January 4, 2016

Business Analytics in Higher Education

Are Colleges and Universities satisfying student’s and employer’s analytics education needs?
A few years ago, after observing the growing analytics job market and experiencing the need for foundation analytics knowledge and skills in both IT and business communities, I began to research business analytics training programs.  I learned that analytics vendor training focuses primarily on technology product functionality; association training is largely slanted toward or presented by sponsoring vendors or consultants, who are trying to identify post-training opportunities to sell their products and services; and, college and university analytics courses are almost all taught by instructors who have little to no analytics business experience, struggle to provide practical business case examples and offer little or no hands-on skills development, so the students receive little or no career-ready skills.  With no source for unbiased, high quality analytics knowledge and skills education, it’s no surprise that the analytics job market is growing, with the average salary for business analytics professionals increasing 4.3% to $111,388 (TDWI 2015 Salary Survey).
Recently, the president of a rapidly growing healthcare software company was being interviewed and was asked, “How could universities better prepare their students for the jobs you are offering?”  He quickly replied that “universities could provide more hands-on application software and analytics courses because he can’t find any new graduates with the skills required to fill his jobs.”  His company is hiring 1,000 new employees this year.  Yes, the analytics job market is good.  Yes, I’m working on a plan to help undergraduate, graduate and working professionals learn business analytics best practices.  I'll keep you posted...