New programs offer business and IT skills for successful data science careers

IBM announced it is partnering with 28 new business schools and universities, including The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to help prepare students for the 4.4 million jobs that will be created worldwide to support big data by 2015.

Working hand in hand with universities and business schools gearing up for the upcoming fall 2014 semester, IBM is helping expand and launch new curricula providing students with business knowledge and IT skills for data intensive careers.

The explosion of big data has rapidly created a global and industry-wide opportunity for job candidates who can uncover insights from data to solve problems and act on findings quickly. Between now and 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average increase in employment opportunities for computer and information research scientists. Yet, a recent IBM CFO study noted that even though 82 percent of those surveyed see the value of integrating enterprise-wide data, only 24 percent think their team is up to the task. Educators and employers must work together to narrow this skills gap.

IBM is helping to ensure the explosive demand for data scientists is met by partnering with the following universities to offer Big Data and Analytics curricula: Arizona State University, Babson College, Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, Dakota State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Illinois State University, Indiana University, Iowa State University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, San Jose State University, Southern Methodist University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Denver, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Maryland – College Park, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, University of Virginia and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

“Taking advantage of the transformational opportunity presented by Big Data and Analytics has become a key priority for organizations around the globe,” said Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, Information and Analytics Group, IBM. “To embrace this growing opportunity, companies today must hire a workforce with a broad range of Big Data and Analytics expertise. IBM is dedicated to partnering with academic institutions and providing students with the skills needed to make an impact.”

Unlocking data to make better business decisions has become a crucial part of success across a variety of professions. In fact, 83 percent of business leaders cite big data and analytics an important part of their plan to enhance competitiveness. By partnering with both universities and business schools, IBM is helping develop curricula that mix both business and IT skills. For instance, students can build depth and breadth across multiple disciplines and become more marketable to future employers by applying a minor in Analytics to a major in Business, Marketing or Mathematics.

“Working with IBM, our goal is to design programs that will provide students with big data and analytics domain expertise,” said Case Western Reserve University Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Don Feke, who is leading development of the new programs with faculty from across our campus. “In addition, by offering both a major and a minor in data science, we can essentially ‘data enable’ a wide range of students including those studying computer science, mathematics, communications and marketing. The opportunity is far reaching.”

Working with IBM, these 28 business schools and universities will join the more than 1,000 institutions that already have access to the latest Big Data and Analytics-focused technology innovations, hardware, curricula material, project-focused case studies, guest lecturers, and faculty awards to help accelerate curricula development. For example:

  • Boston University’s Metropolitan College is offering a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Database Management & Business Intelligence to help equip students with the latest skills needed to manage the explosion of data in today’s modern enterprise.
  • Case Western Reserve University is launching a new undergraduate program in data science and analytics in the Fall 2014 semester. This effort includes a major and a minor in applied data science, and eventually a post-baccalaureate certificate program.
  • Johns Hopkins University’s DC-based Center for Advanced Governmental Studies is offering a Master of Science in Government Analytics and a Certificate in Government Analytics to provide students with the needed skills to address contemporary political, policy and governance challenges.
  • University of Missouri is developing an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics degree, providing students with access to IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture to have a comprehensive skill set in building, deploying, and managing cloud resources to analyze big data in journalism, engineering, informatics, and learning analytics.

These new university partnerships support IBM’s Academic Initiative, which includes a larger network of more than 30,000 unique partnerships between IBM and higher education professionals to help advance curriculum in areas including Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security and Social Business. IBM also recruits from universities and business schools throughout the U.S. via career fairs and info sessions, leading classroom discussions and participating in student organization events.

IBM has established the world’s deepest portfolio of Big Data and Analytics technology that spans research and development, solutions and software. IBM has invested $24 billion to build its capabilities in Big Data and Analytics through R&D and more than 30 acquisitions. Today, more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematician are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations.

For more information about the IBM Academic Initiative, please visit: http://www-304.ibm.com/ibm/university/academic/pub/page/academic_initiative

For more information about IBM Big Data and Analytics, please visit http://www.ibm.com/big-data/us/en/big-data-and-analytics/

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