University of Michigan, Google partner on new program for job seekers

Unrecognizable young woman sitting on bed, working on laptop, smart phone next to her, home office.

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan and Google have partnered to offer a new data science online training program for job seekers in Michigan.

The goal of the flexible course is to help candidates in the field advance their careers and quickly enter the rapidly growing market.

The course, titled “Data Analytics in the Public Sector with R,” was created by U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation for professionals interested in learning how public data sets inform policymaking in the public sector, according to a release.

The center partnered with the School of Information and the Ford School of Public Policy to build the course on machine learning and open-source data and its role in decision making.

“It teaches how the powerful R programming language can manipulate, visualize and interpret open-source data to those with a foundational understanding of programming and statistics,” reads a release.

The program is made up of four courses and focuses on the following aspects:

  • The fundamentals of R programming
  • Open-source public and survey data
  • Data manipulation and visualization

The course complements Google’s online job training career certificates and is recommended for individuals already familiar with R.

“Job training and regularly learning new skills are keys to the future of work,” founding executive director of the Center for Academic Innovation James DeVaney.

“This also provided us an opportunity to team with Google on a course aimed directly at high-impact, high-wage job skills that serve the public good and will help communities in Michigan and beyond as people are able to harness data to drive decision-making and solve important societal problems.”

The course will be taught by assistant professor of information Christopher Brooks and professor of public policy and health management Paula Lantz.

“Professors Lantz and Brooks bring unique perspectives to the course,” DeVaney said in a statement. “They allow you to see the power of big data and acquire the skills you need to improve communities. Our schools work daily to prepare a new generation of leaders dedicated to the public good, and this course will bring that same commitment to a global audience.”

Candidates are not required to have a degree to earn a Google career certificate, which can be completed within 3-6 months when studying part-time.

According to a media release, open data analytics jobs start with a median salary of $74,000 and there are more than 380,000 available positions in the country.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.