AMA Online Education to offer students data analytics courses

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AMA Online Education (AMA OEd) said it hopes to graduate over a hundred thousand data analytics-ready students beginning 2021 as part of a partnership with technology firm SAS, which will help develop basic and advanced courses for both IT and business students.

“We have 150,000 students, both in online and blended programs. Majority of our students are enrolled in IT and Business programs, so about 80% of them will be SAS-trained by 2021,” Christopher P. Satulan, chief operating officer of AMA OEd, said at a media briefing in San Juan City last week.

AMA OEd and SAS, an analytics software firm based in North carolina, signed a partnership Friday for courses which will be compulsory for third and fourth-year IT and business students beginning next year.

“There is a scarcity of data analysts in the country, and we are in the Industry 4.0 wherein most industries need them. Our students, trained by SAS, will be helping these industries. We can provide them our graduates,” Mr. Satulan said.

Under the partnership, SAS will be providing AMA OEd’s data analytics students with “localized” content.

Data analysis, according to Mr. Satulan, will be integrated in the school’s research program.

The partnership will be carried out in cooperation with Singapore consulting and technology services company Thakral One.

“It was SAS and Thakral One that trained the professors within AMA, and then they should be able to deliver the whole course,” SAS Philippines Country Manager Ryan C. Guadalquiver said.

Thakral One Philippines Country Head Melissa M. Egasani said it took only a “few days” to train AMA OEd’s mentors on data analytics “because of their technical background.”

She noted that the limited number of data science experts in the country encourage practitioners to teach at colleges and universities.

“We actually encourage our senior consultants to teach at schools. We also have partner clients and organizations that do the same, so there’s that thrust to give back to the academe among our practitioners,” Ms. Egasani said.

SAS, which has at least 50 industry partners in the Philippines, will also be assisting students during their internships.

“We will partner with our client companies (for) internships; and from there, they could be evaluated for possible employment,” Mr. Guadalquiver said.

He added that many of SAS partners have been looking for data analytics-trained workers.

“Our partners have been asking for them. Even us at SAS, we have a problem also in terms of talent scarcity,” he said.

AMA OEd said the partnership includes a three-month boot camp, which is designed for new graduates to deepen their analytics knowledge and skills.

“After finishing the boot camp, graduates will be given preferred employment referral among SAS partner organizations in the fields of data science, computer analytics, and AI,” the school said in a statement.

Mr. Satulan said the data analytics program will eventually be offered at AMA’s 200 campuses nationwide. — Arjay L. Balinbin