By Blaine Murdock
In fall 2023, Rose State College will be offering a new data science and analytics degree.
The degree’s goal is to provide students with the analytical skills and scientific knowledge needed to apply critical thinking to all facets of learning.
Data scientists currently rank No. 6 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of best technology jobs, and it is considered one of the fastest growing professions in the country.
“As the demand for data scientists grows in our state, we want to equip our students with the resources and training needed to compete in this exciting profession,” said Rose State President Jeanie Webb, Ph.D., in a press release. “This program is the first of its kind at Rose State and shows our commitment to providing education that reflects Oklahoma’s evolving landscape.”
Nick Bastani will be a professor for the data science and analytics degree program when it launches in the fall. He said a good number of students have expressed interest in the program, and he has no doubt the classes will be filled when the fall semester arrives.
“In this program, students are equipped with the analytical and computer languages to prepare them for analyzing and filtering data for a specific target,” he said. “This program does not know a specific industry. I can see this degree helping more companies like Google, Amazon and Boeing.”
Rose State is the first community college in the state to offer a data science and analytics degree. Bastani was the driving force behind the new program, however amidst the pandemic, the program couldn’t happen as fast as he anticipated.
“The idea actually first came to me, and I shared that with the dean in 2019,” he said. “I had a meeting with then Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeff Caldwell, Ph.D., to build awareness of the needs of this program and its introduction at Rose State College.”
Several professors at Rose State have become involved with the new program. Professor Jason Papayik will be teaching the new fundamentals of data science class and will mainly serve in an advisory role for the new degree program.
“We as humans probably won’t be able to look at 10,000 data points and make a decision, but with algorithms and statistical techniques, we can take those 10,000 data points and condense them into a decision,” he said. “The hard question is: is there anything meaningful in that data that we could pull out?”
Because of Rose State’s standing articulation agreements with other Oklahoma colleges and universities, students can easily transfer credits to further their education and complete a bachelor’s degree.
“The addition of the Associate in Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics will provide students with the rigorous math and technology skills necessary to enter the field of data science,” said Ryan Stoddard, Ph.D., dean of the engineering and science division, in a press release. “With the rising workforce demands within this profession, supplying students with these skills will allow them to earn degrees in in-demand, high-paying careers.”
Beyond the essential general education courses, data science students will also have to take introduction to statistics for engineering and science, fundamentals of data science and differential and integral calculus I, II and III. As for programming requirements, students will have to take six credits hours of computer information technology courses.
Upon degree completion, students will be expected to possess the skills required to prepare data for analysis by cleansing, aggregating and manipulating data to obtain reliable datasets for algorithm-based analysis. They should also be able to produce clear, concise reports after complete data analysis suitable for upper-level courses and a career in data science and analysis.
Interested students can apply online or contact Bastani at email@example.com.