Working with data is one of today’s most in-demand specializations in the world of IT, and the processing of large amounts of data is a must for companies in practically all sectors of the modern economy. Generating new transport routes, creating new materials, developing modern software, online translators, and smart cameras performing facial recognition – all this would be impossible without data analysis and machine learning. Big data is also becoming more and more sought after in science, being used for decoding genomes, researching new molecules, and analyzing the creative legacy of writers of the past. 

Given that the demand for data analysis specialists only continues to grow, ITMO University’s Higher School of Digital Culture and Yandex have launched a new joint Master’s program in Data Analytics.

“We are seeing that the demand for such specialists only continues to grow, which is why we have collaborated with ITMO University on launching a joint Master’s program as part of which we will be helping to train students for the challenges of the modern IT industry. Yandex has a wealth of experience in creating educational projects, both independently, such as with Yandex School of Data Analysis, and in partnership with other universities,” comments Evgenia Kulikova, head of Academic Programs Service at Yandex.

ITMO University students
ITMO University students

The program’s structure

A total of 21 students will be able to enroll as part of the program’s first intake: 16 will be tuition-free and 5 will study on a fee-paying basis. The curriculum is intended for those with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or maths, as well as pre-existing programming skills. Over the course of two years, students will be learning mathematical basics for working with data, and practicing using data processing and storage algorithms and modifying these algorithms in order to obtain the best results. 

The program includes two specializations:

  • Methods of Data Analysis, with a focus on the development of new data analysis methods and tools;
  • Technologies of Data Analysis, with a focus on the application and adaptation of existing methods to different subject fields. 
ITMO University
ITMO University

The curriculum covers such topics as programming technologies, machine learning, image, speech, and natural language processing, probability theory, and mathematical statistics. 

Today, data analytics is required in almost all fields – in different sectors of the industry, advertising, commerce, education and others. Designing data and organizing its storage, processing big data, using data as the basis for decision-making, as well as forecasting, reporting and multifactorial visualization – all this is highly sought after on the modern labor market, adds Elena Mikhailova, head of the new program and director of ITMO University’s Higher School of Digital Culture. 

ITMO University plans to implement the program in collaboration with major Russian and international companies. 

“We have well-established partnerships with many IT companies, for example Dell Technologies, SAP, and Digital Design. These companies are willing to contribute to this program by initiating student projects, suggesting thesis topics, and providing opportunities for practical training,” says Elena Mikhailova.

Elena Mikhailova
Elena Mikhailova

Two diplomas instead of one

Part of the subjects will be taught in collaboration with Yandex’ Computer Science Center in St. Petersburg. What is more, an additional intake to the center’s programs will be organized for the program’s students wishing to enroll. 

“Opened at the initiative of Yandex, JetBrains, and the St. Petersburg Department of Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Computer Science Center in St. Petersburg provides training in maths and programming. Enrollment is open to anyone who is able to pass entrance examinations. Just as for any other partner, the center will open an additional intake for our program’s students. Usually, the entrance examinations take place in April, but our students will be able to take the exams after enrolling in the program and study there in parallel with their studies at ITMO. This will give them the opportunity to receive not only an ITMO University diploma but also a Computer Science Center one, which holds significant value among employers,” comments Elena Mikhailova. 

As a result, as noted by the program’s head, completing the program enables students to become versatile specialists combining programming skills with knowledge of data analysis methods in different subject fields and thus being able to work both in science and various hi-tech companies.