Unique collaboration with Microsoft

September 8, 2017 By eastern247
Photo: Students collaborating in computer lab

Eastern Washington University is excited to work with Microsoft to offer students a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Analytics, one of the fastest-growing and highest-demand professions in the world.

Under this unique collaboration, courses from the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) in Data Science will be integrated into the final year of curriculum for students studying analytics in EWU’s College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA).

EWU is currently the only university in the nation to have the MPP Data Science credential combined with a degree.

“Eastern Washington University is delighted to work with Microsoft on this program,” says EWU President Mary Cullinan. “By collaborating with the private sector, Eastern can address significant needs in professional and technical areas. The Microsoft initiative is a wonderful model of how we can work together.”

Senior class cohorts will take challenging hybrid courses taught by EWU faculty utilizing Microsoft courses. Eastern students completing this rigorous program will earn a BS in Data Analytics as well as a professional distinction certificate in Data Science from Microsoft. They’ll leave Eastern as data science practitioners who are ready to become professionals.

“We’re proud to see Eastern Washington University engage with our Microsoft Professional Program for data scientists,” states Anthony Salcito, Vice President for Education, Microsoft. “The Open edX on Azure scalable platform, the rigorous curriculum, and the industry credential from Microsoft, combined with an academic degree from Eastern, will give graduates a distinct advantage in securing the jobs of the future that are most in-demand.”

“This will move Eastern into the forefront of analytics education,” said EWU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Gordon. “EWU students taking this curriculum will have the job-ready skills to be a part of the digital transformation impacting business and industry sectors worldwide.”

The McKinsey Global Institute (a private-sector think tank) notes that, based on surveys, 48 percent of executives say it’s harder to find and retain data and analytics talent. McKinsey also projects there will be a shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who will know how to utilize big data to make effective decisions in the U.S. by 2018.

Worldwide, rates of completion for online courses are low – typically less than 10 percent. At Eastern, learning outcomes will be higher as a result of students receiving the support of their instructors and classmates to successfully finish the program as part of their degree.

EWU will roll out the program this fall with a few students who are eligible. The first full enrollment cycle will begin fall 2018 so that Eastern has time to market and recruit for the program.