Cary-based SAS, which helped N.C. State launch the nation’s first advanced degree program in analytics, is helping Louisiana State with its own Master of Science in Analytics offering.

LSU and SAS on Monday announced the university’s formal commitment to a Master of Science in Analytics program after a one-year pilot program.

SAS provides financial and other support, such as free access to SAS software and teaching materials, to LSU, a long-time SAS customer, for the program, which is designed to help meet a growing need for “data scientists,” as they described the graduates.

The 20 recipients of degrees in the pilot program all found work within weeks of graduation.

NCSU offers a Master of Science in Analytics. The 38 2012 graduates received job offers before graduating, and more than half at at least three offers, SAS noted.

“There is great competition for talented individuals who combine data analysis expertise with practical business skills,” said Kenneth Koonce, dean of the LSU College of Agriculture That college is host to the Department Experimental Statistics (EXST). “This degree puts LSU at the forefront of the effort to meet this critical workforce need.”

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