ITU launches first data science degree in Denmark

With a new Bachelor programme, the IT University of Copenhagen wants to meet the growing demand for specialists in handling large amounts of data - also known as big data. The industry welcomes the new programme, which will accept the first 50 students in 2017.

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Many companies are beginning to use big data to improve their business. But in order to exploit the full potential of big data, companies require specialists who can translate vast, complex data sets into useful information. With the launch of the first Danish Bachelor programme in data science, the IT University wants to meet the increasing demand for big data skills. The programme has just received approval from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

"Data is playing a growing role in Danish society, and the ability to handle data and draw valid data-based conclusions is becoming increasingly important. We need specialists who can do this," says Vice Chancellor Mads Tofte.

The 3-year Bachelor degree intersects traditional disciplinary boundaries. In addition to technical subjects, students will also receive training in business understanding and ethical aspects of data handling. Students will also learn to communicate their knowledge to people from non-technical backgrounds, for instance through project work in collaboration with businesses.

Support from the industry
The industry has offered continuous input to the new data science programme. During the developing phase, ITU commissioned an independent report from Rambøll showing a significant unmet demand for data specialists among employers, particularly for client analysis and innovation.

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There is great demand for specialists who can dig out the gold from the huge amounts of data generated by companies and translate them into concrete business opportunities.

Birgitte Hass, Director, Danish IT Industry Association.
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The Danish IT Industry Association is looking forward to having more big data specialists in Denmark.

"There is great demand for specialists who can dig out the gold from the huge amounts of data generated by companies and translate them into concrete business opportunities. So there is no doubt that these skills are in very high demand in the industry," says Birgitte Hass, Director of the organisation.

Job opportunities in many sectors
Mads Tofte predicts that the data science graduates will find good employment opportunities in many sectors.

"There will be opportunities in all industries that are using data to understand their business, from manufacturing companies to the public sector, the financial sector and, of course, IT companies. Their skills will be relevant for large parts of Danish society, because the importance of data is here to stay," he says.

Further information

Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email viar@itu.dk