In two years, there will be 4.4. million jobs dealing with Big Data, which is the phrase used to describe the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information created every day through consumer data, mobile devices and social media. Some estimate that the amount of Big Data will reach 40 zettabytes by 2025.
The demand for people with data analytics skills is expected to increase by 24 percent over the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which could mean more jobs than people who can actually do them.
IBM, the technology corporation behind the data-mining super computer and Jeopardy champ Watson, has taken new steps in its attempt to help create enough Big Data scientists to close that “skills gap” and deal with the oncoming onslaught of information. The company announced on Wednesday that it has has added nine new institutions to its academic partnerships that focus on Big Data.
More than 1,000 universities around the world are involved in similar collaborations with IBM.
“It’s hard for people to understand just the sheer quantity of this data,” said Jim Spohrer, director of Global University Relations Programs at IBM. “It’s creating tremendous economic opportunity in regions all around the world. It really is a global phenomenon creating high skills job of the future.
See Page 2 for details about what the partnerships will produce at the various universities.
Of course, some of the jobs that need to be filled in the coming years will be at IBM. Spohrer said these kinds of private-public partnerships are not unlike what the company did in the 1940s with establishing computer science, and again in the 1960s with mainframe computing and in the 1990s with eBusiness.
The nine new institutions partnering with IBM are Dublin City University, The George Washington University School of Business, the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, the University of Missouri College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, Mother Teresa Women’s University of India, the National University of Singapore, Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
While some partnerships, like the one at The George Washington University, will yield full masters programs in business analytics, others will produce smaller initiatives such as the one-week intensive course at Georgetown. The collaborations will allow the universities to use IBM software as well as for access to local IBM experts.
“Big Data really is the new infrastructure,” Spohrer said. “It’s like the explosion of new opportunities around the steam engine, electricity and the early days of computers. This is just the next round. These data scientists will help transform the industry.”