CSC News

February 13, 2007

NC State Launches Intensive Graduate Program in Analytics

Feb. 13, 2007
In today’s data-driven society, there’s a strong need for trained professionals who can make sense out of the vast jumbles of numbers, whether it is uncovering fraud in banking transactions, improving the quality of health care received by patients or predicting which customers will respond to a marketing campaign.
That’s what North Carolina State University’s newly authorized graduate degree program in analytics plans to provide.
NC State’s Master of Science in Analytics (MSA), which has begun accepting applicants for its inaugural class, is an intensive 10-month professional degree that focuses exclusively on the tools, methods and applications of data analytics. The degree consists of an integrated curriculum created specifically for students in the program, beginning with a July “boot camp” that will expose students to the same advanced analytics software tools used in industry today. The program is offered through the Institute for Advanced Analytics, a newly established unit that will formally open its doors on NC State’s Centennial Campus later this spring.
The MSA degree is intended to be an immersive and rigorous educational experience. Students will complete in 10 months what normally stretches over two years in conventional graduate degree programs. “We want to move each student as far along the learning curve as quickly as possible with a mixture of skill-building modules and, whenever possible, the practical application of techniques to real problems,” says Dr. Michael Rappa, director of the institute.
The degree program has attracted strong interest from the business community, which sees a growing shortage of professionals who possess the analytical skills needed to address the challenges of a data-rich world. Last year, Dr. James H. Goodnight, CEO and co-founder of SAS made a major gift to NC State to facilitate the development of new courses. Since then, SAS has played a collaborative role in helping NC State develop the program. An interdisciplinary working group of 45 faculty members has been engaged in a campus-wide discussion to shape the curriculum.
Rappa aims to grow NC State’s MSA degree into the largest of its kind and make the institute the destination of choice for students around the world. “We seek to become a magnet for men and women who want to fashion themselves as ‘data virtuosos,’” Rappa says. “That means an individual who thoroughly understands data, who has a mastery of state-of-the-art analytical tools and techniques, and who is passionate about yielding accurate insight with data into the major challenges that face organizations today.”
Prospective students can learn more about the degree or apply online by visiting the program’s Web site at:
Media Contact:
Mick Kulikowski, News Services, 919/515-3470

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