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ManTech Teams With Purdue To Offer B.S. In Analytics

ManTech and Purdue University Global worked to develop several accredited graduate and undergraduate programs aimed a helping workers, who may or may not be ManTech employees, prepare compete in an increasingly digital world.

ManTech International, a provider of technology solutions and services for U.S. defense, intelligence, and other federal agencies, has worked with Purdue University Global to develop a curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree in analytics.

The first cohort of students, all of whom are ManTech employees, just started class this week, said Jeff Brody, chief human resources officer for Herndon, Va.-based ManTech, a $2-billion solution provider that ranks No. 22 on CRN's 2019 Solution Provider 500 list.

ManTech's collaboration with Purdue Global, a part of the Purdue University system, means that students have the opportunity to take classes as part of a fully-accredited program, Brody told CRN.

[Related: ManTech Acquires H2M Group To Beef Up Geospatial, Intelligence Analysis Capabilities]

The new bachelor of science in analytics degree program includes focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and is aimed at providing students with the skills to become data scientists or work with A.I. or machine learning platforms, he said.

The first class for the new program includes six ManTech employees, Brody said. "But that will ramp up over time," he said.

ManTech and Purdue University Global have been collaborating for a few years on higher education, Brody said. The last three years have seen accredited courses leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees in cybersecurity as well as undergraduate degrees in cloud solutions.

Four students, all ManTech employees, in August received their master’s degrees in cybersecurity, and four more are expected to do the same by year-end, he said.

Purdue University Global did not offer these programs prior to working with ManTech, Brody said.

"ManTech was looking for a university partner to develop these degrees as part of a fully accredited program," he said. "The digital economy is here to stay. Customers are moving to a more digital world. For our Federal government customers, this means looking for better ways to defend the country and keep borders safe."

The academic programs also provide a way for ManTech to help reskill workers, Brody said.

"We don't want our employees to be left behind," he said. "Also, we are a service company. We wanted a program that let employees get degrees while allowing them the flexibility to work, spend time with their families, and take vacations."

When first started, the program was walled off so that the degrees were available only to ManTech employees, but that is no longer the case, Brody said. "That gave ManTech a competitive advantage," he said.

Brody acknowledged that the degree programs could attract students who work with competitors or from non-friendly countries, although he noted that Purdue may have regulations related to transfer of knowledge to non-citizens in place.

"Competition is always a concern," he said. "So we need total employee engagement. We need to provide a value proposition for employees. That includes tuition assistance, consolidation of student debt, and even help with family planning and a national fertility clinic. There's a number of things that create a compelling environment."

That kind of support helps protect ManTech against losing good employees to competitors, Brody said.

"In August, we had lunch with some new graduates," he said. "One of the graduates had posted his new AWS certificate. AWS pursued him, and when I asked him why he didn't take the AWS offer, he said he stayed with us because he can continue to get more degrees with support from ManTech."

ManTech employees in the program get financial support from ManTech as well as from Purdue, which also provides life experience credits for prior military service and prior work experience to help reduce costs, he said.

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