UI turns to Internet to help meet demand for master’s degree

URBANA — More than 4,000 students applied for 200 undergraduate spots this year in computer science, among the most competitive departments at the University of Illinois. Demand is similar at the graduate level, with data science one of the hottest and highest-paid professions of the millennium. To help meet demand — and generate revenue — the UI is offering a new online professional master’s degree in data science, built on “MOOCs” (massive open online courses), in partnership with the Silicon Valley company Coursera. Similar to the “iMBA” online program announced last year by the College of Business, it will allow students to take initial courses as MOOCs, for free, to “test the waters,” said computer science Professor John Hart, who designed the new program. They can take one course, or…


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