People from all over the GTA can now head over to nearby Hamilton to benefit from McMaster University’s Data Analytics Continuing Education programs-- programs which could lead to a job in almost any industry.

The certificate in Big Data Analytics gives adult learners the tools and techniques to help guide organizations in the exploding field of data analytics.

As more ways of collecting data are being developed, professionals are needed who can turn that data into useful business insights.

As the demand for data analysts steadily increases and the talent supply remains low, this is a perfect time to train to enter the field.

McMaster has two data analytics streams: Big Data Analytics and Foundations of Data Analytics.

Haitham Amar, who teaches the Predictive Modelling and Data Mining course, says there is a wealth of job opportunities available for graduates.

“The program allows students to choose a career as a data scientist, data analyst, data engineer, and machine learning engineer. In general, you can think of the career as either leaning more towards model building or towards model implementation (programming).” Amar explains.

Amar also points out that a number of industries involve big data analytics.

“Every field that makes use of data in any way, shape or form requires big data analytics. This seems like everything in the industry right now. Insurance companies, car manufacturers, education institutions, the health sector, the banking sector, the entertainment industry, etc. are all interested in people who are skilled in data analytics.”

Because of the wealth of career opportunities, students looking for a rewarding career are enrolling in the program.

The program can also, in a way, help prepare students for jobs that aren’t even available yet as almost any industry can better use data to its advantage.

“The question would be what professional fields would not be able to leverage big data analytics.  Many companies still have a lot work to do in effectively leveraging data,” says Eleanor Smith, an instructor who teaches data management.

Smith also says the course has been invaluable to students seeking professional development.

“I have received feedback from students that this course has helped them in their professional lives. One topic we treat is enterprise metadata management, which many enterprise organizations have surprisingly yet to establish,” she says.

“A current student has provided me with feedback that her company is now investigating metadata management tools based on what has been presented in this course. Another student who works as a product manager at a big name credit bureau explained to me this course gave him the background and language to converse with his more technical colleagues.”

Overall, students say they learn an incredible amount of useful--and applicable--information in a relatively short period of time.

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