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Texas State to develop new data science credential program

Monday, February 14, 2022

Texas State University will develop and offer a new data science credential program in partnership with Sam Houston State University. 

Texas State recently announced it received $1.5 million from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop the program. The university stated that many industries in Texas and throughout the country are seeking to expand their data science workforce, however, qualified applicants are in short supply and high demand. 

Texas State added that research shows certifications improve job opportunities and salaries, especially in high-paying, high-demand fields such as tech and healthcare.

“Learning data science skills through this platform will help Texas achieve its goal of developing a resilient workforce,” said Melinda Villagran, executive director for the Translational Health Research Center at Texas State. “Through data science, we will be able to improve healthcare delivery, support small businesses and a range of other industries hit hard by the pandemic.”

Texas State’s new program is funded by the governor’s Emergency Educational Relief Funding under the Accelerating Credentials of Purposes and Value Grant Program to meet the needs of the fast-growing Texas economy.

The university said its first course, which launches in September, will consist of 10 blocks of instruction leading up to an associate big data Analyst (ABDA) certificate issued by participating universities. Students will be prepared to pursue the professional ABDA certificate from the Data Science Council of America following the course, Texas State said. 

Additional data science courses are planned, with the expectation that additional universities in the Texas State University System will begin offering the credentials as the program grows, the university added. 

Courses will be developed by a group of more than 20 Ph.D. faculty members across disciplines working in collaboration with the program’s advisory board of chambers of commerce and local companies in the area. The advisory board will provide direction about the ongoing and changing needs of the workforce to make sure the courses offered meet the needs of the business community.

“Long term, I want this to be the go-to certification platform for the Texas State University System – providing high-quality, industry-leading certifications of value for a low price,” said Larry Fulton, leader of the new data science program at Texas State.

San Marcos Record

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