Analytics Education Embraced Nationwide
December 5, 2016
report reveals how American institutions of higher education are
adapting to train the next generation of data workers required by
industry. The report, titled “The State of Data Education in 2016,”
found that approximately 20 percent of four-year universities in the
U.S. now offer analytics programs. That figure is driven largely by
highly-ranked institutions, nearly all of which offer analytics-focused
programs to their students. The report also found that just two percent
of two-year institutions offer such programs, indicating a significant
gap in the availability of analytics education.
Overall, institutions have begun offering more analytics programs with
the goal of preparing more students to work with data in a diverse range
of jobs. Programs focused on business analytics accounted for much of
this growth in analytics education, as universities adapt to meet the
needs of industry for data-literate talent. Tableau’s research also
suggests that universities are increasingly offering interdisciplinary
education in analytics, embedding basic data literacy into other fields
ranging from public health to the sciences to business schools.
“Data literacy is now a baseline expectation in jobs of all kinds,” said
Christian Chabot, Co-founder and Chairman of Tableau. “Perhaps the
greatest challenge we face as an industry is training and nurturing the
next generation of data talent. These are the people who will go on to
change schools, doctor’s offices, businesses, governments, and more,
thanks to data. Our hope is that this report will help spur further
investment and interest from academia and industry to train the next
generation of data workers.”
More than five years ago, global business consultancy McKinsey predicted
a shortage of as many as 1.5 million managers and workers with analytics
know-how by 2018, noting that data skills were becoming a pervasive need
in all kinds of jobs. This trend has continued, as organizations in all
industries clamor to hire more data-proficient talent.
Administrators at American universities echoed this, and noted that they
are moving to address this need.
“We will continue to invest in analytics-focused programs, and expect
that other universities will do the same,” said Dr. Michael Hasler,
Senior Lecturer and MS in Business Analytics Program Director at the
University of Texas at Austin Red McCombs School of Business. “Students
entering the workforce today are at a disadvantage if they do not
possess at least basic data skills. Our investments in analytics
programs are a direct response to the needs from industry to hire people
with basic and advanced data skills alike.”
findings of the report include:
- The University of
Washington-Seattle, George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon
University lead with the most analytics program offerings.
- More than half (52 percent) of
all analytics programs were created after 2010. Thirty-two percent of
these programs were focused on business intelligence and business
analytics, making them the fastest growing type of analytics offering.
- The majority of analytics
programs are offered as majors, rather than minors or certificate
programs. However, instructors indicated that analytics certificate
diplomas have seen the largest growth in recent years.
- Analytics programs tend to
cluster geographically near the locations of analytics jobs. The top
markets in the United States for analytics programs are New York City,
NY; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; and
Los Angeles, Calif.