Microsoft Professional Degree: Data Science

Screenshot from the Microsoft Professional Degree in Data Science page, showing the 'subway map' of course options. Graphic: Microsoft

Alison Cunard announces the Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD) program, which she describes like this:

The first program of its kind to offer employer-endorsed, university-caliber curriculum for professionals at any stage of their career. MPD is a Microsoft-led initiative, built on the Open edX on Azure platform, providing professionals with real-world knowledge and hands-on experience to grow their skills in critical fields. The initial curriculum will focus on the Data Science Degree program providing targeted skills and experiences in the rapidly evolving data science industry.

The program provides a “subway map” that shows choices for specializing your degree. The classes cover a lot of ground, from statistics to machine learning to data analysis and visualization. You can take classes in the listed order, in a custom order, or simultaneously. You can audit any classes, including the associated hands-on labs, for free.

It’s a worthwhile undertaking, because:

Microsoft consulted Data Scientists and the companies that employ them to identify the requisite core skills. We then developed a curriculum to teach these functional and technical skills, combining highly rated online courses with hands-on labs, concluding in a final capstone project. Graduates earn a Microsoft Professional Degree in Data Science—a digitally sharable, résumé-worthy credential.

I’ve been itching to take the Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel and Introduction to Python for Data Science courses at edX, and this gives me some added incentive.

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