The first Data Science students at Aarhus University now have their bachelor's degree
Data Science was established as a new degree at Aarhus University three years ago. As the students describe it, student jobs are plentiful, and companies are already very interested in the students and the degree.
"In the process of getting the degree accredited, a collaboration was established between the four departments: Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Today this is reflected in the breadth of the degree."
– Head of Education for Data Science and Professor at the Department of Mathematics, Jens Ledet Jensen.
The new degree has been very well received by passionate and committed students who see many opportunities with a degree in Data Science: "I think it is almost the most versatile degree in relation to finding work in so many different types of businesses – all businesses and industries have a need for analyzing data on some level or another." Laura Folmer who studies Data Science in her 6th semester tells.
But it is also challenging to start up a completely new degree: "Getting all the administrative procedures in place, coordinating teaching across four departments and hiring new staff has been challenging.", Jens Ledet Jensen explains
However, it seems these challenges have been taken well care of. Laura Folmer and Laura Nilsson, two students in their 6th semester, commend both the teachers and the way the university welcomed them – not just as new students, but as new students at a brand-new degree.
"Something that has been essential for the quality of our teaching is the fact that we have fantastic professors."
– Laura Folmer.
Laura Nilsson agrees and continues: "It really is this about witnessing the passion and how devoted to their respective fields they are. I think that has been very fascinating to experience here at the Department of Mathematics and the other places where we have had courses."
"I also think that the university has been very focused on that Data Science is a new degree and that no other students have taken the degree before, so they did something extra. They gave us an office, which the subsequent classes have also benefitted from. We used the office from the beginning and that made a huge difference because we spent so much time there. We had beer together on Fridays and solved assignments on the blackboards – it contributed to both a strong social and professional community."
– Laura Folmer
Another aspect of being the first students at a new degree has been, and is, the opportunity to give others their own perspective on what Data Science is about, as Laura Folmer describes: "One of the advantages of being part of a newly implemented degree is that people are naturally interested and react with curiosity. When someone asks what I am studying, it’s always positive to answer "Data Science". It is not like some of the classic educations where people already have an idea of what it might be. We have the opportunity to give our own perspective on what Data Science is, and which experiences we have gained during the degree."
Laura and Laura are both working on their final bachelor projects, which they are completing this summer as some of the very first bachelors in Data Science at Aarhus University. Their projects are very different, which also reflect the diversity in opportunities the students will get with an education in Data Science. Laura Folmer´s bachelor project is about route planning within home care, while Laura Nilsson´s project is about tracking frequent elements in data streams.