UC Berkeley Dean: Data science classes aren’t just for engineers


When it comes to the educational foundations surrounding data science, the traditional focus has remained on the hard skills like computing and engineering. However, onstage Thursday at Gigaom Structure Data in New York City, AnnaLee Saxenian, professor and Dean of University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information Science, said that the educational aspects of data science are not only broadly incorporating social sciences into the curriculum, but they’ll also be valuable for more than just engineers.

“I am pretty confident that data literacy will become an increasing part of all curricula,” Saxenian said.

In addition, she explained that as more companies look to solve problems with big data, the data scientists assigned to the task will need so-called “soft skills” — communication and leadership proficiencies — to help translate the numbers into usable data for all.

“One of the things we keep hearing here and elsewhere is that by bringing the…

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