The Daily Courier

College urged to train students for ‘sexiest job’

- By Daily Courier Staff

Kelowna college students should be trained for the “sexiest job” going, the institutio­n’s board of governors heard.

A new two-year health analytics program was expected to receive board approval.

It would be open to people who have an undergradu­ate degree in fields such as nursing, business and engineerin­g and want to get into a career in data science with a focus on health.

“Students will receive a thorough training in statistics and data science,” states a descriptio­n of the proposed course.

Course components would include mathematic­al computatio­n, statistics, calculus, linear algebra, machine learning, regression analysis, and informatio­n systems.

“The job of a data scientist has been referred to as ‘The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century,’” the staff report to the board of governors states.

It says the widespread and efficient use of data science could save the U.S. health-care system $300 billion annually.

Course graduates would be able to find work with health-care authoritie­s, insurance and actuarial firms, pharmaceut­ical companies, and government­s, the report says.

Despite the program’s name, graduates of the Health Analytics course could also find employment in a broad range of fields.

“Locally, a number of major employers have a data analytics department including the Interior Health Authority, Tolko Industries and Kal Tire. Most recently, the City of Kelowna has also opened an analytics department­s (and) locally-based credit unions including Valley First and Interior Savings also have analytics department­s and are looking for employees,” the report says.

“These employers advise us that it is difficult to recruit employees for these department­s,” it says.

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