UnitedHealth Group announced Tuesday that it is investing $8.25 million over the next five years in an effort to enhance data science education at historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta.
What We Know:
- Data science — using math, science and statistics to solve problems — is one of the highest in-demand careers, but business leaders say there is an underwhelming amount of African Americans in the industry, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. UnitedHealth Group leaders and the schools started talks of a partnership two years ago, officials said.
- Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College will all participate in this effort. Each school currently has courses related to data science, but none offer a degree. The schools are working on the next steps in how to offer data science coursework and degrees.
- Atlanta University Center Consortium leaders say the money will be used for scholarships and software to improve technological abilities at each school. “The AUCC Data Science Initiative brings together the collective talents and innovation of computer science professors from Morehouse College and other AUCC campuses into an academic program that will be the first of its kind for our students,” said David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College.
- Students who’ve taken data science courses said they imagine working on projects to improve various things that college students worry about, such as improving the financial aid process or on-campus housing. Michael English, a Clark Atlanta University senior, has used the technology to do research that could reduce airport passenger wait times. “I learned how big data is the next thing,” said English.
The average salary for a data scientist is $120,709 per year, according to Indeed.