'Berg's new Data Analytics major opens limitless career doors

With a degree in Data Analytics, doors are wide open for career options. Beginning in the Fall of ’24, Heidelberg will add that major and minor to its academic offerings. 

Sean Joyce
Computer Science Professor Sean Joyce

“Since everything is data-driven these days, we in the (Computer Science) Department have been talking about this for a while, and asking ourselves if it could be a major or minor to complement any major on campus,” said Sean Joyce, associate professor of Computer Science and department chair.

Turns out the answer is yes. Last month, Heidelberg received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to offer the new Data Analytics major and minor, which would result in a bachelor of science degree.

Because the ability to wrangle, interpret and visualize data is essential in the modern world, Heidelberg’s new Data Analytics major will provide a broad-based curriculum that supports data-driven decisions in all enterprises: commerce, government, the sciences and even non-profits. 

According to Sean, Data Analytics majors at Heidelberg will complete a combination of coursework to develop marketable skills in data management, data research, analysis and visualization, data mining, and machine learning.

“Our Data Analytics graduates will have a solid foundation in fundamental concepts and techniques and will be able to apply these skills to communicate meaningful results to their organizations,” he said. 

“The computational, analytical and problem-solving skills students will develop through our Data Analytics program are fundamental to the success of all organizations in our data-driven society.”

The new Data Analytics major truly is interdisciplinary, stretching across new and existing courses in computer science, business, mathematics, psychology and sociology. “We recognized that we already had faculty expertise all over campus, so this seemed like a natural progression,” Sean said.

“Our new major is uniquely Heidelberg,” he added, “with technical coursework but with a wider perspective. The interdisciplinary approach to our program will allow students to see important connections between disciplines.”

The world of Data Analytics isn’t new at Heidelberg. Faculty have already dipped their toes in these waters through existing courses in data science, analytics and the successful development of an introductory data science sequence through participation by the Computer Science faculty in Google’s Applied Computing project.

A core team of Sean, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jingyi Su, Associate Professor of Accounting Doug Woods and Associate Professor of Psychology and Criminology Aaron Sell collaborated to develop the new major and minor.

“With the Data Analytics major, students really can choose their angle,” Sean explains, adding that students would be required to complete a practicum in a specialty of their choosing.

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