Data analytics professionals are in high demand at SAIC's customers, and we have a duty to meet that demand. The proliferation of disparate data sources, including social media, and the ability to make sense out of big data emphasize skill sets found across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. We take a three-pronged approach to address this need:
- Hire existing experts.
- Recruit from the top data analytics academic institutions.
- Grow our own talent.
Teaming up with George Mason University
We saw an opportunity to offer after-hours learning in data analytics. By partnering with a leading academic institution in George Mason University's (GMU) Volgenau School of Engineering, we are bringing a tailored postgraduate curriculum to SAIC professionals. They gain the skills our customers are seeking, and bringing this program to the workplace encourages participation and completion of master of science degrees in data analytics.
After leading the partnership effort with the university, there is now a fully functioning program. Each cohort is capped at 30 students. No other competitor has a similar program.
And, our employees and our customers love this program.
Most customers and competitors will send a few students to GMU to take the program on campus. But our cohort approach builds and maintains a significant talent pipeline, with a focus on long-term, sustainable, and organic growth in data analytics and data science.
In 2013, we conducted a summer study to look at where technology and our customers were headed. We looked at our skills mix to see if we had gaps or shortfalls in emerging technology areas. Data analytics topped the list.
We began our first cohort in 2013. The fifth cohort began in August 2019.