Applications being accepted now for Poole College Data Analytics Honors Program

Submitted by Anna Rzewnicki on Friday Oct 23, 2015.

Applications are being accepted now for a new three-course Data Analytics Honors Program that will launch in Poole College at the start of the spring 2016 semester. 

Data analytics is a vital tool for driving business decisions, and this new program is designed to provide students a firm foundation in the knowledge and skills needed to fill a growing demand for data analysts. Those who successfully complete the set of five courses – including a practicum course – will obtain a data analytics honors notation on their official NC State academic transcript.

“The data analytics honors designation will make a difference for the growing number of companies that are seeking individuals who can bring this vital skill to their organizations,” said Scott Showalter, professor of practice in the Poole College Department of Accounting and member of the team of faculty developing this new program.

Deloitte defines data analytics as “the practice of using data to drive business strategy and performance. It includes a range of approaches and solutions, from looking backward to evaluate what happened in the past to looking forward through scenario planning and predictive modelling.”

“What makes this particularly exciting for our students is that it has application across all organizations in industry – from accounting to supply chain management,” Showalter said.

The new academic curriculum is available to select Poole College undergraduate honors students with majors in accounting, business administration or economics. Students must apply to the program and will be selected based on prior academic performance.

“Data drives business decisions,” Showalter said. “With the continually growing volume of data – including the cloud-based big data – companies need professionals who can turn that data into information upon which they can make informed decisions.”

“Our goal as a college is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills not only for current career opportunities but also for new career paths as they come about,” said Ira Weiss, Poole College dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair. “The demand for data analysts is growing out of the massive quantity of data available through today’s increasingly technology driven global marketplace. That flow of data isn’t stopping and we want our students interested in turning that data into actionable information to be well prepared for the career opportunities ahead of them.”

CNBSC reports that “with more and more companies using big data, the demand for data analytics specialists … is nearing a frenzy.” Companies are seeking to hire way more data analysts than colleges and universities are currently graduating. That means “the talent pool is, at best, probably 20 percent of the demand (and) that imbalance is a boon for job seekers,” the CNBC article states. According to KcKinsey Global Institute, by 2018 there will be a “shortage of 1.5 million managers and analysts who have the ability to understand and make decisions using big data.”

Read more about the Data Analytics Honors Program at Poole College.

Students interested in applying for admission to this new program should send their resume and degree audit to They also may request additonal information by sending questions to the same address. 

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