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Certificate Program for Big Data Analytics Begins this Fall

Beneficial for jobs that rely on data, multidisciplinary backgrounds

As the need for professionals with data analytics experience grows, Sacred Heart University is on top of the trend with a new certificate program in the field that is planned for graduate students this fall.

The program provides a strategy for graduate students looking to advance in the field of big data analytics, which involves studying data to discover patterns and correlations. The program will take students through business analytics, data warehousing, business forecasting, big data marketing and statistics. Part-time graduate students will be able to complete the program in a year.

Big data analytics is an expanding field that crosses all disciplines, including business, health care, environmental companies, government, finances, computer fields, sciences and economics, said Frances S. Grodzinsky, computer science and information technology professor and co-director of SHU’s Hersher Institute of Ethics.

“The world is data driven,” said Grodzinsky. “Decisions based on the analysis of big data are made every day and affect us all. We need more people who not only understand the algorithms and models used in big data analytics, but we also need business people who understand enough of the technical aspects to make fair choices in how they use big data in their business models.

“This is a program that serves to bridge the communication gap between the ‘quant,’ or technical experts, and the users of big data. Students will be grounded in the basics of big data analytics and then be afforded electives in both business and computer science.”

Because the certificate is a combination of computer science and digital marketing, it creates a partnership between SHU’s Jack Welch College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences, according to Anca Micu, associate dean of the Welch College of Business.

“Obtaining complementary skills from faculty in the two colleges is highly beneficial for the students, as several jobs require them to have this multidisciplinary background,” Micu said. “This is true especially in the areas of business and computer science, as technology is now woven into several aspects of business.

“With advances in technology in the areas of automatic data collection, companies are increasingly looking for knowledgeable hires who understand big data and can sort and analyze it and learn from it to turn it into a competitive advantage,” Micu said. “The certificate program will familiarize students with the concept of big data, provide them with the skills to collect, sort and analyze it and, most importantly, teach them the strategy behind big data and what can be done with it so that it helps a company reach its strategic goals.”

All courses taken for graduate credit can be applied to a full master’s degree in computer science or digital marketing. The big data analytics certificate can be completed in 12 credits of course work.

For more information on the certificate program, click here.