Today is an exciting day for us as we announce a partnership between Eastern Washington University (EWU) and the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) designed for aspiring data scientists who can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Analytics.


This unique collaboration integrates the MPP Data Science track into the final year of curriculum for EWU students studying analytics in the College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA). The new degree combines the best of EWU—world-class faculty, facilities, and instructional expertise—with the rigorous MPP Data Science curriculum. Program participants will consume courses via Open edX on the scalable Microsoft Azure cloud platform and, in addition to their academic degree, will earn a valuable industry credential from Microsoft. This combination of an accredited academic program with a cutting-edge industry credential provides a unique and exciting opportunity for EWU students.


Data analytics is one of the fastest-growing and highest-demand professions worldwide, so it’s terrific to be part of a new degree program that is equipping students with the skills and experience to take advantage of digital transformation. Microsoft was fortunate to partner with a forward-thinking institution in Eastern Washington University, which is currently the only university in the state of Washington, and one of a select few in the nation, to offer the MPP Data Science credential as part of an accredited degree program.


This collaboration with EWU is an exciting step forward for MPP. The program enables students to build the skills necessary to become a practitioner of data science through a rigorous curriculum and hands-on experiences. MPP is an important component of Microsoft’s strategy to address the growing global technical skills gap, as every year the global economy requires more graduates with technical skills than colleges and universities can produce. Jobs in critical roles like software engineering and data science will go unfulfilled unless industry steps in to partner with academia to help fill the gap. In fact, 65% of CIOs say that they are struggling with skills shortages right now—which we expect will grow to upward of 1.5 million jobs projected to go unfilled by 2020. Clearly, the time is now for industry and academia to come together to address these needs and provide a path for students to fill this critical gap! 


EWU students will now have access to the best of both worlds: a degree from EWU as well as a digitally shareable, resume-worthy credential from Microsoft for students who demonstrate mastery of data science skills. This is an exciting opportunity for students, a step forward in addressing the global skills gap, and an example of a truly unique approach to tackle key challenges facing business and academia. 


We are honored to be part of this groundbreaking partnership with EWU and look forward to great success with this program. We can’t wait to see what the graduates do to advance their careers and demonstrate global impact with their new data science skills.