OU Introduces Data Science and Technology Degree

Posted by Paula Paine on July 7, 2014 in Ottawa University is pleased to announce the addition of a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Technology to its online degree offerings beginning fall of 2014.
Ottawa University’s new Data Science program is a modern degree designed to meet the increasiData-Science5.jpgngly aggressive demand for qualified data scientists in virtually every sector of the economy. Also called data mining, competitive intelligence, data analysis, and data statistics, data science is one of the fastest growing career opportunities in the country as companies find themselves at a crossroads of having the technology to gather massive amounts of data but lacking the skilled scientists to tell them what the data means or how to use it to inform their business practices.

In fact, IBM estimates that 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years alone, with 15 out of 17 sectors in the U.S. storing more data per company than the Library of Congress. So it’s no surprise that data analytics has surged to the top of the corporate agenda. According to Thomas Davenport and D.J. Patil in their October 2012 Harvard Business Review article, “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century,” big data has the potential to “revolutionize the art of management and help propel companies to levels of performance the world hasn’t seen in two decades.”
Not only can data science provide companies with competitive intelligence for earning larger profit margins; it can also empower organizations with information for raising the quality of life across the globe, from retailers who use data mining to determine the next hot trend to hospitals that use it to improve the quality and outcomes of patient care.
Ottawa University’s new, fully online B.S. in Data Science and Technology degree includes basic data science components, such as database management, statistical modeling and network security, as well as coursework that focuses on emerging workforce technologies like big data and health informatics. It has been developed to build comprehensive skill sets in computer science, data intelligence, analytics, security, and mathematics.
In addition, the program will prepare graduates to strategically gather, analyze and gain insight into data in order to formulate context-relevant questions and hypotheses, drive data scientific research, and inform business decisions. Data scientists will be equipped to effectively communicate data findings across all levels of an organization, both verbally and visually, and help guide strategic planning.
Aruna Rao, Assistant Professor of Management Information and Health Systems, helped develop the University’s new Data Science and Technology degree and will serve as the program’s lead faculty member. “The forward thinking that Ottawa University demonstrated to address the demand for formally educated professionals in this evolving field is indicative of the innovative education that data science students will receive here. We are thrilled to be one of the first to offer this online degree that working adults can take advantage of from anywhere in the world.” 

Professionals who transition into the dynamic, growing field of data science can take advantage of impressive career and earning potential. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics and a McKinsey & Company report regarding jobs with similar titles, data scientists can expect an average starting salary of $75,000, approximately four unique job openings for every one applicant, and an average annual job growth rate of 27%, with 140,000 – 190,000 unfilled positions in the U.S. by 2018.