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  • Writer's pictureTKI


Demand for professionals skilled in data, analytics, and machine learning is exploding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that demand for data science skills will drive a 27.9 percent rise in employment in the field through 2026. Data scientists bring value to organizations across industries because they are able to solve complex challenges with data and drive important decision-making processes. Not only is there a huge demand, but there is a significant shortage of qualified data scientists with 39% of the most rigorous data science positions requiring a degree higher than a bachelor’s.

This MicroMasters® program in Statistics and Data Science (SDS) was developed by MITx and the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). It is a multidisciplinary approach comprised of four online courses and a virtually proctored exam that will provide you with the foundational knowledge essential to understanding the methods and tools used in data science, and hands-on training in data analysis and machine learning. You will dive into the fundamentals of probability and statistics, as well as learn, implement, and experiment with data analysis techniques and machine learning algorithms. This program will prepare you to become an informed and effective practitioner of data science who adds value to an organization.

To complete the SDS MicroMasters program, learners will need to take the three core courses and one out of two electives. Once learners have passed their four courses, they will then take the virtually-proctored Capstone exam to earn the MicroMasters program credential in SDS. The credential can be applied, for admitted students, towards a Ph.D. in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) through the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) or may accelerate your path towards a Master’s degree at other universities around the world.

Anyone can enroll in this MicroMasters program. It is designed for learners who want to acquire sophisticated and rigorous training in data science without leaving their day job but without compromising quality. There is no application process, but college-level calculus and comfort with mathematical reasoning and Python programming are highly recommended if you want to excel.

All the courses of this program are taught by MIT faculty and administered by Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), at a similar pace and level of rigor as an on-campus course at MIT. This program brings MIT’s rigorous, high-quality curricula and hands-on learning approach to learners around the world—at scale.


CORE (Complete all)

  1. Probability - The Science of Uncertainty and Data Starts Jan 31, 2022 - Enrollment Open

  2. Machine Learning with Python: from Linear Models to Deep Learning Starts Sep 6, 2021 - Enrollment Open

  3. Fundamentals of Statistics Starts Jan 24, 2022 - Enrollment Open

  4. Capstone Exam in Statistics and Data Science Coming Jun 24, 2021. Eligible learners enrolled automatically.

ELECTIVES (Complete 1 of 2)

  1. Data Analysis: Statistical Modeling and Computation in Applications Starts Aug 30, 2021 - Enrollment Open

  2. Data Analysis in Social Science—Assessing Your Knowledge Starts Aug 18, 2021 - Enrollment Open


The cost to take each course is US $300. The Capstone Exam cost is US $300. If you choose to enroll in and pay for each courses separately, your program cost will be $1500. If you choose to enroll in the program and pay for courses upfront, the program cost is $1350, for a savings of $150. Please see the program page on edX at the following link for more information. edX offers financial aid to learners who qualify. You can learn more and find out if you qualify here.

What You'll Learn

  • Master the foundations of data science, statistics, and machine learning

  • Analyze big data and make data-driven predictions through probabilistic modeling and statistical inference; identify and deploy appropriate modeling and methodologies in order to extract meaningful information for decision making

  • Develop and build machine learning algorithms to extract meaningful information from seemingly unstructured data; learn popular unsupervised learning methods, including clustering methodologies and supervised methods such as deep neural networks

  • Master techniques in modern data analysis to leverage big datasets; use python and R skillfully to analyze data

Pathways to Graduate Programs

MIT: PhD Program in Social & Engineering Systems

Learners who successfully complete this MicroMasters Program Credential have the opportunity to apply to the MIT Doctoral Program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) offered through the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) during the SES admissions cycle (due date: December 15). Learners can use their MicroMasters program credential to demonstrate their preparation in statistics and data science fundamentals to the SES Admissions Committee. Learners admitted to SES can expect that their MicroMasters program coursework will be recognized with credit for corresponding SES core classes and requirements. More information on the MIT SES Doctoral Program can be found here.

In addition, learners who successfully earn the MicroMasters program credential in Statistics and Data Science are now eligible to earn credit at a number of universities across the globe to fast track their pursuit of a full Master’s degree. Below is a list of these universities and information on the amount of credit offered.

Other universities:

Harvard Extension School (USA) – Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies

Porto Business School (Portugal)

Royal Roads University (Canada) – Masters of Business Administration in Executive Management

Tsinghua University (China) - Master of Science in Engineering (Data Science and Information Technology)

University of San Francisco (USA)

The School of Business, Woxsen University (India)

Job Outlook

  • A recent report by IBM and Burning Glass states that there will be 364K new job openings in data-driven professions by 2020 in the US

  • Out of those jobs, the toughest to fill are the Data Scientist/Advanced Analytics positions

  • 39% of these positions require a degree higher than a bachelor’s

  • By completing this MicroMasters program you will be able to solve complex challenges with data and drive decision-making processes for organizations

  • Finishing this MicroMasters program will prepare you for job titles such as: Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Analyst, Systems Analyst, Data Engineer

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