UCC pioneers data science course

UCC is set to become a leader in data science by pioneering the world’s first suite of degree courses in the emerging discipline — which is key to unlocking the benefits of cloud computing.

It is expected the courses will attract students from all over the world to Cork, with leading global technology players such as EMC putting their expertise and tech capital behind the initiative.

EMC — which employs 2,700 people in Ireland and 50,000 around the world — has already partnered with CIT to introduce the world’s first cloud computing master’s degree.

EMC Ireland managing director Bob Savage has confirmed the company is at the preliminary stage of finalising details of the new degree programmes, which he expects will lead to EMC personnel from around the world coming to Cork to study the courses.

Data science is an emerging discipline with the core aim of harnessing the massive amounts of data being created in the cloud.

“We are working with UCC to see if we can put together an equivalent programme to the CIT initiative in cloud computing. Data science is going to affect everybody in every business, in every walk of life. It’s going to involve an awful lot of elements. We are very hopeful that we will have degrees in data science in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

Mr Savage said the development of cloud computing and data science is important from Ireland’s point of view.

“We have a huge chance to take advantage of this revolution. This is an area where Ireland can play a huge part. In this area, and in many elements of it, we can play a big part in cloud computing.

“Every multinational, bar none, that is a big player in the cloud game is here in Ireland. So, the eco-system is in place. We are coming across some very interesting high-potential starts-ups here in Ireland,” he said.

EMC Ireland’s chief technology officer, Donagh Buckley — who is the main liaison between the firm and UCC — said people coming from a numerate discipline are the type of candidates they will be seeking for the graduate element of the degree courses.

“This is a huge global opportunity. Data science could create thousands of jobs within Ireland. We are thinking big,” he said.

He pointed out there will be a need for as many as 150,000 data scientists in the US alone over the next four years.


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