New data science minor opens door to red-hot field
Beginning this fall, Carthage will offer a minor in data science, a field that sizzles near the top of many national “hot jobs” lists.
Through this new offering, students will learn how to analyze and interpret data effectively, as well as how to communicate results to non-technical audiences. The minor can be paired with any area of study, with much of the initial interest coming from those in mathematics, computer science, geospatial science, and business management.
A recent workforce report by LinkedIn framed the massive demand for data scientists. The authors pointed to a nationwide shortage of more than 150,000 workers with that skill set.
“As more industries rely on big data to make decisions, data science has become increasingly important across all industries, not just tech and finance,” the August 2018 report summarized.
Here on campus, professors have noticed a corresponding surge in interest. Before the development of this formal Carthage minor, several students designed custom minors in data science.
The interdisciplinary, 24-credit minor consists of two general data science courses, one statistics course — with variations oriented toward business or health — and three applied electives. Choosing from options such as database design, internet mapping, and business analytics, students can apply theory to real-life situations in these electives.
“One strength of our foundational year is that students will learn the two hot programming languages: Python and R,” says Erlan Wheeler, professor of mathematics and computer science, who’s part of the faculty group that created the minor. “Our electives, which include a heavy dose of GIS, also set this program apart.”
For more information on the data science minor, contact Professor Mark Snavely, chair of the Mathematics Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-551-5714.