With data now lifeblood of biz, AIM offers masters degree in data science

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) has announced its newest graduate degree program that aims to equip Asia’s fresh graduates, scientists, innovators, and businessmen with the necessary skills to face the modern workplace powered by digitization and data-driven decisions.

At the launching of the Master of Science in Data Science at the AIM in Makati City were (from left) Dr. Erika Fille T. Legara, associate professor and academic program director for MSDS; Dr. Jikyeong Kang, AIM president and dean; and Dr. Christopher P. Monterola, professor and head of SITE

At the launching of the Master of Science in Data Science at the AIM in Makati City were (from left) Dr. Erika Fille T. Legara, associate professor and academic program director for MSDS; Dr. Jikyeong Kang, AIM president and dean; and Dr. Christopher P. Monterola, professor and head of SITE

The Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) is the first program of its kind in the Philippines and among the very few in Asia. It is part of AIM’s fourth and newest school – the School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (SITE) – which was also launched on November 8 at AIM in Makati City.

“Data science is the fastest growing and most sought-after specialization worldwide,” said AIM president and dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang. “This is our most thought-through, most intelligent, and most appropriate response to prepare for the changes and challenges digitization throws at us.”

Developed by experienced scientists and international practitioners, the MSDS program is a four-term, 14-month full-time program focusing on the techniques, models, and technologies used in advanced analytics.

It will include 10 core data science modules, at least four business management modules, two electives, and a capstone project where students will have to work on real world problems. They will learn about computational analysis, machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, as well as leadership, communication, and business values, among others.

Students will have the necessary tools at their fingertips inside AIM with the institute’s world-class computing facility which is part of its Analytics, Computing, and Complex Systems (ACCeSs) lab.

At the end of the program, graduates will have a job-ready project portfolio “so their skills will not be questioned,” said Dr. Erika Fille T. Legara, associate professor at AIM and academic program director for MSDS.

“The Philippines needs to build an army of data scientists,” she added. “What the AIM MSDS will produce are battalions of commanders in data science.”

Legara explained that businesses are generating a lot of data in an unprecedented rate, citing that over 90% of total data produced by the entire world was actually created in the last two years.

“We are living and breathing data. What companies need is to really get value out of these data,” said Legara. “This is where data science comes in.”

Such data may be used to gain actionable insights which may help create new products and services and aid in decision-making. In the long run, this will help improve service and efficiency, maximize profits while minimizing costs, and attract more customers.

To enroll in the MSDS program, one must be a fresh graduate with strong mathematical and quantitative background or must have at least two years of either technical experience in data analytics and/or data engineering or work experience with SAS, Matlab/Octave, BI tools, R Python, C/C++ and other data science/analytics tools.

Aside from the MSDS program, also under SITE are the Master of Science in Innovation and Business (MIB) and Master in Entrepreneurship (ME) graduate degree programs.

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