TÉLUQ University: new certificate in data science

This text is part of the Higher Education special section

To meet the growing needs of the labor market, TÉLUQ University is offering a certificate in data science from summer 2022. The program, unique in Quebec, is already very popular.

Daniel Lemire, professor and director of the Department of Science and Technology at TÉLUQ University, explains that we see this in job offers: companies are recruiting data science professionals for different functions. There was really no similar training in Quebec, so we decided to develop this certification. »

The specialization meets the growing needs of companies, organizations and governments that need to process and analyze large amounts of data to obtain meaningful information. This data is extremely diverse, from audio and video files to production volumes of manufacturing industries and personal data of customers. Data science combines principles from mathematics, statistics, artificial intelligence and computer engineering.

The certificate is created after successful completion of a short program that includes four data science courses related to the topic. The needs are such that TÉLUQ University is taking steps to create a bachelor’s degree in this field, says Mr. Lemire.

The new certificate attracts students with different levels of education, from management to mathematics, healthcare or journalism. Daniel Lemire estimates that the program has had more than 138 sign-ups since its launch in the summer of 2022. “We’re talking about over a hundred students a year: it’s a popular program,” he enthuses.

The 30-credit certificate includes five required courses, namely machine learning, introduction to data science, big data processing, statistics with R, and a data science project. Students can complete the certificate with elective courses, including courses in data management, statistics, machine learning, or the ethical, legal, and social issues of information technology.

Growing needs

In science, data also allows for different pursuits. For example, with the use of drones and artificial intelligence, researchers can study the evolution of forest cover or the effectiveness of measures in agriculture. Data journalism in the media allows numbers to speak to highlight societal trends.

Daniel Lemire explains about the many functions of data for companies: “Data opens the door to many interesting applications, allowing us to target consumers, develop products that better meet needs.” For example, the Netflix platform collects a lot of data. In this way, the company can know in real time that the customer only listened to a few minutes of the TV series and never continued. “These data allow us to know the profile of people who listen to such series, we can conduct analyzes and cut their market,” the expert describes. But if someone gets themselves into Netflix’s database and deletes them, the platform is screwed. Security is something we develop together. »

In fact, with the collection of increasing amounts of data, new risks emerge. “There are hackers who will search for your data with ransomware, and if you want to find them, you have to pay, Daniel Lemire gives as an example. When a public company gets hacked, it’s a big deal for privacy and security aspects. It’s a matter of national security,” he continues, referring to digital identity projects being considered by the province to better protect Quebecers from identity theft.

This special content is produced by the Special Publications team Be forced, about marketing. Compilation of Be forced did not participate.

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