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Masters in data science program expands with new cohort in Salem

by Marketing & Communications,

Students Discussing about Data Science

Demand for Willamette University’s masters in data science program is leading to expansion beyond Portland. 
 
This fall, the one-year program will be offered at the university’s main Salem campus in addition to the existing location in downtown Portland. 
 
Applications for the program have already exceeded expectations, said Jameson Watts, executive director and chair of computing and data science programs. “If this trend continues, we are going to have two very strong cohorts starting in fall of 2023.”
 
Designed for working professionals and college graduates from a range of backgrounds, the program offers efficiency and flexibility. Within one year, students can complete a comprehensive graduate degree and still have time to work or pursue an internship. And the program results are impressive — 90% of those who sought employment landed a job within four months of graduation, with an average starting salary of more than $100,000. 
 
Willamette’s MS in data science is currently the largest program of its kind among private colleges and universities in Oregon and Washington, and it only plans to grow. With the addition of new faculty next year, Willamette will hold the largest concentration of expertise among peer institutions in the region.
 
Interest in the degree grew quickly after its debut two years ago. Students pursuing a joint MBA degree are discovering how well data science complements their majors, and conversations with local leaders suggest that both state government and health care organizations are seeking to train more workers in this field, said Watts. 
 
Data science jobs have become — and will continue to be — one of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation. 
 
“Whether you graduate in English or biology or chemistry, adding a one-year professional master’s degree will give you a huge leg up in the job market,” Watts said. “It’s a very, very attractive pathway, even for students who don’t have a background in computing or data science.” 
 
The standard deadline for applications is Jan. 10, 2023.

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