UVA Darden Dual-Degree Partner Talks Future of Data

By Dave Hendrick

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Class of 2019 in the full-time MBA program includes a number of superlative attributes and historic firsts, such as highest-ever average GMAT score and a record-tying percentage of women.

The group also features another important new distinction, as the class includes the first cohort of Darden’s new dual-degree program with the UVA Data Science Institute. Seven students in the Class of 2019 are taking part in the two-year MBA/Master of Science in Data Science program, a novel program offering robust training and cutting-edge tools for students who plan to pursue a variety of career fields.

Given strong demand on the part of students and prospective employers, Darden and the Data Science Institute expect to significantly increase the size of the dual degree cohort starting with the Class of 2020.

In a new Q&A that originally appeared on UVA Today, Data Science Institute Director Philip Bourne discusses the importance of data science and his vision of building on the early successes of the emerging institute.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe calls data “the new oil,” and it’s true. Data is the best resource to be mined for societal well-being.

A multitude of opportunities exist to better manage our world through our growing ability to make sense of and make good use of the data we collect – everything from predictive modeling for customized health care, to managing traffic patterns so we can minimize accidents, to understanding the spread of terrorism by analyzing social media and beyond are within the realm of data science. Every industry, government organization, research institute, and university is touched and improved by our increasing ability to collect and make connections using extremely large data sets.

And the impact will continue to grow. Every two years, the amount of digitized data is equal to all of the data ever collected before. The world’s knowledge is at our fingertips, and data science allows us to effectively and efficiently make use of that knowledge. This is facilitating a societal shift as big as the Industrial Revolution. Such a shift will undoubtedly cause disruption, but I am optimistic that the net gains will far outweigh the negatives.

Learn more about dual degrees at Darden.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia