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September 19, 2018

UNE launches data science program to boost graduates' job prospects

Courtesy / University of New England
Courtesy / University of New England
Michael Arciero, associate professor and chair of UNE's mathematical sciences department, said project-based experiential learning will be an important part of the school's new data science degree program. He is shown here with math sciences students.

The University of New England is launching an undergraduate degree program in data science on its Biddeford campus to open up more job opportunities for graduates.

Michael Arciero, associate professor and chair of UNE's mathematical sciences department, said that project-based experiential learning through partnerships with employers will be an important part of the program.

He noted that partnerships with companies such as UNUM Group, a Fortune 500 insurer, and healthcare IT provider Cotiviti Holdings Inc., have already begun to create pathways to permanent employees for recent UNE math sciences graduates.

Data science involves the use of mathematical modeling and computing to analyze data and to design systems for making predictions, extracting information and decision-making.

Beginning with foundational skills in math and computing, students will develop techniques in data mining, statistical and machine learning, predictive modeling and data visualization.

UNE President James Herbert says the school is uniquely suited to the study of data science.

"Not only with UNE's Department of Business and its Makerspace laboratory contribute in the development of courses for the data science degree, but our programs in areas such as marine sciences and health sciences offer key opportunities for data science research projects," he said in Tuesday's announcement.

The move comes a little more than a month after Bangor-based Husson University announced it's launching an undergraduate data analytics degree program this fall, 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.

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