Analytics courses becoming more popular

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Interest in analytics education has increased significantly in the past couple of years, with more colleges and universities offering or planning to offer courses in data mining, analytics, and BI. More and more companies are looking for graduates that have the specialised skills required to manage and interpret vast amounts of data.

A recent McKinsey study (Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity) listed some startling statistics about the growth of big data; for example, global data is projected to grow at 40% per year, compared to 5% projected growth in IT spending; or that there is potential value of $300 billion from using big data in the US health care sector, or that retailers operating margins could be improved by up to 60% using insights generated from big data.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal listed multiple examples of business schools in the US that are offering or creating courses tailored to data mining and analytics techniques. Companies like IBM and Teradata that have invested heavily in analytics product development are also partnering with colleges to provide access to the latest technology to increase interest in analytics careers among students and help colleges offer training on latest technology and techniques.

Clearly, universities (including in India) are recognizing the gap in the availability of trained analytics resources and are creating courses and electives to address this need. As the volume of data collected by business and government increases exponentially, people with analytical and data mining skills will increasingly be in high value high demand roles.

The McKinsey study also estimated that demand for analysts and managers with the skills required for big data analytics would exceed supply by 50 – 60% by 2018, translating to up to 190,000 positions in the US alone.  Universities in the US and globally are increasingly recognizing the fact of this shortage of people with the necessary skills, and are creating courses that help students learn analytical and data mining techniques that will increasingly be required to make sense of the vast amounts of data being produced.

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