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MIT Rolls Out Big Data Course for Professionals
MIT Rolls Out Big Data Course for Professionals

By Jennifer LeClaire
January 13, 2014 1:21PM

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The big data course offered by MIT should be required in any enterprise where business users interact with data. Business users crave big data and analytics tools, but without an understanding of what makes data good or bad they may make decisions based on insight that’s fallacious. MIT's big data course is an important step for the industry.
 



Just how big is 'big data'? When the likes of MIT start offering online professional courses, you know it’s hitting the mainstream.

MIT is offering its first such course, dubbed Tackling the Challenges of Big Data, starting March 4. The four-week online course is aimed at technical professionals and executives and will tackle topics from data collection, storage, and processing to analytics and visualization, as well as address a range of real-world applications. Twelve faculty experts from the world-renowned MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the School of Engineering will lead the course.

“MIT Professional Education is pleased to be able to offer a unique and comprehensive online course addressing a very important challenge facing industry today,” said Bhaskar Pant, executive director of MIT Professional Education. “With the teaching power of a ‘who’s who’ list of thought leaders on the subject from CSAIL, I am confident this course will allow industry players to not only learn of new approaches to big data, but also spark innovative thinking among teams charged with finding solutions to big data challenges.”

Truly Tapping Big Data

Tackling the Challenges of Big Data will be offered through MIT Professional Education, the arm of MIT that provides professional education and training for science, engineering, and technology professionals worldwide. It will be the first of a new line of professional programs called Online X Programs, to be delivered globally using the open-source online education platform edX.

“Big data technologies will help us better understand and improve the world around us,” said Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, and co-director of the online course. “Tackling the Challenges of Big Data will provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience for professionals looking to learn about the tools and skills they need to solve their big data problems.”

MIT said the course will enable companies and organizations to offer training and education to their employees on a topic that confronts most industries today. When they finish the course, participants will receive an MIT Professional Education certificate of completion and access to MIT Professional Education’s expansive professional alumni network. The cost: $495.

“Our goal is to expand access to MIT’s knowledge and expertise globally via online courses,” said Sanjay Sarma, director of the MIT Office of Digital Learning. “A course on a high-interest topic such as big data is a perfect way for us to begin addressing the learning needs of working professionals who may not otherwise be able to come to MIT to attend courses.” (continued...)

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