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Monash University launches data science microcredential to address data scientist talent shortage

19 February 2020, UK & Australia: Monash University, one of Australia’s leading universities, has launched its first microcredential entitled Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making, now available on

Careers in data science remain highly attractive, ranking 6th in Glassdoor’s 25 Best Jobs in the UK for 2020 list – up from 7th last year – with a median base salary of over £45,000. Yet data from The Royal Society shows the demand for skilled data scientists and engineers has more than tripled over five years to 231%. This talent shortage is likely to increase according to the inaugural Data Science Skills Survey, which also found that the lack of skills, support and time to upskill have caused major blockers for existing data science professionals. 

The Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making microcredential will allow professionals to develop the skills necessary for data science roles as well as more generally to enhance their ability to use data to inform real-world decision-making. Such skills will benefit a wide range of professional contexts, from manufacturing to healthcare, tourism to transportation, and media to government.

Learners will work through practical programming exercises in R language to learn the process of tidying, harvesting and wrangling data and applying statistical models to simulate complex functions that solve a broad range of problems. They will also explore the essential ethical, legal and organisational issues of data collection and management.

“We expect the demand for microcredentials to grow rapidly, not only from individual learners but also from organisations,” says Professor Sue Elliott AM, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education), Monash University who is launching Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making. Sue continued, “Microcredentials make it possible to provide staff with the opportunity to upskill rapidly in key business areas.”

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn commented: “FutureLearn and our partners have recognised the demand for flexible, accredited and career-focussed online learning, especially in rapidly evolving areas such as data science and analytics. The European Commission predicted a growth of over 100,000 new data related roles across the continent by 2020. Microcredentials will play a huge part in addressing this surge in industry demand, while meeting the needs of learners and professionals worldwide.”

Microcredentials are accredited, online courses designed to help learners build specialised skills relevant to their career. Students who successfully complete the course will receive 6 credit points at Postgraduate level from Monash University and a Certificate of Completion from Monash University.

About FutureLearn

Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 10 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education. 

About Monash University

Monash University is a founding member of the Group of 8, comprising Australia’s leading universities. 

In 60 years, we have risen from a single campus into an education and research powerhouse, committed to the challenges of the age. Our work is making an impact all over the world, from bringing clean water to villages in Africa to creating new life-saving medicines. With four Australian campuses, one in Malaysia, and more than 100 international partners, you’ll have access to global opportunities and unmatched experiences.

The quality of our teaching and exceptional facilities are just two of the many reasons we’re consistently ranked in the top 100 universities in the world.

As a Monash student, you’ll also benefit from the extra choices that come with studying at Australia’s largest university. Our wide choice of courses, flexibility, graduate pathways and international study options will give you the opportunity to achieve academic success and to carve an exciting career path.

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