Why Data?

Students pursuing careers in all sectors benefit from data skills. Physicians are using biosensors to monitor patient health, environmental engineers are designing improved waste processes driven by data, politicians, attorneys and law enforcement officials are addressing crime rates, and business owners are growing their businesses by better managing on- and off-line retail sales.

Literary specialists are monitoring cultural change through quantitative analysis of digitized texts, social workers are relying on data-related technology to organize and enhance their work with clients, and non-profits are harnessing the data-revolution to accelerate social ventures.

We are training our students for future careers that, in many cases, have not yet been invented, but we do know that data, and the quantitative, computational analysis of that data will be critically important. Many of our students will be working in a field impacted by and reliant upon data and its quantitative, computational analysis.

Future data-related jobs will lie at the intersection of data-rich domains (such as economics, geography, marketing, history, law, science and psychology) and statistics, computation and business. The primary goal of such jobs is to increase efficiency and improve performance by discovering trends in data. The demand for data managers and analysts with quantitative skills who can understand and make data-driven decisions will continue to increase.

University Strategic Plan

The University of Richmond Strategic Plan “Forging our Future, Building from Strength” includes the following initiatives that are related to the development of our students’ quantitative skills and preparation for their futures:

The University will provide students the knowledge, insight, and skills needed to understand, contribute to, and lead in a rapidly changing world.

Ensure that our curriculum provides students with the best possible preparation for lifelong learning, success in their chosen profession, and meaningful contributions to addressing the world’s problems.
Support areas of academic strength that take advantage of our disciplinary breadth to address the world’s problems from multiple perspectives. Areas of emphasis could include ethics, sustainability, entrepreneurship, data analytics, and areas of law and public policy.

Increased instructional and experiential programming in data, computation and quantitative learning will enhance our students’ critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. A data-enriched curriculum, when coupled with the development of our students’ communication skills and the analysis of the ethical implications associated with data-driven decisions, will allow our graduates to move successfully through the world.