Big Data, AI must be learned by future executives–AIM

The explosion of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) globally has highlighted the need for more investment in Data Science, according to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

This has prompted AIM to create a unique Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program that marries both hardcore data science with business and/or management skills and know-how.

AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang told reporters on Monday this particular program is a first in the Philippines and in the region.

“The way we designed the program, basically a combination of a data science program, hardcore data science program, and business and management [program is unique],” Kang said. “I’m not aware of a [similar] rigorous program anywhere in the region.”

Kang said the unveiling of the MSDS program is AIM’s way of not only producing data science leaders but also influencing the education system and businesses of the importance of data science.

She said this is particularly important with the emergence of AI, which brings along with its technological wonders, the threat of joblessness for those it can replace in various industries.

Through data scientists who are knowledgeable about the technical ramifications of innovations and who have a good business acumen, Kang said it can help create new jobs that are more responsive to the need of the times.

“Yes, there will be some jobs that will be lost…but there will also be lots of new jobs that will be created, as well. So how do we prepare our society and young people for the jobs that will be created?” Kang said.

“Instead of just preparing our students to be ready for the jobs that existed yesterday, how do you prepare them for the future and tomorrow? So I think our program will become even more important going forward,” she added.

The MSDS has a pioneer batch of 42 students who come from various industries but have strong quantitative backgrounds. Majority studied mathematics, computer science, and statistics/economics, to name a few.

Many of the enrolled students are working in the professional, scientific and technical activities; finance and insurance activities; information and communication; and education.

More than half are graduates of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. However, only 19 percent of them are women, prompting the need to encourage more women to take interest in data science.

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A professional journalist for over a decade, Cai U. Ordinario currently writes macroeconomic and urban development stories for BusinessMirror. She has received awards for excellence in reporting on the macroeconomy and statistics. She was also cited for her contribution to statics reporting by the National Statistical Coordination Board (now the Philippine Statistics Authority). She is a recipient of journalism fellowships including the Jefferson Fellowship from the Honolulu-based East West Center. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Communication at the University of the Philippines. She graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas.