Students interested in big data science careers will benefit from a new Bachelor of Science degree coming this fall.

The bachelor’s in Data Science spans a variety of sub-disciplines within the greater field of data science, including mathematics, statistics, specialized programming and algorithm design. It also teaches students how to draw useful conclusions from data so businesses can make informed decisions.

The new degree becomes the third undergraduate degree offered by the Department of Statistics and Data Science, along with one in statistics and another in actuarial science. The department also offers a master’s with two tracks in data mining and statistical computing and a doctorate in big data analytics.

Students in the new degree will begin with the basic science behind data creation and extraction as a foundation, then move on to advanced topics such as machine learning, deep learning and natural-language processing. As participants build on this knowledge, department Chair Shunpu Zhang is hopeful the unique courses will challenge students as much as it allows them to think creatively.

“We’re offering students a modern degree in a field that is growing as quickly as it is evolving,” he says.

The need is rising for data analysts who can create, adapt and use state-of-the-art tools to obtain insight from large and unstructured data sets and convert them into knowledge. Business-Higher Education Forum puts the demand at 2.72 million new jobs posted in 2020 requiring data science expertise.

Multiple departments at UCF developed the degree to maximize utility and versatility, including computer sciences, industrial engineering and management systems, and mathematics. Some of the available courses include computer science and data analysis praxis. The degree’s heavy emphasis on physical and computational sciences is sure to interest students searching for training in multiple disciplines, says Zhang.

“This has been highly anticipated by students,” he says. “I’ve had many students, undergraduate, doctoral…all contacting me out of curiosity and excitement.”

Apply here for the new program before the May 1 deadline.