UFV launches Data Analysis post-degree certificate

Have you ever wanted to work for Facebook, Twitter or Google?

UFV is offering a new program to help students achieve that goal.

Starting this fall, the Data Analysis post-degree certificate will provide students with a unique edge when entering the job market.

The program will help students make sense of data — a skill that can be applied in numerous workplaces.

“It’s a matter of a more traditional job description moving forward and meeting the needs of the community,” said Ora Steyn, UFV acting dean of science.  “We’re working to provide our students with the knowledge to fill an important gap in the market.”

The program, which is the only one of its kind in Western Canada, came to fruition after UFV curriculum planners learned of a dire need for data scientists.

“There’s a shortage of people out there to analyze data, whether for large employers like Facebook or Twitter, or for many local workplaces such as banks, government, health agencies, and police departments,” said Steyn.

During the program, students will discover how to make sense of data. They will learn how to gather and clean the data, and then assess it for quality. They will also how to extract the important information and present it to decision makers.

“It’s an extremely important job as people make decisions based on the information they receive, so it needs to be correct,” said Greg Schlitt, UFV mathematics and statistics department head. “Essentially, this program is bridging the gap between math and statistics, and computer information systems.”

To ensure the program is up to date, UFV consulted with numerous organizations, including ICBC, Vancouver Coastal Health, and SAS Canada, which is a leader in business analytics.

“We’re excited to be able to offer an innovative program taught by experts in the field, to do it locally, and to meet a growing need,” said Schlitt.

By holding a degree before entering this certificate program, students will already have an area of specialization and an extra edge in the job market, said Steyn.

In addition, students must have a first-year programming course and first-year stats course, both of which are offered at UFV.

“It’s the perfect add-on to any degree,” said Steyn. “It’s such a young field and we see the potential, we just need young people to come and see that, too.”

The certificate is currently open for applications, but has limited spots. For more information, visit www.ufv.ca/data

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