Wanted to share the good news that the Microsoft Professional Degree program in Data Science is now out of Beta:
Looks like there have been a couple of changes already, including changing the timing for the courses. I started the T-SQL course and was looking to finish it before the deadline and then was pleasantly surprised when the completion data was pushed from October to December. Seems like the release of the program has changed it so all the courses can be started and are all set to end in several months, instead of the original "stair-step" completion.
My first impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The courses I've completed so far (Data Science Orientation, Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel, Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI) and the courses I've started (Querying Data with Transact-SQL, Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics) have been a good intro to lots of topics and though they weren't originally intended as a complete course curriculum, they work well together.
These courses have some great information and do a good job of illustrating some of the overall themes which the degree program is aimed at. Computer Science, Math/Statistics and Business Experience are essential pieces of a data science background.
I'm looking forward to working through more courses in the coming months and tackling the challenge of the final project!