back to article Question: What's missing in Microsoft's data science professional degree?

Microsoft grabbed the headlines this week when it announced a Professional Degree Program at its annual partner conference. It starts with data science. Microsoft claims to have consulted data scientists and companies that employ them in order to ensure students the core skills for a job in this extremely hot field of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having obtained an MSc in Software Engineering in the early 90s, I have to confess that my "three-month intensive research project" did not take three months and was not intensive.

    1. Shoot Them Later

      Re: Intensive

      I am soooo glad that I'm not the only one sitting here thinking that.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge


    In the world of big data, nobody cares about Consistency and Durability.

    1. Spacedman

      Re: ACID

      All they care about is "Is it web scale?":

    2. nicercat

      Re: ACID

      Could not agree more. The author clearly has no clue about the workflows and challenges of analysing big data. He betrays his cluelessness with the "surely" qualifier when moaning about the fact that there's no Relational DB theory in the course. Relational databases were supplanted in this domain *precisely because* they're useless at big data. Nobody cares about the client/salesperson/sales order/HR table referential integrity that RDMS obsess about.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Could not agree more.

        I was being sarcastic....

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: ACID

        "Nobody cares about the client/salesperson/sales order/HR table referential integrity that RDMS obsess about."

        In order to play about with your large scale data sets you need a working business to pay the bills. A business that sells goods and services. If there isn't someone to obsess about ACID qualities in the database* that supports that business then your big data is going to get its budget yanked from under it and will, in any case, be pointless.

        *The database may well be providing the data sets in the first place.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    MS training for MS

    why are people surprised?

    They probably think that the world (and the WWW) runs on Microsoft (IIS + SQLServer) platforms and nothing else is worth looking at.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did I miss the point?

    There are several online courses with similar purposes, structure and costs -- I am sure Coursera offers one. There is no need to pay for any software mentioned on the syllabus (R, RStudio) so the investment is lower, and more people can take it.

    Why not call it "Data Science with Microsoft Tools" and offer it for free? People would have to pay somehow to have access to the tools anyway.

  5. Stevie Silver badge


    But ... Isn't the "missing stuff" in the CS Batchelor's degree everyone but me seems to have these days? It can't just be three years of C, Java and "Why Cobol Doesn't Work" can it?

  6. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    "That’s OK if this was a training course, but if it’s meant to be training data science professionals, why not teach generic (or standard) SQL?"

    As the late great Admiral Hopper said, the best thing about standards is that there's so many of them. I can imagine that it would be a useful exercise to have students design a set of queries that would work across multiple databases. But if you are going to touch on stored procedures and triggers, and I think you should, then I don't know what standard means.

  7. Sampler

    Is this.. of those news articles that's actually a paid advert for the MS course?

    Natural advertising or whatever it's called..

    1. Sampler

      Re: Is this..

      native, native advertising is what I meant..

      1. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Is this..

        Like product placement in television programmes.

  8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Buzzword university

    As far as I can tell "data science" basically involves piping datasets into some kind of machine learning environment and running various statistical models. There's some maths involved but little or no science but it makes the job title sound better.

    1. andrewj

      Re: Buzzword university

      So that just basically underlines that you can't tell very far.

  9. Adam 52 Silver badge

    Where did the author biographies go? Andy's would be most appropriate here, and might have made some of the posters above think twice before appearing fools.

    1. Long John Baldrick

      Authors Bios

      Hover over authors name. When info box appears click on authors name. Logical, no?

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Authors Bios

        Ah, so it's a feature only available to the minority that are desktop users!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Authors Bios

          And the other minority of android pad user - the author's name is a hyperlink to the bio- old skool huh!? ;-)

        2. Hollerithevo

          Re: Authors Bios

          @adam52 - I am at work, and on a laptop or on a PC, and it is on one of these antiquated devices that I read El Reg. What do you work on?? Nice Galaxy tablet? Smartphone?

  10. ben_myers

    More proselytization of the Microsoft way

    One of the ways Microsoft achieved its operating system monopoly was to get software developers to do things the Microsoft way, using Microsoft ASP, .NET, Active X, and all the other features that lock one into the Microsoft operating system and the Microsoft (at the time) Internet Explorer. (Had they seen fit to give away all of their software development tools, too, we would not be having any conversation at all about OS X and all the Linux distros.) What Microsoft is doing for and to data scientists with this course reeks of the same odor. In the old days, they did not call their product managers evangelists for nothing.

  11. oldcoder

    What is missing?

    The science part. No foundations provided.

  12. Esme

    irrespective of its educational merits

    - why would I want to pay money to a company with such low ethical standards or trust the content of a course produced by a company that has made quite so many monstrous cock-ups over the years?

    And I happen to LIKE T-SQL (insofar as this lowly pleb uses it, anyway)!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020