Govt to support curriculum adding data science to studies of humanities graduate students

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The education ministry will from fiscal 2022 provide support for the creation of a curriculum that allows graduate students in humanities courses to also study data science, a move aimed at raising the global competitiveness of Japan and Japanese universities.

Unlike those with majors such as business administration or education, most graduate students studying in the field of information systems are from science-oriented departments. The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry aims to produce 1,000 specialists in data science from the humanities departments among those earning master’s or doctorate degrees.

Data science is a field of study that searches for solutions to social and business issues through big data analysis, with the core of study in the areas of programming, statistics and artificial intelligence. Demand for specialists in the field is increasing globally.

The ministry plans to increase opportunities for humanities students with majors such as law, economics and education to also study data science with aim of increasing international competitiveness.

The ministry will support the creation of curriculums particularly for graduate students in humanities. It will choose about 13 schools from among both national and private universities in the next fiscal year and provide about ¥70 million per university in subsidies.

The ministry’s plan will allow students to pursue a double major, for example, by combining business administration and data science.

By also studying data science, a graduate student in education, for example, can analyze an elementary school student’s progress or problem points in learning using their report cards, which can lead to more effective instruction tailored for the individual.

For business administration majors, it could enable them to analyze big data such as consumption trends of products for use in advertising strategy and production.