Five FAQs: New IT - Data Specialist Degree

Five FAQs: New IT - Data Specialist Degree

Associate degree option starts in fall

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

With the start of a new fall semester, comes the start of several new learning opportunities at Fox Valley Technical College. We’re highlighting the new way students can earn an associate degree as a Data Specialist by answering five frequently asked questions about the new program.  Matthew Dorn, Information Technology instructor, provides the answers.

What is the IT - Data Specialist program all about?

It's about learning technical and professional skills to manage and leverage data to empower your organization. Those skills include programming, databases, analysis/statistics/modeling, data visualization, "big data", and data infrastructure, as well as business analysis and technical communication.

Why did FVTC decide to add this program now?

The data revolution is happening now. Data has always been an asset of immense value and untapped potential. It's volume, velocity, and variety continue to explode, but so too do the technologies and strategies to manage and leverage it. Those tools and techniques, however, are not yet widely known or adopted, creating a gap in industry. Every organization has valuable data, and every organization needs to expand and redefine their data division in order to continue to grow and compete.

That's why data scientist has been one of the hottest jobs in recent years. But while Data Science is a master's-level degree, the vast majority of data operations in an organization can be performed with a comparatively small amount of technical training. Which is where our new program fits in: there will be many opportunities for graduates of the IT - Data Specialist program to drive the Fox Valley forward by bringing these increasingly important skills to our organizations' evolving and expanding data divisions.

Who should consider exploring this program?

Consider this degree if one or more of these statements resonates with you:

  • You like exploring statistics and discovering insights from data.

  • You enjoy working with charts, graphs, tables, databases, and code.

  • You care about organizing and managing your assets (data, in this case).

  • You constantly ask (and try to answer) empirical questions.

  • You believe empowered decisions come from quality information.

  • You are excited to become a wizard with the technology required to be part of the data revolution.

What kinds of jobs are available with this associate degree?

Some positions are more traditional and some are just taking shape as the field evolves, including: Data Specialist, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst, Report Writer/Designer, SQL Developer, ETL Developer, Database Administrator (DBA), Informatics Specialist, Data Engineer, Data Infrastructure Administrator, Big Data Specialist, etc.

What is the earning potential for this career area?

Entry-level employee wage would range from $20 to $38 per hour with the average starting wage at $27 per hour.

Interested in learning more >> Data Specialist