New Central State University certificate program aims to help students compete for in-demand tech jobs

Posted Jan 25 2024
a laptop with graphs and charts representing business analytics

JPMorgan Chase makes $500,000 philanthropic commitment to help expand student development programming and career pathway opportunities

On Jan. 25, Central State University announced a new certificate program in Business Analytics to help more students develop technical skills needed to better prepare them to enter the workforce and compete for quality careers in high-demand industries.

The program, with support from a $500,000 philanthropic commitment from JPMorgan Chase, will complement soft skills and personal development programming through the school’s Center of Excellence and Office of Career Services.

Rapid changes in technology, automation and artificial intelligence continue to shape the economy and exacerbate the disconnect between skills and jobs, particularly for young people. Colleges and universities are adjusting to better prepare their students for an ever-evolving labor market, including elevating the importance of connecting credentials and work experiences to in-demand jobs of the future.

Tapping current faculty and corporate partnerships for instruction with the addition of two new pertinent courses, the College of Business will align its resources to offer an 18-credit certificate program in Business Analytics, with an optional Certification Test Prep Course.

The certificate program offers courses in: Business Intelligence and AI, Information Systems Management, Systems Design and Database Implementation, Enterprise Cybersecurity Management, Data Analysis and Modeling, Fundamentals of Project Management, and a Certification Test-Prep Course.

Participation in these various programs is of utmost significance for students as it equips them with a diverse range of knowledge of these programs that play a pivotal role in enabling students to acquire the essential skills that employers are seeking.

Ohio's ranking of 18th out of 50 states, as it relates to opportunities for Business Analytics skills, suggests ample opportunities to gain a significant edge in the realm of Management Information Systems.

"By embarking on this career development pathway and expanding the curriculum, we are equipping our students with a powerful competitive advantage,” said Central State University Vice President of Institutional Advancement Tiffiney Gray. Moreover, this initiative aligns perfectly with the pressing need for skilled professionals in the state, ensuring immediate talent acquisition. The program will cater to a diverse range of individuals, including current students, international students, alumni, as well as those attending nearby community colleges and neighboring universities.

“We expect approximately 145 participants in the certificate program over the next three years,” she added. “We are excited about the prospect of featuring JPMorgan Chase as a core partner with CSU's Center of Excellence for HBCU Corporate Engagement."

"As we continue our work to close the achievement and wealth gaps across underrepresented communities, we believe an introduction to the variety of pathways and exposure to executive leaders as aspirational role models is an important building block to enhance diversity and representation in key industries."

“When students have an opportunity to engage directly with corporations and industry practitioners during their matriculation at Central State, we better position them to make choices to align their academic planning with career goals and interests that are developed and refined through career awareness and working with people who have journeyed on that path before them," she said.

This philanthropic commitment from JPMorgan Chase is part of its $3.5 million initiative with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to help Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs) students expand their career pathways programming and connect more students with career mobility opportunities. Through this effort, the firm is focused on supporting young people to successfully navigate transitions from post-secondary education to in-demand jobs of the future.

A recent evidence-based policy analysis from the JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter highlighted how a more modernized workforce development system connecting higher education to labor market needs is important for a seamless and integrated approach to workforce development, and to strengthen the broader regional economy. 

“Ensuring people have the skills and experiences they need to advance their career pathways and obtain in-demand jobs is critical to a thriving economy,” said Brandon Nelson, Commercial Banking Market Executive, JPMorgan Chase.

“By working alongside Central State, we are helping create a system that better aligns education and business communities to meet the region's growing demand for talent."

Skills that students will learn from the programs will be those involving Oracle, SQL, Tableau, and R. The goal of the certificate program is that, upon completion, Central State students will be prepared for careers in Business Intelligence Analyst, Business Analyst, Data Analyst, and Data Engineering.

Each student who completes the program will receive a certificate of completion from the University and the College of Business. They will additionally receive a digital certificate that can be placed on their resume and LinkedIn profile, spotlighting the skills they have acquired to potential employers.

Central State’s Center of Excellence provides a hub for connection, student engagement, research, and talent development for student placement with company partners.

The Center’s fall, spring, and summer programming consists of workshops, seminars, and guest lecturers emphasizing leadership development, corporate communications, business etiquette along with academic development essential to their success upon graduation.

Central State will host its annual business-focused academic and vocational event, Rise to the Challenge Summit, which will take place on campus on Jan. 31, 2024. The summit is the Institution’s corporate career pathways conference featuring opportunities for students to learn, engage and network with executive leaders across multiple industries.

The 2024’s fireside chat features Charles E. Johnson, President of SodexoMagic, who will share his career journey in marketing and the calculated risk he took in co-founding SodexoMagic with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Other corporate partners who will be facilitating panels and workshops include Bob Evans Farms, Adelphi Bank, KeyBank, Fifth Third Bank, Nationwide Insurance, Intel, PNC, Honda, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

JPMorgan Chase will moderate a panel at the summit, exploring the following topics: career pathways within the company, JPMC’s culture, personal career journeys, and why JPMC is a great destination for students from diverse backgrounds.