The Democratization of Data Science Education

Sean Kross, Roger D. Peng, Brian S. Caffo, Ira Gooding, Jeffrey T. Leek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last three decades, data have become ubiquitous and cheap. This transition has accelerated over the last five years and training in statistics, machine learning, and data analysis has struggled to keep up. In April 2014, we launched a program of nine courses, the Johns Hopkins Data Science Specialization, which has now had more than 4 million enrollments over the past five years. Here, the program is described and compared to standard data science curricula as they were organized in 2014 and 2015. We show that novel pedagogical and administrative decisions introduced in our program are now standard in online data science programs. The impact of the Data Science Specialization on data science education in the U.S. is also discussed. Finally, we conclude with some thoughts about the future of data science education in a data democratized world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Statistician
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Applications and case studies
  • Education
  • Statistical computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


Dive into the research topics of 'The Democratization of Data Science Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this