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Weekly Address — September 19, 2019

From the historic hallways of the most beautiful state Capitol in our great nation, this is Senator Keith Ingram.

The Board of Trustees has approved a new degree program in Data Science, which will be offered next year at the University of Arkansas.

I usually don’t get excited about additions to the curricula at institutions of higher education, but this is a major development, and the culmination of years of work.

It’s a major step forward in our continuing efforts to modernize the Arkansas economy, and create secure and well paying jobs.

Arkansas high schools are required to offer classes in computer science, so we’ve got a new generation of high school graduates with the skills needed to write code and program computers.

A bachelor’s of data science is the logical next step toward producing college graduates with the job skills that businesses need to compete in today’s global economy.

With the announcement of the new degree program, Arkansas leaders let it be known that we won’t be satisfied with keeping our best and brightest in the state. We’re going to attract the best and brightest young students from out-of-state and from overseas.

Data science will be a combination of several academic fields, such as engineering, business, analytics, health care administration and cybersecurity. Industry leaders were allowed input in the curriculum.

Graduates in data science will have the knowledge to analyze, manipulate and program massive amounts of information.

The university expects to enroll 50 undergraduates in its first data science program. I expect other campuses across the state will soon follow the example of the University of Arkansas.

From the Capitol, it is always my great honor and sincere privilege to serve you as your state Senator. This is Keith Ingram.


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