“I’ve always been interested in technology and I like solving puzzles,” says Liam Theis ’19. “When I heard about Bryant’s new Data Science program I was definitely interested.”
The emerging field allows him to combine both his interests into a lucrative path, he explains. “Data scientists look at humongous, computer-stopping amounts of information and use it to identify patterns. Then we take those patterns and figure out how to use them to improve people’s lives.”
Data science, Theis notes, is everywhere. “It’s a major part of almost every industry. When I look for a job after graduation, I could go anywhere I want.”
The hottest field in the world
Bryant’s Bachelor of Science in Data Science program was launched in recognition of a booming field – and a major need. Industry studies show that demand for data scientists has far outstripped supply in every industry.
“Data Science is the hottest field in the entire world,” says Information Systems and Analytics Professor Richard Glass, Ph.D., who is also a founding co-director of Bryant’s Advanced Applied Analytics Center. “It’s a fast-track career.”
Bryant’s Data Science program, developed with the insights of industry experts, combines information technology, analytics, machine learning, big data management, and programming. It is unique in that it is interdisciplinary and combines several different approaches: business, liberal arts and science, applied analytics and information technology.
“Our Data Science program is a leading program in the country due to its quality, its rigor and the diversity of courses students can take,” says Glass. “We want to make sure that our students are well-rounded,” he explains. “You can’t specialize in one area at the undergraduate level, you need to have a foundation so that you can understand the industry, as well as the data science and applied analytics subject matter. You can’t get that by focusing in only one subject.”
“Our students will have the breadth and scope to be able to go wherever they’re needed and take on whatever they need to,” he says.
Getting ahead of the game
“The data analytics field is something of a hotspot right now,” says Bridgette Kosek ’15, an Analytics Software Specialist for U.S. Federal Accounts at IBM. Kosek supports the Department of the Interior and Department of Labor with analytics solutions in a variety of areas including cloud content services, big data, business intelligence, data warehousing, and information integration and governance. “It’s where the entire technology industry is going.”
She’s excited about the opportunities the new program offers students. “I’m not sure I truly really realized how important data science was until after I had graduated,” says Kosek. “If the Data Science program had been offered when I was at Bryant, I would have jumped at the chance to take some of those courses, so I would be ahead of the game.”
Theis agrees. “You can do so many great things with Data Science,” he says. “There’s so much potential.”