Online data analytics programs launch this fall

Source: Ecampus

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 a Graduate Certificate in 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.

Virginia Lesser, chair of the Department of Statistics

Virginia Lesser, head of the Department of Statistics

The need for businesses worldwide to be able to make sense of data is at an all-time high. Data impacts every sector, from finance and travel to health services and neighborhood grocery stores.

“When a store gives you a receipt, it might also give you a coupon for cat litter. It’s tailored to you because it recognizes you just bought cat food,” said Lesser. “That’s data analysis that’s being done immediately to improve peoples’ businesses. It’s everywhere.”

The program is designed to build tomorrow’s leaders who not only know how to extract data but know how to find meaning and actionable insights in the information to guide decision-making.

“We’re in a data explosion. People who can turn data into knowledge are highly sought-after,” said Charlotte Wickham, assistant professor in the Department of Statistics.

Offered through OSU’s top-ranked Ecampus, students gain considerable advantages by of learning online with Oregon State. For example:

  • All classes in our data analytics programs are developed and taught by full-time Oregon State faculty.
  • OSU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Oregon State is a respected leader in the fields of data science and statistics and is well connected with industry.
  • Oregon State Ecampus consistently ranks as one of the nation’s best providers of online education.
  • OSU’s online learners receive the same diploma and transcript as on-campus students.
  • You can complete your coursework from anywhere in the world via an internet connection.

Apply today

The deadline to apply for fall 2016 is August 21; classes begin September 21. To get started, request more information.

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