Data reigns supreme in today’s technology-driven world. From business plans to public health and safety measures, we rely on numbers to help us make informed decisions.
Companies are constantly receiving new information about their customers, allowing them to tailor experiences and products to match specific preferences. Government agencies use data they receive to make life-changing decisions on a regular basis. Whether we’re giving or receiving data, it impacts our lives every single day.
Because of this, data scientists are in high-demand, and will continue to be for quite some time. In fact, the need for experts who are able to aggregate and disseminate data is one of the most crucial needs the world currently has.
We spoke with CSUF Extension & International Programs Data Science instructor Kevin Poctner to get his take on the power of data science. Here’s a bit of what he had to say about data science and the program he teaches:
How does the Data Science program prepare students for successful careers?
Anywhere there is data, companies are in need of those that can gather, manage, analyze, and interpret that data ultimately to guide decision making. And DATA IS EVERYWHERE! Students in the program will get exposed to many of the concepts, skills and tools businesses are looking for. The program teaches students the full range of skills needed to manage and successfully execute a data science project, including helping them develop a general understanding and competency in the role that data science plays in today’s business environment.
What are some common career paths for Data Science certificate graduates?
Since data is everywhere, the job opportunities are also everywhere. Almost every industry and company size has opportunities for those competent in the statistical and data sciences. The tools and techniques required to master data science are generally applicable to many different disciplines.
Some job titles explicitly state that data is an essential component of the role such as: Data Scientist, Statistician, Data Engineer, Data Analyst etc. Other jobs require a substantial amount of effort in working with data though their title is more geared toward a specific role in the business such as: Marketing Strategist, Customer Engagement Manager, Quality Engineer, etc.
Senior and executive managers are now expected to have a foundational knowledge of data science since data is key to almost all strategy and decision making. Businesses are simply expecting their employees of all levels to have a base level of data literacy regardless of the primary job function.
What is your favorite course in the [CSUF] Data Science program?
The Capstone Course is the students’ favorite, and thus my favorite. It’s where the students have the opportunity to work together as a team applying the various techniques and concepts learned through the program to a real open-ended problem. I’ve heard from students that it’s in the Capstone Course where they generate the confidence in their ability that they can go out in the professional world and tackle a real business problem.
The world is changing but the need for accurate data is constant. If you’re thinking of entering into a career as a data scientist, consider taking a professional certificate course or introductory classes to see if this is the right path for you!
This article was written by California State University, Fullerton staff.
About Cal State Fullerton Extension & International Programs:
Extension and International Programs (EIP) creates programs for every stage of life, extending the University’s resources into the community and around the world. Programs include professional certificates, online degree completion programs, international student services, and much more. https://extension.fullerton.edu