Husson to offer undergrad degree in fast-growing data analytics field

BY Renee Cordes

Courtesy / Husson University
Courtesy / Husson University
Husson University professor and mathematics department chair Jonathan Bayless predicts that data analytics will be one of the most in-demand majors in the next decade. Husson is launching an undergraduate degree program in data analytics this fall.

Starting this fall, students at Husson University in Bangor will be able to pursue an undergraduate degree in the fast-growing data analytics field.
Students in the new major will use tools from computer science, math and statistics to collect, organize and analyze material that explains problems, and then interpret and communicate what they’ve learned to make informed decisions, according to the online description.
First-year courses include probability and statistics, calculus, and introductory computer programming.
Jonathan Bayless, an associate professor and mathematics chair at Husson, told Mainebiz that while it’s too early to estimate the size of the inaugural class, generally speaking data analytics will be “one of the most in-demand majors in the next decade.”
At Husson, he said the decision to offer a bachelor’s degree in data analytics was sparked by interest from current and prospective students and from employers seeking those skills.
A recent study by IBM predicts that by 2020 the number of jobs for all data professionals in the United States will increase by 364,000 openings to 2.7 million. 
The same study projects job openings for data scientists and similar analytical roles to reach 61,799 in 2020, representing only 2% of the total demand across all job roles requiring data and analytics skills.
To close the gap, the authors recommend that workforce development and higher education “look beyond the data scientist to develop talent for a variety of roles.” They also urge academic institutions to consider offering data literacy as an option, if not a requirement, for every student in any field of study.
Husson’s Bayless said the school’s new data analytics degree program will touch on a number of classical disciplines and include an experiential learning component.
He also noted that data analytics can be applied in a wide range of industry sectors, mainly in IT and finance but also healthcare and even sports.
“One of the biggest advantages of the data analytics is its diversity of application,” he said. “You can apply those skills to almost any industry you like … It opens up a lot of doors.”