The future is data: How George Brown College is preparing students for what comes next

It’s no secret that businesses have always relied on data. Still, with advances in analytics technologies, the demand for highly skilled workers capable of applying business and analytical expertise has grown. It’s not enough to be “good with numbers.” Industries from banking, health, manufacturing, government and many others are looking for employees who can interpret data to solve and, more importantly, predict problems.

For Elizabeth Speers, Director of the Centre for Business at George Brown College, this is a career path for those who understand the language of data and can speak the language of business. “We know that data can tell a compelling story. Businesses need individuals who can translate that story to leverage insights to make data-science based decisions. This is the way of the future.” And George Brown’s Honours Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics program is making sure the next generation of data analysts is ready.

Beyond the classroom

This program is SAS-certified, and in-class learning focuses on assessing, deciphering and evaluating complex data. Taking a technology-agnostic approach, students use open-source software with a fundamental focus on using the best tools to make the best decisions. While classroom learning is key to success in this program, what ultimately develops students’ skills is exposure to real-world work experiences.

Students complete a co-op work term during this degree, applying the skills they’ve learned in practical, hands-on situations. Work terms must be no less than 14 weeks of full-time equivalent work (420 hours), either in one block or multiple cumulative blocks. These experiences provide opportunities to understand the needs of businesses and employers. They also help students to network in their field before graduation.

Problem Solving Practice

George Brown is home to the Analytics Hub, where students, faculty and industry come together to apply analysis and decision-making to complex management issues. The collaboration that happens lets students work with data from both private and public sources. Through the Analytics Hub, the college has partnered with global enterprises like Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson, as well as Canadian companies like Rogers Communications, TD Bank, and TELUS.

Data isn’t restricted to one industry, and more and more, it is becoming central to how a company functions. So, whether it’s helping a warehouse get deliveries out on schedule or supporting a city’s emergency response time, the sky really is the limit for graduates of this degree.