Data Science


The Bachelor of Science in Data Science (BSDS) program is a special degree program that blends courses from both the College of Letters & Science and the College of Engineering & Applied Science. It is a structured curriculum offering courses from both statistics and computer science, in addition to electives from other departments and colleges.

The job outlook for individuals with data science degrees is extremely favorable. A student with combined skills in statistical analysis and computer programming is likely to be in high demand on the job market.

Our program is highly technical in nature yet still retains elements of a classic liberal arts degree. Students take courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences as part of the general education requirements, in addition to mandatory courses on the ethical implications of data science and on writing and communication. A broad world view of cultures, history, and society leads to better decision-making in scientific careers, and strong communication skills make graduates even more attractive in the job market.

Learning Outcomes

The objective of the BS major degree in Data Science is to prepare students for careers in data science, data analytics or related fields. To accomplish this goal, students will gain a solid foundation in statistical methods and programming techniques via a wide range of courses available through the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the College of Letters and Science and the Computer Science Division at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Upon completion of the program, students will:

  • Be able to integrate methods and concepts from mathematics, statistics and computer science to solve data science problems, including data management and extraction of meaning from data.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking related to data science problems and concepts.
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills related to data science.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the ethical aspects of data science.

Milwaukee-area employers and Internships

Milwaukee is an excellent place to study data science because many local businesses — including well-known names such as Harley-Davidson, Molson Coors, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, FIS, and Northwestern Mutual — regularly hire data scientists. Several of these businesses run internship programs for undergraduates. This proximity to data science employers gives UWM students an edge in making the connections that will launch a successful career in data science.

Market demand

The job outlook for mathematicians and statisticians in the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “employment of statisticians is projected to grow 34 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected to result from more widespread use of statistical analysis to make informed business, healthcare, and policy decisions. In addition, the large increase in available data from the Internet will open up new areas for analysis. (…) The amount of digitally stored data will increase over the next decade as more people and companies conduct business online and use social media, smartphones, and other mobile devices. As a result, businesses will increasingly need mathematicians to analyze the large amount of information and data collected.” The handbook is very specific about data science, stating that “job opportunities are expected to be favorable for those with very strong quantitative and data analysis skills. Computer programming skills will remain important to many employers, as will be keeping up with new statistical methods and programming languages.” According to this report there were 37,200 job positions for statisticians in the US in 2016, and this number is expected to grow to 49,800 in 2026.

For the state of Wisconsin, a labor market report generated at WisConomy, the Department of Workforce Development labor database, shows that the number of job positions in Computer and Mathematical Occupations in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services industries is expected to grow from 17,299 in the year 2016 to 20,899 in 2026 (a 20.8% increase), and in the Finance and Insurance industries is expected to grow from 10,424 to 11,703 (a 12.3% increase) in the same period.

The recent creation of the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee also demonstrates the demand for data science programs in the region.

For more information, please contact the Data Science Program Coordinator.