College of Computing Creates New Department of Data Science
Written by: Dean Mudgett
Building on existing academic and research strengths, NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing has created a new Department of Data Science where students will learn the deep underlying technologies driving this field and its broad spectrum of applications.
The college has taken significant steps in recent years to position itself as a leader in data science education and research. It already offers an M.S. in Data Science, as well as graduate-level certificate programs in Big Data, Data Visualization and Data Mining. Starting in the Fall 2021 semester, the college will offer a B.S. in Data Science, opening the door to this growing career field to interested undergraduate students. The new department will house all of these degrees, as well as a future Ph.D. program.
The department will complement NJIT’s Institute for Data Science, which focuses on multidisciplinary research and training of technology leaders to solve global challenges involving data and its analysis. The Institute looks to develop data-driven technologies through collaborations with NJIT’s existing research centers in Big Data, Medical Informatics and Cybersecurity and a future center for Artificial Intelligence.
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute of Data Science David Bader sees the establishment of a department of data science and the addition of an undergraduate degree in data science as important next steps for NJIT’s leadership in the field.
“Data science is critical to national competitiveness, which is why we launched the Institute for Data Science and created our master’s and graduate certificate programs. The National Science Foundation in a recent report stated, ‘The ability to manipulate data and understand data science is becoming increasingly critical to current and future discovery and innovation’,” Bader said. “Establishing a department of data science to house our degree and certificate programs makes perfect sense and will give NJIT students across all degree levels an opportunity to explore this exciting and dynamic field.”
NJIT is located in the heart of the region where data scientist jobs are most needed in the United States. Strategic investment in data science education presents significant financial benefit for the tri-state region. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020 Occupational Employment and Wages Report, the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan region has the highest number of jobs for data scientists and mathematical scientists in the nation, with 4,730 employees and an annual mean wage of $129,250.
“The field of data science is growing quickly, and the demand for talent is especially significant in the fast-growing New York/New Jersey metropolitan area,” said College of Computing Dean Craig Gotsman. “It is our duty and our privilege to generate the tech talent to meet this demand. Creating a new department solely focused on data science will add an exciting new dimension to the College of Computing. It will help us deliver the best possible academic experience to students interested in this fascinating field of study, and also help the college attract leading data scientists to our already talented and expert faculty.”