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MIT Professional Education announces new offerings of Online X professional course on big data

In response to success of initial offering, individuals may sign up now for fall and spring sessions of "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data"

MIT Professional Education will offer two new deliveries of the online professional course, "Tackling the Challenges of Big Data," to a global audience beginning Nov. 4, 2014 and Feb. 3, 2015. Their first course, offered in the spring of 2014, drew approximately 3,500 professionals from 88 countries, and more than 2,000 organizations worldwide. Participants from around the world, many of whom would otherwise lack access to world-renowned MIT educational resources, benefitted from this comprehensive online course, which addressed a priority-learning need of working professionals.

“The success of our first offering on big data proved there is a real value and robust appetite to offer this online course to a broad span of industry players once again. And based on feedback received from the first offering, we have integrated several enhancements into the new version,” said Bhaskar Pant, executive director of MIT Professional Education. 

The six-week online course, aimed at technical professionals and executives, tackles state-of-the-art topics in big data — ranging from data collection, storage, and processing to analytics and visualization — and also addresses a range of real-world applications. A record 12 faculty experts from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the School of Engineering will again lead the course with enhanced features; they include an improved platform, an extended duration, and archived access to video tutorials.

The course is offered through MIT Professional Education, the arm of MIT that provides education and training for science, engineering, and technology professionals worldwide. Learning from research and findings from MITx MOOCs (massive online open courses), MIT Professional Education launched its Online X Programs globally using the open-sourced online education platform, edX. The programs present a more engaging experience than traditional online offerings, and provide companies and organizations the ability to offer MIT-produced training and education to their employees on industry-relevant topics. Upon successful completion of all course requirements, participants will receive an MIT Professional Education certificate of completion, MIT continuing education credits (CEUs), and access to MIT Professional Education’s expansive, global professional alumni network. The course on Big Data will be offered at $545.

"'Tackling the Challenges of Big Data' gives a comprehensive overview of big data technologies," said Daniela Rus, the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, director of CSAIL, and co-director of the online course. “The information is presented in a clear and useful way, even outside a big data context. Professionals who took our first course learned new approaches to big data, and came away with practical knowledge and real-world use cases that they could apply directly to their work.”  

“Feedback from our first online professional course told us that it exceeded the expectations of our industry,” said Sanjay Sarma, director of the MIT Office of Digital Learning and the Fred Fort Flowers & Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “Professionals reported the lectures, content, and faculty expertise on the subject matter as being priceless and having an immediate application to their work.”

Immediate registration is available at The courses can be taken by individuals across all industries or by large groups of employees from the same organization. For general questions, please email

MIT and Lincoln Lab staff only: “Tackling the Challenges of Big Data” is eligible for reimbursement under MIT’s Tuition Assistance Plan. To find out if you are eligible to use tuition assistance funds to pay for this course, please visit MIT's tuition assistance site.

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