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Better decisions through data: GRCC launching new Data Science Certificate program to help students gain skills for an evolving field

June 23, 2023, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College is launching a new Data Science Certificate program to help students gain skills for careers in a fast-paced, evolving field.

The program, which can be completed in a year, combines computer information systems and mathematics skills to help students process data to help employers make informed, strategic decisions.

“Information is abundant in today’s high-tech world,” said Dr. Kristi Haik, dean of GRCC’s School of STEM. “The challenge we face today is understanding and interpreting data to make better decisions. This new certificate will help students gain their first steps into an exciting field, and prepare them to continue advancing in their education and careers.”

Students earning a Data Science Certificate will learn how to take raw data, run it through a set of tools and algorithms to understand the information and help shape decisions.

With the certificate, students can hope to be hired into an entry level, data analyst position, transitioning to data scientist and data engineer roles with additional training. Analyst jobs pay an average salary of $69,638.

The Data Science Certificate program is intended to be a first step in a computing career. Students can continue their education for a variety of careers, including data scientist posts, which average $120,000 a year.

GRCC is working with a curriculum developed with industry leader Intel, with classes including Microsoft Excel, Computer Science I, Statistics, Programming for Data Science, Database Design, Intro to Data Science, and Applied Data Science as a capstone course.

Students can take classes in online, seven-week formats that start with the upcoming fall 2023 semester.

Additional information is available on the GRCC Data Science Certificate webpage, or by contacting the Computer Information Systems Department at and by phone at (616) 234-3670.