Jackson State University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) will begin offering an undergraduate track in Data Science to students in all academic disciplines to help meet U.S. market demand for workers. Course enrollment is under way for spring 2018.
As lucrative STEM jobs in the U.S. continue to boom, CSET is emphasizing Big Data science to students throughout the campus to prepare the next generation of market leaders.
An upbeat report by CrowdFlower – a data mining and crowdsourcing company – reveals that 64 percent of data scientists believe they work in the century’s “sexiest” jobs. The other 36 percent view their careers as second only to astronauts, researchers, models and many others.
Enhancing the capabilities to create knowledge is a White House Big Data Priority for government and the nation.
Dr. Richard A. Aló, dean of CSET, Aló said, “JSU’s undergraduate track in Computational Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E) improves the potential for JSU graduates to land high-paying jobs in the data sciences.” Furthermore, he said, CSET’s program would provide courses that prepare students for careers in academia, business, government and private industry as data scientists and data engineers.
The need for more Data Science workers is so dire that the U.S. Department of Education says STEM jobs in the U.S. will increase 14 percent from 2010 to 2020.
This extraordinary growth equates to millions of positions, yet similar data show that three million of these jobs may go unfulfilled by next year due to a significant lack of skilled workers.
This point is echoed by IBM, which predicts demand for data scientists will soar by 28 percent by 2020.
In addition, Aló said, “Big Data scientists and engineers are a fundamental necessity in modeling, enhancing and securing the world that we all are striving to develop and problem-solve.”
Many corporate partnerships already have been established for the Data Science program, offering students an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience via internships. In summer 2017, JSU’s Data Science apprentices completed internships at Indra Technologies, SanJo Securities and DXC Technologies (formerly known as Hewlett Packard). Now, J.P. Morgan Chase has expressed interest in hiring program graduates, too.
Dr. Wilbur L. Walters, associate dean of CSET’s Undergraduate Programs, Recruitment and Retention, said, “This program offering would not only help supply the growing need of data scientists in the American job market, but it also would attract more students to pursue a degree in STEM from any discipline throughout the campus. Students can take advantage of this program by carving a new niche for themselves or to enhance their skill set to succeed in their chosen career.”
Summing up the program, Aló said the multidisciplinary approach of Big Data Science aims to give students the real world and near real-time experience necessary to excel in the workforce.
He touts JSU’s dedicated faculty, CSET’s strong emphasis on undergraduate research and its commitment to recruiting highly motivated students. Aló expects continued growth in other innovative programs as JSU helps new graduates define their futures – whether in chemistry, biology, engineering or humanities.