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Big Data Program Now Offered

Iconography of big data
By Elaine Regus

June 17, 2019 - 12:10 AM

Mt. SAC will become the first community college in the region to offer a certificate program in Big Data Analytics to meet the growing demand for individuals trained in analyzing all the data a company collects to find patterns, correlations and trends that help them make wise business decisions.

The certificate program, which begins in the fall, consists of three courses – Introduction to Data Science, Big Data Integration and Processing and Big Data Modeling and Analysis -- offered over two semesters 

Barry Andrews, chairman of the Computer Information Systems Department, said a survey conducted by the campus Center of Excellence found a “large gap between the number of qualified students who have knowledge in data analytics jobs and the number of big data analytics shops out there.”

Already, the United States is expected face a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and analysts who understand big data, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study.

Big data analytics is used by a broad range of industries including banking, communications, healthcare, government and transportation

Salary ranges for big data jobs, according to, range from a low of $107,000 for a data warehouse analyst to a high of $196,000 for a big data engineer.

Professor Sohair Zaki, who developed the certificate program, said graduates might not start out making six figures but the knowledge they obtain and the projects they complete will make them marketable and the higher pay will come with experience.

Zaki said the department will be working with SAS, an industry leader in data analytics, to offer some training sessions as part of the certificate program.