Data Analytics Program in Community Colleges in Preparation for STEM and HPC Careers

Elizabeth Bautista and Nitin Sukhija

Volume 15, Issue 1 (March 2024), pp. 59–63

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  author={Elizabeth Bautista and Nitin Sukhija},
  title={Data Analytics Program in Community Colleges in Preparation for STEM and HPC Careers},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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Students in community colleges are either interested in a quick degree or a skill that allows them to hop onto a career area while minimizing debt. Attending a four-year university can be a challenge for financial costs or academic reasons, and acceptance can be competitive. Today's job market is challenging in hiring and retaining diverse staff. More so within the High Performance Computing (HPC) or a government laboratory. Industry offers higher salaries, potentially better benefits, or opportunities for remote work, factors that contribute to the challenge of attracting talent. At the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, site reliability engineers manage the HPC data center onsite 24x7. The facility is a unique and complex ecosystem that needs to be monitored in addition to the normal areas such as the computational systems, the three-tier storage, the supporting infrastructure, the network and cybersecurity. Effective monitoring requires the understanding of data collected from the heterogeneous sources produced by the systems and facility. With so much data, it is much easier to view the data in graphic format and NERSC uses Grafana to display their data. To encourage interest in HPC, NERSC partnered with Laney College to create a Data Analytics Program. Once Laney faculty learns how to teach the classes toward a certificate program, they fill a need for their students to build the skill in data analytics toward a career or to continue toward a fouryear degree as transfer students. This also fills a gap where the nearby four-year university has a long waitlist. This paper describes how NERSC partners with to create a pipeline toward a data analytics career.