 PM
East Tennessee State Buccaneers fans cheer their team to a Southern Conference Championship win over the Wofford College Terriers, as seen in March 2020, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C. (Photo by David Allio—Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Data science professionals and the skills they bring to a company are in high demand—extremely high demand. In 2021, interview platform DevSkiller reported a 295% year-over-year increase in the number of data science tasks that IT job candidates were screened for, according to its Top IT Skills Report 2022.

Keeping pace with that demand, East Tennessee State University, a public research university in Johnson City, announced in late May that it will launch an applied data science master’s program in fall 2022 in which students can enroll either in-person or online. 

“The new master’s degree in applied data science will help train the next generation of data scientists to work in an array of fields, including right here in our own region,” Kimberly D. McCorkle, ETSU provost and senior vice president for academics, said in a statement.

ETSU undergraduate students for several years have worked on data science and analytics projects with local companies, but these companies report struggling to find skilled applicants to fill the growing need for these types of roles, Robert M. Price, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at ETSU, tells Fortune

“Our two-year master’s program in applied data science targets these needs, via a well-designed, integrative program that provides critical opportunities for hands-on partnerships with real-world firms,” Price says. Master’s students in the applied data science program will work with local companies including Ballad Health and Eastman Chemical Co., according to the school’s announcement about the program. 

Program details and how to apply

ETSU’s master’s in applied data science program will take 24 months to complete. Program curriculum includes mathematics, statistics, computer science, and programming.

No one type of background among candidates completely fits the mold for the program. Rather, ETSU predicts that applicants from varied professions will apply for its new applied data science master’s program. 

“The wonderful thing about our program is its focus on skills that apply to an array of disciplines,” Price says. “We expect to get applicants who are interested in all manner of fields, including—but not limited to—business, health science, computer science, mathematics, statistics, sports, and economics.”

Candidates are not required to submit a GRE score to apply to the program. To be considered for admission beginning this fall, candidates must submit their application by Aug. 1. Students need a transcript, three recommendation letters, a personal statement, and résumé to apply.

See how the schools you’re considering fared in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in psychology programs, public health programsbusiness analytics programsdata science programs, and part-timeexecutive, full-time, and online MBA programs.