Miami Dade College (MDC) will become the first educational institution in Florida to offer an undergraduate degree in data analytics.

“Data science and analytics has been identified as a field where the shortfall in the workforce will be in the hundreds of thousands,” said Dr. Djuradj Babic, director of MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology, citing a McKinsey & Co. report that forecast nearly 200,000 vacancies nationwide in the field by 2018. “The effect of this gap in related fields such as information technology and cybersecurity will be threefold.”

The need for data analysts to prepare and analyze large data sets exists across all modern industries with average salaries in the six figures. A major impediment to the widespread use of big data is the lack of workers with the appropriate training and skills. Employment opportunities for data analysts are abundant in both public and private sectors, including healthcare, business, finance, manufacturing, energy, education, government, and science.  Job titles include data analyst, database architect, data warehousing specialist, business intelligence analyst, and data scientist.

The three stackable credentials that compose the Big Data program pathway offer instant and augmenting labor-market value to students.  The program begins with a College Credit Certificate in Business Intelligence, progresses to an Associate in Science in Business Intelligence, and culminates in a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics.

“As we researched nationwide, we found that degrees were only being offered at the graduate or post-graduate level.  Our undergraduate pathway is a model that can be replicated and applied nationwide.  Indeed, the response that we’ve received from other colleges and universities has been very positive,” added Babic.

Industry partners include NextEra Energy, Siemens Energy, the Business Higher Education Forum, Oracle, SAS and Accenture.  Other local partners include Miami-Dade County, Miami Children’s Hospital, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).