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Bellevue University will offer a Bachelor of Science in data science beginning fall 2020. Pictured from left, Catie Williams, program director, and Mary Dobransky, dean of the College of Science and Technology, inside the C&A Industries Intelligence Systems Lab at Bellevue University.

Bellevue University is expanding its graduate data science program with an undergraduate option.

The undergrad program, which will be available for students beginning in fall 2020, will be 100% online.

Students will gain skills in problem solving in many different industries; build data skills through programs such as Python, R, Tableau and PowerBI; and learn about data storytelling to gain confidence in front of executives in companies.

Students will also graduate with a data science portfolio to use for finding jobs.

Mary Dobransky, dean of the College of Science and Technology, said the program will prepare students to solve problems in any industry.

“It’s an interdisciplinary program, and students can come into it from a variety of programs and apply to any industry,” she said. “I’m very excited to be able to offer a cutting edge and demanding program for students to get jobs they want to attain.”

The university took six months to a year gathering an advisory board of experts, which included BU staff and outside data science employees to address any skills and courses needed that were best suited for a bachelor’s degree.

Catie Williams, the program’s director, said the school wanted to make sure its students were getting key knowledge in the new program.

“For the undergrad side, we didn’t have anything that covered the process of data science,” she said. “Data is the new oil or currency, and it’s being generated every day. This is a great opportunity to get Bellevue University involved early.”

Williams said she’s excited to have a beginning level introduction to data science offered for students.

“There’s not an industry that can’t take advantage of data science,” she said. “To see what students can do, and having fresh ideas and seeing them create something with data is exciting.”

Dobransky said with the demand for data scientists, it was imperative for BU to include a bachelor’s program to prepare students.

“Right now data scientists are front and center for the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s crucial to protect the public,” she said.

“Students are already calling and asking questions about the program. Data science has become critical, so this is our response to the demand in the marketplace.”

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