Data Scientist

Mastering the art of meaningful data

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Specialization Description

Advanced skills for the job-ready data scientist

This advanced five-segment specialization gets you ready for the higher-level data scientist jobs by taking what you know and building on it. You already have machine learning experience. Build your expertise in transforming unwieldy Big Data into meaningful insights and business strategies. Targeted areas of study begin with the business end of the job, then move through software engineering, data engineering (natural language processing and machine learning), and experiment design. A final, real-world project of your choice ties it all together and builds your confidence with practical skills for the job market.

The curriculum is designed by Udacity, our online global education partner, and it comes to life in a live-online classroom setting led by our industry expert instructors.

You can choose between learning styles—an instructor-led online program that includes set online classes to discuss curriculum, share experiences, and work with other students or a self-paced, online program.

Data Scientist Specialization Objectives

  • Use Python and SQL to access and analyze data from several different data sources.
  • Use principles of statistics and probability to design and execute A/B tests and recommendation engines to assist businesses in making data-automated decisions.
  • Deploy a data science solution to a basic flask app
  • Manipulate and analyze distributed datasets using Apache Spark
  • Communicate results effectively to stakeholders

A Month-to-Month Subscription Program

How much can you complete in a month?

Most students take four to five months to complete this specialization. If you are subscribed to the self-directed, online format, you can pause your studies for up to two months (at the end of a month) and pick up where you left off. You have up to six months to complete this program. This option is not available for the instructor-led format, which must be completed in five months.

You can choose to pay upfront or month-to-month. If you choose the month-to-month option, please remember to enroll in each new session for the upcoming month to prevent a pause in your access to materials. You will have access to the curriculum on the first of the month through the last day of the month. There is no prorated access to the curriculum, so, please sign up early to get the full month.

Learn more about the month-to-month subscription plan.


In Partnership with Udacity

The curriculum for this program is designed by Udacity, a global online learning platform. By choosing to participate in this joint UCSC Silicon Valley Extension–Udacity program, you will benefit from an enriched learning experience.


  • Top University of California/Udacity technical curriculum.
  • A certificate of completion from UC Santa Cruz, an accredited university with a global reputation and a 50+-year history of exceptional professional training.
  • A UCSC Silicon Valley-branded digital badge to show off your acquired skills on LinkedIn and provide aptitude verification for employers.
  • 12 continuing education units (CEUs).
  • A self-paced, soft skills curriculum to strengthen your critical interpersonal skills for the job market.
  • One-on-one career counseling session and workshops with one of our workforce partners for those who are eligible.
  • Online job search tools and recruitment partners, including access to a tailored experience with an online career community network of employers and universities. Also, a 24/7 online resume-building tool that leverages data science, machine learning, and natural language processing to provide you with instant personalized feedback on your resume based on criteria gathered from employers and global best practices.
  • Engagement with the UC Santa Cruz community through live, topical webinars and career-related events.

Estimated Cost: Varies. (you pay only for courses you enroll in)
Required Credits: 12 CEUs
Duration: Students must complete the self-paced curriculum in six months and the instructor-led curriculum in five months.


Subscription by Month

Start / End date
Section ID

10-05-2020 to 10-31-2020

10-01-2020 to 10-31-2020



11-01-2020 to 11-30-2020



12-01-2020 to 12-31-2020



01-01-2021 to 01-31-2021



02-01-2021 to 02-28-2021



03-01-2021 to 03-31-2021



04-01-2021 to 04-30-2021



05-01-2021 to 05-31-2021



06-01-2021 to 06-30-2021



07-01-2021 to 07-31-2021



08-01-2021 to 08-31-2021



Specialization Inquiry Form

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Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860


Requisite Knowledge

Python • SQL • Statistics

Python Programming Skills
Writing functions, logic, control flow, and building basic applications, as well as common data analysis libraries like NumPy and pandas • SQL programming: Querying databases using joins, aggregations, and subqueries • Comfortable with using the Terminal, version control in Git, and using GitHub

Probability and Statistics Skills
Descriptive Statistics: Calculating measures of center and spread, estimation distributions • Inferential Statistics: Sampling distributions, hypothesis testing • Probability: Probability theory, conditional probability

Calculus: Maximizing and minimizing algebraic equations • Linear Algebra: Matrix manipulation and multiplication

Data Wrangling
Accessing database, CSV, and JSON data • Data cleaning and transformations using pandas and Sklearn

Data Visualization with matplotlib
Exploratory data analysis and visualization • Explanatory data visualizations and dashboards

Machine Learning
Feature Engineering • Supervised Learning: Regression, classification, decision trees, random forest • Unsupervised Learning: PCA, Clustering

We offer courses to help you prepare for this specialization.

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