Microsoft announces professional degree program to fill the skills gap – TechCrunch
Microsoft wants more data scientists in the job market. But some young people need to acquire their knowledge starting completely anew, while mid-career professionals need to build on their previous experience.
The Data Science Curriculum is the first offering of the Microsoft Professional Degree program, a Microsoft-led initiative to help professionals grow their skills in critical fields. Launched today, the program aims to offer an “employer-endorsed, university-caliber curriculum for professionals at any stage of their career,” the company said in a press release.
Data scientist is probably one of the most desired professions, with more job offerings than candidates.
The Microsoft course consists of nine classes and a final project. All classes can be audited for free. However, to receive credit toward the Microsoft Professional Degree, students must purchase a certificate for each of the 10 steps of the curriculum.
The certificate for the orientation class costs $25, the verified certificate for “Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics” costs $99 and all other classes offer certificates for $49 each (the complete Data Science course costs $516).
Students need to enroll in specific course sessions. A calendar for each class is available here; prospective students can read the detailed syllabus, examine the elective options for each unit and enroll on the edX page of the class. Each step requires a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 8 hours to be completed.
Microsoft is not the first major tech company to enter the field of IT online education — Google and Udacity have partnered to offer an Android nanodegree and other classes, and Amazon offers AWS training and certification for advance technical skills, including a big data class.