Students at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will be able to choose a new major when they start classes this fall. The newly approved data analytics program brings the total number of majors offered at the Hempfield Township campus to 30.
“This is exciting for our campus,” said Victoria Causer, visiting instructor in statistics and a member of the team of faculty who designed the program. “Nearly every sector of industry collects, stores, and uses data. The new data analytics program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to make these data useful.”
Causer explained that the data analytics major will provide opportunities for students to forge a career in an emerging, exciting, and dynamic field that is predicted to grow between 20 percent and 28 percent by 2028 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Data analysts can pursue careers in government, industry, nonprofit, and non-government agencies with concentrations in academia, finance, healthcare, media, technology, and biomedical fields.
“It is important that we prepare students to become independent thinkers who are able to process information and data originating from a variety of places and disciplines and then use these data to draw their own informed conclusions,” said Jacqueline Horrall, PhD, vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our data analytics program gives students the opportunity to develop this skill. The program is interdisciplinary in nature, accurately reflecting the reality of blurred boundaries. It is also a hands-on program that prepares students for a variety of careers in any sector of the economy.”
The new major fosters additional collaboration among faculty in computer science, management information systems, statistics, and mathematics. It is also intended as an applied discipline that gives equal emphasis to theory and practice.
While some core courses have previously been offered at Pitt-Greensburg, new courses are under development that will give students the opportunity to gain experience in programming and software packages commonly used in data mining and large data--like R and RStudio.
The Data Analytics major consists of core course work in information science, mathematics, and statistics that students can complete in eight semesters. The core courses include introduction to information, systems, and society; database management; programming in Python; statistical methods; regression; principles in data analytics; and the ability of students to select electives within the discipline based on their interests. Students will also complete a practicum, internship, and capstone that will provide experience with multi-disciplinary approaches in data analytics in preparation for the workforce.
Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 30 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in data analytics, nursing, and healthcare management, as well as 26 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, it is less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.