Benedictine is on the cutting edge as very few local schools offer an undergraduate major in either data science or data analytics. The program in Data Science will provide students with the ideal mixture of mathematical and computational sciences. Students will learn how to search, collect and analyze data sets of all types, big and small. Students will be able to analyze data through mathematical and statistical techniques and present a well-defended conclusion about the data. Students will be trained in database management, object-oriented programming and potentially machine learning, data mining and big data. At the end of the curriculum, the students will engage in a capstone experience where they will come face-to-face with a big data set to analyze and find viable solutions as well as present the results in written and oral form.
Benedictine University participates in the science education programs of the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area. The annual student symposium in April provides a forum to present results of research or an interesting data science problem to students and faculty from member colleges. Benedictine University students have traditionally presented a significant percentage of all student papers at the symposium.
More businesses are looking for a mixture of a statistician/applied mathematician and a computer science/programming student to fill the needs of their analyst positions. McKinsey & Co. forecasts that the United States will face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with data science skills by 2018.Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF) suggests that 2.7 million data science and analytics job openings by the year 2020. In the same article, BHEF states that 69% of executives would like their employees to have the skill sets of a data scientist or analyst by 2021. This is in line with the statement in the previous answer from BHEF. Facebook, Amazon and other giant corporations have placed an emphasis on data science. In 2016, Forbes magazine wrote an article about the best job to pursue and the top job was Data Scientist and the article lists a median salary of $116,000. As of January 5, 2018, when searching for one common job title for data scientists, ``data analyst'', on glassdoor.com, we found 1,235 jobs posted in the Chicago area.
The Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences is housed in the Birck Hall of Science, which includes advanced laboratories, computer classrooms and faculty offices. These systems are used exclusively for student instruction and faculty research.