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Is the power to predict the sexiest job in the 21st century?

According to the Harvard Business Journal and Fortune magazine, a career as a data scientist is “the” job to have in the 21st century, underscoring a high demand for a talented, qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce.

Colleges and universities are rising to the challenge, offering degrees and certificates in Predictive Analytics, a specialized field of data science.

San Diego Supercomputer Center

The San Diego Supercomputer Center, in La Jolla, California, houses PACE.

The University of San Diego Supercomputer Center’s Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence (PACE) has taken a practical and somewhat novel approach, offering a series of two-day boot camps designed for professionals who want to enhance performance in their existing fields with a jolt of data-crunching and prediction.

“We have people from IT and utilities to people from HR and computational science or casinos and anything in between really,” UCSD PACE program director Natasha Balac recently told NPR’s Arun Rath for a piece on All Things Considered. “They’re able to take a data set that they might be doing in their professional or personal life and apply these algorithms to find patterns, rules, associations or some unexpected insight from the data.”

PACE is bridging new partnerships with business, health and scientific enterprises to stay laser focused on educating and training the core-knowledge, data scientists so critical to global business intelligence, performance management and innovation.

As stated by Mike Norman, SDSC’s director, “gathering data is easy. In fact, it’s so easy it’s exceeding our capacity to validate, analyze, visualize, store and curate. And, many of our critical scientific problems can only be solved by harnessing this data.” Integrating the methodologies of mathematics, statistics, visualization, and computer science, data scientists can address the Big Data challenge. PACE is nurturing a rich collaborative learning environment to cultivate a national community of data scientists that embodies innovation through diversity of thought. PACE provides the Big Data community with conceptual and hands-on training to learn critical predictive data analytics techniques that help discover patterns and relationships; which in turn contribute to accurate, actionable and agile insights. Predicting future trends and behaviors – from the epic to the everyday – allows for proactive, knowledge-driven decisions.

For industry to be competitive in the global marketplace it must have access to the human and technological resources that improve product innovation and operating efficiencies, Norman stresses, noting that PACE offers datamining programs specifically designed to educate and train 21st century data scientists, leveraging SDSC’s resources in a multi-level curriculum designed to provide professionals in business and science enterprises the critical skills to design, build, verify and test predictive data models.

PACE’s 2015 Boot Camps take place in February, April and September. Visit pace.sdsc.edu for more information.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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