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New degree programs coming to IPFW

From reports

This week, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) approved two new degree programs to be offered by Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science will be available for students beginning with the fall 2017 semester and the Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Applied Statistics will be open for admission for the 2018-19 academic year.
"The vote taken by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education today to approve two new degrees is historic," said Eric Carl Link, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "These two new undergraduate degrees will directly support the needs of the strong insurance, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing sectors of the greater Fort Wayne metropolitan area."
IPFW will be the only university in northeast Indiana to offer the B.S. in Actuarial Science. The creation of these degree programs arose from the needs of the region's insurance industry and cluster of actuarial employers, primarily located in the Fort Wayne area, including Lincoln Financial Group, Swiss Re, Conduent, MedPro, Central Insurance, and Brotherhood Mutual. Both recruiting and retention will be easier for these companies as they will benefit from a pipeline of actuarial talent produced locally.
"The actuarial profession has frequently been ranked as the best career in America, but northeast Indiana students have, until recently, had to leave the area to obtain coursework that prepared them for the profession," said Pat Sullivan, executive vice president of Hylant Group and chairman of Northeast Indiana Specialty Insurers (NISI). "Providing a major in actuarial science at IPFW will dramatically improve northeast Indiana residents' access to these rewarding jobs."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook for both actuaries and statisticians forecasts much faster than average growth outlook for the 2014-2024 period (18% and 34% respectively). The 2015 Employment Outlook Report of the Community Research Institute (CRI) indicated a similar trend locally, stating that approximately 17% (nearly 3,600) of the regional openings over the next decade will be in analytical fields--potential connections to growth areas like Big Data, fraud prevention, market research, etc.
"These degree programs respond to the needs of the insurance industry in northeast Indiana," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "In addition, the programs address a growing demand from regional employers for talent in the fields of predictive analytics and big data, Developing, attracting, and retaining talent within Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana is the driving strategy for growth of our regional economy. This approval is a big win for the region and the state."
"The approval of these degree programs brings to a successful conclusion two years of collaborative effort between the faculty in the department of mathematical sciences and the administrations of both IPFW and Purdue University, and was made possible with the support of numerous local business and organizations, including the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, NISI, and the members of the IPFW Actuarial Board, which represents LFG, Swiss Re, MedPro, and Conduent," said Peter Dragnev, chair and professor of mathematics. "The two undergraduate degrees, along with the existing graduate degree program in Applied Mathematics, will serve a vital role in helping to meet the needs of local and regional Fort Wayne businesses that rely on talented individuals with advanced skills in modeling and data analysis."


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