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Massey University scores big data sponsorship

21 Sep 2015

Massey University’s data analytics programme has attracted the attention of leading business analytics software provider SAS, leading to a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal.

The agreement with SAS is the first of its kind with a New Zealand university and will provide students with SAS certification credentials, research funding and internship opportunities at some of Australasia’s largest firms.

The partnership sees Massey joins the ranks of other business schools including the University of Melbourne and Oklahoma State University.

The sponsorship agreement will enhance Massey’s Master of Analytics programme.

Programme leader Professor Leo Paas says the collaboration means students can be confident they will develop the skills needed by industry.

“Our students will not only get a Master of Analytics but also SAS certification for many of its licensed courses,” Paas says. “These are the most widely-used analytics software packages for big data applications and therefore highly sought after by employers.”

Geoff Beynon, SAS New Zealand general manager, adds, “Increasingly, our customers are asking the question, ‘where will my organisation find its next analytics talent?’ This partnership with Massey will not only help industry locate high-calibre resources and assist in addressing the skills shortage, but also provide SAS skilled business graduates who will hit the ground running.”

Paas says SAS’ sponsorship will ensure that Massey’s academic programme continues to be cutting-edge and in line with business practice.

“SAS’ business insights will ensure our lecturers remain up-to-date.” He says.

“It’s important we know what’s happening out on the frontline so we can teach the latest methods and address the challenges companies face through our research.”

Students will also benefit from research grants and access to SAS’ global network of clients, Paas says.

“At the end of our programme students complete a real analytics project for their employer or another company,” he explains. “This sponsorship will allow us to expand those projects by opening up options for travel or to purchase additional data sets.

“The SAS network includes many of the leaders in data analytics, so the opportunity to get our students into those firms to undertake internships and research is really important,” says Paas. “That is the sort of experience that makes you really employable.”

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