Colleges ramping up data analytics degrees to meet big data challenge

The talent gap for big data is becoming so marked that colleges worldwide are ramping up their graduate programs to incorporate the field of data analytics. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky is one of the latest.


Jobs in the data analytics field are growing every day. The reason so many of them are left unfilled is because, up until now, there has been no formal education process for IT pros who want to get into the field. Most college programs that help prepare people for data analytics are in the business field. Subjects like statistics and probabilities are not on the curriculum for an IS major.

The good news is that colleges and universities worldwide are gearing up their business analytics, machine learning and other programs that are aimed at analysis of business data.

One of the most recent colleges to join the drive is Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. The Humana Foundation is providing a multi-year gift totaling $1 million that will allow Bellarmine to hire a leader for the institute to develop and oversee the program.

As Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, Bellarmine’s president, said, “In addition to educating the skilled technology workers needed to manage the flow of Big Data, Bellarmine's liberal arts curriculum positions us to prepare the next generation of leaders and decision makers for a region and world where corporations, governments, educators and non-profits will thrive or perish based on their ability to understand and use Big Data.  Data literacy is part of a liberal arts education."

The Institute for Advanced Analytics, opening next fall, will prepare graduates for careers in Big Data by:

  • offering new informatics and technology degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels.
  • working to develop interdisciplinary data analysis programs that are relevant to areas of study within Bellarmine's existing schools -- including nursing and health sciences, communication, education, business and environmental studies.
  • incorporating an entrepreneurial component that will focus on healthcare informatics to draw upon the wealth of experience and opportunity available in the Louisville market.
  • ensuring that core information management and technology lessons are integrated into the liberal arts experience offered to every Bellarmine student, regardless of major.

The first degree offered through the Institute for Advanced Analytics ail be a graduate program, launching in Fall 2014. For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Admission at 502/272-7200 or via email.

Here are some other institutions offering one-year and two-year graduate programs to help close the big data talent gap.