Online Learning

Rutgers Launches Online Big Data Certificate Program

Responding to the growing demand for data skills in the workforce, the Center for Innovation at Rutgers University is rolling out a new online certificate program focused on data analytics and big data. The 44-week skills-based program was developed in partnership with professional learning company Experiential Teaching Online (XTOL Corp.).

According to a press release, graduates of the Data Analytics/Big Data program will:

  • Gain a broad range of job-ready skills (technical and business) in numerous fields;
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion;
  • Complete a portfolio of professional-quality work to present to prospective employers; and
  • Leave with end-to-end project experience working on real life challenges.

The XTOL curriculum features a "story-centered" approach in which "students are placed in authentic, team-based, professional roles that incorporate knowledge and skill-based tasks." The idea, said Stephen Carter, director of Rutgers' Center for innovation Education, is to provide "critical skills to individuals who don't necessarily have a computer science background. Students acquire authentic experience at a more realistic pace conducive to learning and at a cost that they can afford."

Courses are designed and delivered by current and former faculty from Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern and Yale, with input from Rutgers subject-matter experts. Student work synchronously in small teams, supported by a faculty mentor, on a series of seven projects across four courses: Understanding Customers; Predicting Profitability and Customer Preferences; Big Data: Web Mining; and Deep Analytics and Visualization. Teammates collaborate on the concept and design of each project, and then do the hands-on implementation individually.

"We are excited about this innovative program and believe it to be a valuable option for professionals who wish to expand their skill set in the areas of data analytics and big data," said Carter.

The Rutgers Data Analytics/Big Data certificate program begins March 29. For more information, visit the program site.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at

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