Gain A Computer Science Credential In 2020
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 03 February 2020
Article Index
Gain A Computer Science Credential In 2020
Data Science Masters and MicroMasters


MSc in Data Science

We've already mentioned the Master of Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Illinois which was first on the scene back in 2016. For more details see Coursera Offers MOOC-Based Master's in Data Science. The most recent, starting February 2020 is from Moscow's Higher School of Economics (HSE), one of Russia’s top universities. This Master of Data Science is taught in English and has an emphasis on hands-on, project-based training. It has three tracks: Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, and Researchers in Data Science. The curriculum consists of 21 courses, each 6 weeks long. Students begin their study with the mathematics and programming blocks and this means that students without a computer science bachelor’s degree can learn basic concepts as they complete the program. In order to successfully complete the program, students must earn 120 ECTS credits and can do this over 18 to 24 months. The cost of the program is between 577,500 - 1,155,000 rubles, approximately equivalent to $8,250 - $16,500, depending on grant eligibility.

Applications are now open for two new options offered on the Coursera platform that will start in Fall 2020. The first, the Master of Applied Data Science comes from the University of Michigan. Its blurb states that it is "designed for aspiring data scientists to learn and apply skills through hands-on projects". It will earn students 34 credit hours at a cost of between $31,688 and $42,262 over a minimum duration of 12 months. 

The other is the Master of Machine Learning and Data Science, from Imperial College, London and costs £28,000 ($36,385). With a curriculum:

" designed to propel your engineering or data science career forward, allowing you to choose the path that’s right for you, be that a role as a data scientist, a machine learning engineer, or a computational statistician"

it consists of 12 modules and should take 2 years to complete at 21 hours per week.

Looking further ahead to January 2021, the University of Colorado Boulder is developing a Master of Science in Data Science consisting of 30 short courses, each 4-6 weeks in length for 30 credits taking about 3 years to complete. According to its blurb:

students will participate in practical, hands-on projects that utilize cloud-based programming environments and Jupyter Notebooks. This coursework includes access to real-world big data sets to prepare you for your future career.

The cost hasn't yet been announced.

On the edX platform there is the Master of Science in Analytics from Georgia Tech. It consists of 11 courses over 1 to 3 years at a cost of $9,900. It is described as:

a deep dive into analytics in which students choose courses from three specialized tracks, Analytical Tools; Business Analytics and Computation Data Analytics.

Applications are currently open for the Fall 2020 program which starts in August.


A full Master's degree might seem a little daunting. For this reason edX came up with MicroMasters. These are graduate level courses which:

provide deep learning in a specific career field and are recognized by employers for their real job relevance

As well as being an increasingly recognized credential, these online programs can serve as an accelerated route to gaining a Master's degree at various US universities. Big Data, Software Development, Cloud Computing, Robotics and Cybersecurity are among the topics of MicroMasters.

The first to be announced was the Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which was described as:

“bringing the quality, rigor, and structure of a master’s-level, residential program in data science at MIT to a wider audience around the world, and at a very accessible price, so people can learn anywhere they are while keeping their day jobs.”

Costing $1350 for the entire program it consists of four 13-16 week courses requiring 10-14 hours effort per week plus a final 2-week Capstone exam that pulls everything you have learned together. More details of the courses are in our June 2018 report.


We have also previously given details of the Algorithms & Data Structures MicroMasters from the University of California, San Diego which consists of short eight 3-7 week courses taken over the course of 1 year at a cost of $1080.

UCSD aslo has a Data Science MicroMasters with an emphasis on Python. As reported previously it consists of 4 courses and requires 10 months study at 9-11 hours per week and costs $1240.

Last year Coursera followed suit and introduced MasterTrack Certificates, in which portions of Master's programs are spilt into modules and earn credits towards a full masters. Currently there are three relating to computer/data science. We have already covered the Machine Learning for Analytics MasterTrack Certificate from the University of Chicago, which requires completion of four courses plus two hands-on projects over a period of 5 months and costs $4,000. That report also gave details of the Big Data MasterTrack Certificate from ASU which costs $4,500 in total for three courses (chosen from four options), each bolstered by an industry relevant hands-on project and require 4-6 months of study and can be counted towards the ASU Master of Computer ScienceAlong the same lines, ASU has recently announced  Software Engineering MasterTrack Certificate from ASU. The courses on offer for this are:

  • CSE 565: Software Verification, Validation, and Testing
  • CSE 598: Advanced Software Analysis and Design
  • CSE 598: Engineering Blockchain Applications
  • CSE 535: Mobile Computing

Last month edX launched a new microcredential, this time at undergraduate level, MicroBachelors. One of the first to be released is the MicroBachelors in Computer Science Fundamentals. This program should take around 6 months to complete at 4-6 hours per week costs $500 and comprises three self-paced courses which can be audited for free if you don't want a credential. 

They are:  



Although this MicroBachelors was created by, and is taught by instructors from, New York University, students who complete will receive credit from Thomas Edison State University rather than NYU and edX has yet to announce which bachelor’s degrees the MicroBachelors may count toward.  


More Information

50 Legit Master’s Degrees You Can Now Earn Completely Online

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - University of London/ Coursersa

Online Master of Science Computer Science (OMS CS)

Master of Computer Science - Illinois University/Coursera

Master of Computer Science - Arizona State University/Coursera 

Master of Computer and Information Technology - Pennsylvania University/Coursera

Master of Data Science - HSE/Coursera

Master of Applied Data Science - University of Michigan/Coursera

Master of Machine Learning and Data Science - Imperial College, London/Coursera

Master of Science in Data Science - University of Colorado/Coursera

Algorithms & Data Structures MicroMasters - UCSD/edX

Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters - MIT/edX

Data Science MicroMasters - UCSD/edX

Master of Science in Analytics - Georgia Tech/edX

Machine Learning for Analytics MasterTrack Certificate -University of Chicago/Coursera

Big Data MasterTrack Certificate - ASU/Coursera

Software Engineering MasterTrack Certificate - ASU/Coursera 

MicroBachelors in Computer Science Fundamentals - NYU/edX

Related Articles

Top Free Online Computer Science Courses

Professional Credentials For Computer Science Careers

Online Computer Science Degrees On Coursera

Admissions Open For Online CS Masters Degree

Online Master Of Computer Science Degrees From Coursera 

Ivy League Online Master's In Computer Science on Coursera

Fully Online edX Masters Programs 

Coursera Offers MOOC-Based Master's in Data Science

New Data Science Masters From Coursera

Algorithms & Data Structures MicroMasters

Statistics & Data Science MicroMasters on edX

MasterTracks and Professional Certificates in Data Science on Coursera 

Is Your Degree Worth Its Cost? 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 May 2020 )