IBM’s University Partnerships Narrow Big Data Skills Gap
Earlier this month, IBM announced that Rensselaer is among nine new academic collaborations that have been added to its more than 1,000 partnerships with universities across the globe, focusing on Big Data and analytics—all of which are designed to prepare students for the 4.4 million jobs that will be created worldwide to support Big Data by 2015. The company also announced more than $100,000 in awards for Big Data curricula.
As part of IBM’s Academic Initiative, the company is launching new curricula focusing on Big Data and analytics with Rensselaer, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Missouri, as well as a new addition to IBM’s partnership with Northwestern University.
“Leaders in business, education, and government must take action to foster a new generation of talent with the technical expertise and unique ideas to make the most of this tsunami of Big Data.”—Richard Rodts
“Leaders in business, education, and government must take action to foster a new generation of talent with the technical expertise and unique ideas to make the most of this tsunami of Big Data,” said Richard Rodts, manager of global academic programs at IBM. “To narrow this skills gap, IBM is committed to partnering with universities around the world to provide students with Big Data and analytics curriculum to make an impact in today’s data-driven marketplace.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with data analytics skills during the next eight years. The need for this specialized talent is fueled by the explosion of Big Data—or the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information generated daily from such sources as sensors, RFID networks, mobile devices, and social media. As a result, employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets, and gain a competitive advantage.
To narrow this gap, IBM is collaborating with more than 1,000 academic partners to develop curriculum that reflects the mix of technical and problem-solving skills that is necessary to prepare students for Big Data and analytics careers, across all industries. These collaborations span a variety of majors—including business, marketing, mathematics, and health services—providing schools with access to IBM Big Data and analytics software, curriculum materials, case study projects, and IBM data scientists who visit classes as guest lecturers.
Rensselaer is combining forces with IBM to offer a new graduate program in fall 2013, to prepare students for Big Data and analytics careers. Offered through the Lally School of Management and Technology, the new master of science in business analytics degree will be a one-year, 30-credit program for which IBM will provide curriculum materials, case study projects, software solutions, and guest lecturers.
IBM recently donated a Watson system to Rensselaer, to help faculty and students explore new uses for cognitive computing and expand their understanding of Big Data and analytics.