With all this talk of big data and smarter analytics, it's become pretty clear the industry is going to need to grow some new skills to keep track of the growing analytics demands.
So earlier today, IBM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced that they're joining forces to offer a new graduate program this coming fall to prepare students for the expanding scope of careers requiring big data and analytics skills.
Gartner Inc. estimates that nearly 2 million information technology jobs will be created by 2015 in the US, just to give one glimpse into the likely demand for these skills.
Offered through the Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer's new Master of Science in Business Analytics degree will empower students and career professionals with the skills required to fill those jobs.
The news today underscores IBM's ongoing efforts to help students and career professionals enter and succeed in the growing, high-demand analytics workforce.
In addition to collaborating with Rensselaer on the new degree program, IBM has also recently donated a Watson system to the school in order to help faculty and students explore new uses for cognitive computing and expand their understanding of big data and analytics.
The new Master of Science in Business Analytics degree is a one-year, 30-credit graduate program offered by the Lally School at Rensselaer.
Supported by longstanding partner IBM -- which will provide Rensselaer with curriculum materials, real-world case study projects, access to a wide spectrum of software solutions, and IBM thought leaders as guest lecturers -- the graduate program will feature a three-part curriculum comprising:
- A business core to ensure students understand where big data fits into a business' strategy and operations, as well as how analytics-driven decisions can impact a business' growth, competitive standing, and bottom line.
- An analytics core that includes hands-on training in predictive modeling to help businesses identify profitable data patterns, focusing also on data management, statistical analysis, and leading-edge techniques in harnessing big data.
- An experiential core with project-based courses that allow students to apply their newly gained skills to real-world problems faced by businesses spanning a range of industries.
IBM and Rensselaer -- a longstanding partnership
The Master of Science in Business Analytics program is the latest collaboration between IBM and Rensselaer, which have worked together for decades to advance the frontiers of high-performance computing, nanoelectronics, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence, among other areas of research and innovation.
IBM recently donated an IBM Watson cognitive system to Rensselaer, making it the first university to receive such a system. The arrival of the Watson system will enable new leading-edge research, afford faculty and students an opportunity to find new uses for Watson, and help prepare students for high-impact, high-value careers in big data, analytics, and cognitive computing.
This donation is a core element of IBM's expanding range of Watson-powered academic programs being employed at universities across the country, including curriculum, internships, and academic case competitions in which students identify big data-driven business and societal challenges that Watson can help solve.
In addition, IBM -- along with New York State -- is a key partner of the Rensselaer supercomputing center, the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations, where the Watson system will be hosted.