By the Numbers

By the NumbersBy the Numbers

Joel Greenhouse

By the Numbers

Ross McGowan

In today's economy every company is a data company.

Not only are industries collecting increasing amounts of information, but businesses must analyze it to make smart data-driven decisions.

Carnegie Mellon University students are counting on the Masters in Statistical Practice (MSP) program to prepare them for tomorrow's jobs.

"We are living in the golden age of statistics," said Joel Greenhouse, a professor in CMU's Department of Statistics and MSP director.

Greenhouse said the MSP program, which began six years ago, educates and trains students for jobs as data scientists interested in professional careers in business, industry, government or scientific research.

"In terms of their training as statisticians," Greenhouse said, "course work emphasizes data analysis and consulting skills that reflect the skill set that these students will be using as entry level masters statisticians."

Classes offer hands-on experience as well as a capstone consulting experience through a semester-long project with outside clients. This experience provides the students with collaborative consulting experience that allows them to help clients find practical scientific and business-oriented solutions to real problems.

CivicScience, a Pittsburgh-based polling company, has been an ongoing partner with the MSP program, thanks to repeated positive experiences.

"As data science becomes an increasingly critical function in nearly every business, being able to tap into the talent and expertise at CMU is a privilege," said CivicScience CEO John Dick. "The students are learning cutting-edge techniques, meaning that they graduate with capabilities that even more tenured professionals don't have."

Ross McGowan (DC'12) served as a student consultant on CivicScience's first collaboration. He was hired as the company's director of data science after graduation.

"We knew that he could instantly bring a level of sophistication to our business that we needed," Dick said. "It was a perfect match for the direction and vision of our business."

For McGowan, the consultant aspect of the MSP program has come full circle.

McGowan stays connected to the MSP program by working with his employer and current students to offer project opportunities.

The experience has provided an interesting duality, McGowan noted, because he understands the needs of the students and the company, and from that, concentrates on finding meaningful projects for both sides.

"It's been really nice to give back and stay involved with the program," McGowan said. "We've seen the work that the students can do for us, and it is very marketable."

Related Links: Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences | Department of Statistics | CivicScience

Homepage Story Archives