Graceland University will launch the Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Analytics degree under the Division of Science and Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Science on Lamoni, Iowa, beginning Fall 2019. In addition to general education requirements, the degree will include 45 semester hours in math and computer science courses and will cover such subjects as data analytics, big data, analytics, statistics, modeling and artificial intelligence. Study areas ranging from the sciences to the social sciences to business will also incorporate data science and analytics tracks.
“In today’s technology-forward world, a critical need exists for well-educated individuals with the ability to collect and identify key data, analyze that data using appropriate methods and draw sound conclusions to inform the decision-making process,” said Dr. Jill Rhea, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
A degree in data science and analytics from an institution based in the liberal education tradition offers a breadth of knowledge needed to approach and solve complex problems. For individuals who hold this degree, career opportunities exist in government, industry and academia. Such organizations in need of employees with these skills range from Amazon and Microsoft to local manufacturing facilities, and from government agencies such as the NSA to local municipalities.
In addition to typical industrial and governmental positions, data scientists have a host of opportunities as consultants and freelancers. This reflects emerging trends, especially as more millennials move into the workforce.
The number of job opportunities in the data science and analytics field is expected to grow dramatically with salaries typically in the six figures. This emerging field did not exist 10 years ago and is evolving rapidly with the exponential increase of data from online, social media and the expanding Web of Things . It is an area in which many disciplines and backgrounds participate.
From a societal perspective, educating data scientists who can provide clarity and focus in order for ethical, data-driven decisions to be made is an important and growing need.
Graceland plans to offer a Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics as a follow up online program that will enable students to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in as little as five years.