April 2016, Volume 20, Number 2


New Degrees Zero in on Big Data

An artist’s rendering of a silhouette scanning data.
MDC is launching a new program in Data Science and Analytics.

In our tech-driven economy, effective data analysis can provide industries with a monumental advantage, accelerating advancements and competitiveness at an unforeseen pace. To meet the heightened demand for a talented workforce capable of deconstructing big data, Miami Dade College is launching a new program in Data Science and Analytics this fall, thus creating yet another pathway to lucrative careers. This enterprising initiative is the result of an MDC collaboration with NextEra and the Business Higher Education Forum, with support from the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation.

Global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. notes that, by as soon as 2018, the U.S. could face a shortage of 140,000-190,000 people with the deep analytical skills needed to process big data. The collateral negative effect of this gap in other related occupations will be threefold.

However, degrees in data analytics are almost exclusively offered at the graduate level, limiting the quality and quantity of potential candidates. Indeed, Miami Dade College is the only institution in the state of Florida to offer an undergraduate pathway in data science and analytics, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics, or shorter-term degrees such as an Associate in Science or College Credit Certificate in Business Intelligence.

“No industry is immune to it,” said Dr. Djuradj Babic, director of MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology. “The biggest winners will be the companies that unlock the vault to big data and technology analytics.”

For students, these new programs are a gateway to secure, high-paying jobs, and Miami Dade College is leading the charge. “We’re creating a scalable undergraduate pathway that is replicable and applicable nationwide so that other institutions can adopt our model as a foundation for the development of their own big data programs,” Babic said.

— MR

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.