There’s a Big Data skills gap in higher education

Higher education is overflowing with data points to be parsed, analyzed, and evaluated, but a data-related skills gap could stand in the way of analytics’ potential.

big-data-skillsData experts have for years said college students should become adept at analyzing what’s known as Big Data as jobs in the data field explode in some parts of the economy. A human element is necessary, these experts say, no matter how much data in available.

SAS on March 24 unveiled an online program known as SAS Analytics U — an initiative meant to better train students on the ins and outs of data analytics skills while providing an online platform where they can discuss data-centric topics amongst each other and with experts.

Six ways Big Data is changing higher education

Higher education is just one sector that has seen a flood of data change the way administrators make decisions. From retail to healthcare to security, the skills required to understand data has taken on an important role, yet there remains a dearth of Big Data-focused college graduates.

“We want to look at workforce and we see employers and companies that want the holistic picture,” said Emily Baranello, senior director of SAS Education Practice. “They want to bring together data sets from different areas and try to eliminate the pockets of data” that are so prevalent — and not nearly as useful — in all manner of sectors.

(Next page: The first-ever Big Data degree program)