UnitedHealth Group teams up with Atlanta HBCUs to further data science education 

UnitedHealth Group is investing in a data science education initiative. (UnitedHealth Group)

UnitedHealth Group is partnering with Atlanta-area historically black colleges and universities to fund education for data scientists. 

UHG will collaborate with the Atlanta University Center Consortium, contributing $8.5 million to launch the AUCC Data Science Initiative, which will provide technical classes to students that want to either specialize in data science or gain experience with analytics to bolster their skill sets. 

AUCC encompasses Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College—a collective of more than 9,000 students. 

In its announcement, UHG notes that data professionals are going to be increasingly in demand, with the number of job openings estimated to reach 2.7 million in the next year alone. 

“Technology in general, and data science in particular, are critical to better meeting the needs of our customers,” David Wichmann, UnitedHealth Group CEO, said in a statement. 

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“We are grateful for the opportunity to support this initiative because it aligns with our desire to ensure our workforce for the future is diverse and possesses the skills needed to propel our company for continued success,” Wichmann added. 

AUCC Executive Director Todd Greene said in the announcement that UHG’s financial contribution will build a foundation for the initiative, and that the healthcare giant will also offer internships, guest lectures, opportunities for faculty development and other support as part of the partnership.

The central goal of the Data Science Initiative is to provide access to data analytics training across academic disciplines and arm future researchers, in particular, to conduct thorough studies in minority communities, which are traditionally underserved in research, according to the announcement. 

Certificate programs in data science and analytics will be offered, according to the announcement. 

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“The colleges in the Atlanta University Center, for decades, have been in the vanguard of educating African-Americans who succeed in STEM fields,” Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College, said in the announcement. 

“This gift by UnitedHealth Group is an investment in our commitment to continue that primacy in STEM by making AUCC a center of excellence for the study of data science across a range of disciplines in medicine and liberal arts,” she said.