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bachelor's degree in data analytics
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November 24, 2019 |
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Bachelor’s Degree in Data Analytics Advances Careers

The new degree in data analytics provides in-demand skills within a traditional liberal arts degree.

By Jenny McKeel
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This fall, students in the new undergraduate program in data analytics will gain hands-on skills in a multidisciplinary field that is transforming the business world.

When it comes to 21st-century business operations, few resources are as valuable as big data. Across industries, analysts are examining enormous data sets and delivering insights that allow companies to make decisions that can significantly boost performance and profitability. As a result, data analysts are in surging demand with experts predicting more than 2.7 million job openings in 2020. According to Robert Half Technology’s 2019 Salary Guide, data analysts can earn between $81,000 and $138,000.

Business Management Framework

“We have launched an original program built on a business management framework with a focus on learning skills to be a data analyst in a variety of business contexts,” explained Siamak Zadeh, director of the undergraduate program in data analytics.

Students in the program learn to collect, assess, and manipulate data to enable better decision-making processes across industries—including accounting, finance, retail, supply chain, health care, government, and national security. Students advance their competencies and knowledge of new program languages through hands-on projects that pull real-world data, including social media analytics and publically available financial data that is valuable to financial planners, analysts, and anyone on the wealth management or banking side.

“There is not one single industry that does not need analysts who interpret data to better serve their operations.”

Artificial Intelligence

“We also offer one course just on AI, which promises to be disruptive across all industries,” said Siamak. “We look at the transformative power of AI today and in the future and bring in industry experts from companies like LinkedIn, Uber, and Airbnb to talk about how AI is changing their business processes.”

Graduates are equipped to advance in the sector they are already in or enter a new field as a higher-paid data analyst and enable a better decision-making process for management.

Innovation and Disruption

“There’s significant innovation and disruption in this whole area,” said Siamak. “As a curator of career advancement, we are preparing students to enter this burgeoning field. For many years the financial industry was the primary beneficiary of quantitative analysis. Today, accounting firms are seeking candidates with analytics skills. Companies like Walmart are using optimized data analytics operations to add to profits. Healthcare, government, and security — there is not one single industry that does not need analysts who interpret data to better serve their operations.”

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