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Online Grad Pursues Passion for Statistics

David Grant

Former Southeast Raleigh High School math teacher and NC State alumnus David Grant decided that the fall of 2023 was the time to actively begin the process of aligning his career with his passion. When he discovered that the Applied Statistics and Data Management Graduate Certificate Program offered by NC State Online was a perfect fit, he immediately enrolled in the program and will graduate in May of 2024.

Although the program is offered online, Grant felt a strong sense of connection to his peers and his instructors.

“It honestly did not feel like an online program to me — it felt more like a hybrid program because we watched lectures and took advantage of plenty of synchronous tutoring,” Grant said. “The tutoring sessions were offered during the late evening hours, after normal working hours, and they were extremely helpful for me.”

In addition to the convenient and effective format of this program, Grant also found the course content to be appealing and applicable.

“The best part was that the projects were designed based on realistic scenarios,” Grant said. “We had to practice many skills that would be useful in a full-time job. For example, knowing how to handle data that may not be nicely formatted. That’s a great skill that I mastered and I would be very comfortable with a similar task as part of my job responsibilities.”

Grant expressed appreciation for the support and guidance of his advisor and instructors.

“All four of my professors — Associate Professor Xinge (Jessie) Jeng, Associate Teaching Professor Jonathan Duggins, Director/Distinguished Professor Fred Wright, and Director/Associate Teaching Professor Justin Post — were very supportive throughout my time in the program,” Grant said. “Particularly Dr. Duggins and Dr. Post, who taught the programming classes. Those were the classes in which I struggled. They both took extra time to support me when I needed help. And of course, my advisor, Online Program Coordinator Donna Barton, who helped guide me on the right path as to what classes would be the best for me along the way.”

Advice and Future Plans

With his newly acquired skill set, Grant is currently searching for a statistics and data management job. He feels this program prepared him well for a new role and is excited to see what the future holds.

While it wasn’t always easy to manage a full-time job and the classwork, he highly recommends this certification.

“If you find a program you will enjoy and want to pursue, then go for it!” Grant said. “It was difficult — for sure — to get everything done. I had to resort to doing most of the assignments on the weekends. Particularly when I was teaching and had four different classes to prepare for.”

Grant plans to pursue a master’s degree in the future and feels this certificate will provide a solid foundation towards that goal. He does not plan to attend the in-person commencement ceremony, but says he will “most certainly” be celebrating this accomplishment with his family and friends!

Are you interested in advancing your career with a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Management from NC State Online? Visit the program page or for a full list of degree and certificate programs.