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SAS and online U to fill analytics skills gap

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Analytics pioneer SAS has teamed up with Capella University to offer bachelors degrees in analytics and business intelligence.

With the demand for analytical talent projected to outpace supply by 60 percent in the next few years, and a persistent shortage of female analytic experts, new educational options are required to help address these needs. Analytics pioneer SAS has teamed up with Capella University are helping adult learners jump-start careers in the hot field of analytics with two minor degrees.

Capella University, a regionally accredited online university, is now offering a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology minor in data analytics and a Bachelor of Science in Business minor in business intelligence. Capella University offers online degree programs that help working adults advance their careers. Students in the new minors gain free access to SAS Self-Paced e‚ÄêLearning courses to prepare for SAS Certified Base Programmer professional certification.

The partnership was announced at the SAS-hosted Premier Business Leadership Series in Las Vegas this week.

Capella’s collaboration with business analytics leader SAS provides students with SAS knowledge and the high-demand competencies that address the nation’s analytics skills gap.

Students benefit from an interactive, collaborative learning environment that blends theory with practical application, including sophisticated SAS tools accessible from their desktops,” said Sue Talley, EdD, Capella’s Dean of Technology. “Working with SAS lets Capella provide a well-rounded, foundational education in data as well as a deep dive into specific skill areas.

Talley described Capella’s efforts to increase the participation of women in analytics at this week’s Analytics 2014 conference and will revisit the topic at The Premier Business Leadership Series. Women represent only 24 percent of US IT professionals, and just 22 percent of 2013 graduates in computer and information sciences.

A revolutionary new path to a degree

Both female and male data analysts interested in becoming SAS experts may find they are well on the way to a Capella University degree, thanks to the university’s FlexPath learning option. FlexPath is a self-paced style of learning that allows students to move more rapidly toward their degrees by directly demonstrating competences, regardless of how they learned them. This can also leave more time to work through new or more challenging material. FlexPath’s self-defined deadlines, robust and timely faculty feedback, and responsive support structures can result in decreased time to degree and lower tuition costs. Degrees earned through the FlexPath option are the same as those received through Capella’s traditional, credit-bearing programs.

Employers are clamoring for analysts that can turn data into knowledge. Capella and SAS help adult learners combine workforce experience with new analytics skills to seize lucrative jobs,” said Emily Baranello, Director of the SAS Education Practice.

Career opportunities fuel popularity of SAS Analytics U

Collaboration with colleges and universities is pivotal to SAS Analytics U, a broad academic initiative that includes free software, university partnerships and engaging user communities that support the next generation of SAS users.

Driven by rising employer demand for analytics talent, more people than ever before are pursuing SAS skills, aided by free SAS software and training. SAS University Edition has been downloaded more than 111,000 times since its launch in May. It provides free access to foundational SAS software faster and more easily for students, professors and adult learners.

More than 70,000 people have registered to use free, cloud-based SAS OnDemand for Academics, which offers professors, students and researchers access to more powerful, advanced analytics like SAS Enterprise Miner, SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Forecast Server.

People are seeking SAS training in record numbers. Enthusiastic students have accessed two beginner e-courses, Programming 1 and Statistics 1, more than 17,000 times in just four months. Certifications are up 15 percent, with the number of SAS exams taken rising 13 percent. Free SAS video tutorials have been viewed more than 470,000 times.

With more than three decades of experience working in education, SAS’ rich heritage in higher education presages a thriving future. SAS is used at more than 3,000 institutions worldwide for teaching, research and administration.

Today’s announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 700 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.

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