June 22, 2020
Students at Mars Hill University have a new program of study which provides training in state-of-the art tools that are in high demand on the current job market. The university’s minor in data analytics begins this fall, and is open to students in any major.
The interdisciplinary minor prepares students to manipulate, analyze and interpret data to solve problems involving large datasets such as those found in many natural and social science disciplines. These skills can be applied to research in fields as varied as business, health care, sociology, economics and biology. Students pursuing the minor will take new classes in data science and statistics, as well as classes currently offered in the university’s biology, business administration, computer science, mathematics, and psychology programs.
“The core idea is to provide students a suite of skills that make them more employable,” says Robert Zinna, a Mars Hill biology professor and coordinator of the data analytics program. “These skills are increasingly in high demand, not just in the biological sciences, but also in other fields and graduate programs.”
Consulting firm McKinsey calls big data, “The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” and research firm Gartner says, “analytics will drive major innovation and disrupt established business models in the coming years.”
So who should consider minoring in data analytics? Zinna says, “My ideal student is anybody who is potentially interested in how decisions can be informed by quantitative data.”