Professional Degree Programs with SAS Tools Help Bridge the Data Science Talent Gap in Building Hong Kong into a Smart City

With the popularity of AI, machine learning and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), data analytics has become a critical skillset in today’s business economy. At the same time, the growing demand for skilled practitioners who possess both data science and business knowledge is creating a challenge for the commercial world where there is a distinct lack of these merged skills.

The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong (HSUHK)
is a non-profit private liberal-arts-oriented university in Hong Kong. HSUHK launched its first Data Science and Business Intelligence bachelor’s degree program in Hong Kong in September 2014, to equip students with the necessary analytics and business skills to underpin their careers in the business analytics industry.

Meeting the growing need for talent

A shortage of talent in data analytics is a global phenomenon. IDC predicts a need by the end of this year for 181,000 people with deep analytical skills, and a requirement of five times that number for jobs which require data management and interpretation skills.

Addressing the growing demand, HSUHK now offers a portfolio of 5 degree programs in decision sciences under the Study Subsidy Scheme for Designated Professions/Sectors (SSSDP), which was launched under the 2014 Policy Address to subsidize students to pursue designated full-time locally-accredited self-financing undergraduate programs in selected disciplines. In particular, their Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Data Science and Business Intelligence (BSc-DSBI) programme provides students with the background they need for a career in the data science field and are specially designed for those who have either a strong background or a strong interest in the applications of data science to solve problems for organizations.

Tang Man Lai

Prof. Tang Man Lai
Associate Dean of the School of Decision Sciences

Data analytics in demand

Prof. Tang Man Lai, Associate Dean of the School of Decision Sciences, says, “With today’s data-minded business culture, Data Analytics has become one of the hottest skills in the job market. SAS has been the global market leader in this area for over 40 years, and its proven experience has been widely recognized by many different organizations for looking to glean insights through advanced analytics. With the deployment of SAS tools and teaching with the easy-to-use and user friendly SAS comprehensive education analytics suite, students can become proficient with professional SAS skills during their academic years, increasing their competitiveness when applying for relevant data analytics positions in different sectors.”

The HSUHK degree programs incorporate applications and tools from the Joint Certification Program, which offers professional credentials that are industry-recognized globally, into their four-year curriculum. Students can get first-hand experience with using analytics to manage and model large volumes of data from disparate sources, and extract insights from that data. They are also able to acquire highly sought-after analytical skills that will be in demand by employers across all industries, and earn respected qualifications needed by data science professionals in the areas of big data and analytics.

A foundation for success in a data-driven business world

In December 2017, the government released the Smart City Blueprint that maps out the development plans for the next five years to build Hong Kong into a world-class smart city. Aiming to enhance the effectiveness of city management and improve people’s quality of life and Hong Kong's attractiveness and sustainability through innovation and technology, the smart city initiatives are expected to leverage on numerous data resources and on advanced data analytics with the aid of AI and machine learning, which will in turn generate a huge demand for advanced data analytic talent. In view of this, HSUHK has introduced an internship program for students with large organizations across different sectors participating, including banking and finance, telecommunications, government and commercial industries.

“We believe that providing a holistic and stimulating educational experience with SAS analytics tools is the way to build students’ professional skills and theoretical knowledge, to better equip them in an increasingly data-centric business world." says Prof. Tang. 

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Challenge

Organizations are faced with skills shortages and are looking to universities to help bridge that gap.

Solutions

Benefits

The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong provides an educational experience with SAS analytics tools to build students’ professional skills and theoretical knowledge in an increasingly data-centric business world.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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