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More Than 1,000 High School Students Attend Big Data Days 2021

By Keith Morelli

TAMPA (March 10, 2021) -- More than 1,000 high school students gathered around their computers and mobile devices to attend the annual USF Big Data Day, an event that highlights career paths within the information systems industry for computer-savvy students and the paths offered by USF to get there.

Beginning in 2016, Big Data Day is a unique way to introduce high school seniors to professional opportunities in business analytics and information systems. Students who sign up for the day typically include those who attend AP computer science, technology support, web development and Academy of Information technology classes in various high schools around the Tampa Bay area.

The objective of the event is to introduce high school seniors to educational opportunities in the fields of information systems and business analytics that can land them lucrative careers. This year, the event included six different sessions for the 1,100 student representing 21 high schools across Hillsborough and Sarasota counties.

“It was a big success without any major technical glitches,” said Kaushik Dutta, information systems professor and director of the Muma College of Business School of Information Systems and Management. “This was possible because of a collective team effort by faculty members and staff at the school. They have put in a lot of hard work throughout the last few weeks.”

Faculty put together Q&A sessions, videos with animated emojis to make the experience interactive and attractive to the high school audience, Dutta said. Others worked on behind-the-scenes efforts such as scheduling and interacting with schools to make sure the technology to stage the event was in place.

“I would like to thank Denis Edwards of K-Force for supporting this event,” Dutta said. “Without that sponsorship, we could not have organized such a successful event.”

K-Force also sponsored the “Best Technology Teacher Award,” given each year with an honorarium. This year the honor went to Bloomingdale High School’s Kevin Weber.