Market demand for professionals with the skills to interpret large quantities of data has never been greater. According to data from the McKinsey Global Institute, the United States could face a shortage of up to 180,000 people with deep analytic skills by 2018 and an estimated 1.5 million managers and analysts.
Data analytic skills are vital for scientific advances and business success worldwide. The Department of Statistics is launching a completely online Master of Science and aGraduate Certificatein Data Analytics this fall.
“Data analytics is playing a major role in drug discovery, climate change, and business and policy decisions. It is an exciting time to be a data scientist in our data-enabled world,” said Sastry G. Pantula, dean of the College of Science.
“These graduate programs are unique in the marketplace. We build global leaders with strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills who are grounded in the statistical and computational sciences.”
The first cohort is expected to attract a range of students, from experienced analytics professionals to those looking to change careers and become one. The data analytics programs will appeal to students with an aptitude for mathematics and statistics as well as a desire to use data to solve today’s most pressing problems.
Housed in the College of Science, these new programs will expose students to the whole data pipeline, from collecting data, through analysis, to reporting to stakeholders. Students in the 45-credit master’s program will be trained with advanced statistical and predictive modeling skills and strong computational and programming skills to manage and analyze large data sets.
All classes in the master’s program and the 18-credit graduate certificate program were developed and will be taught by faculty from the College of Science and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at OSU. The programs integrate strengths in statistics, computer science and mathematics. This interdisciplinary approach will train students in many data analysis techniques and, program leaders say, make them appealing to employers in every industry.
“Our faculty recognize that data are often complex, and we know how to deal with messy data,” said Virginia Lesser, professor and chair of the Department of Statistics. “It’s important for students to know that they’ll learn from faculty who have exposure to real data and extensive hands-on experience.