Big Data education programs expand to close skills gap

As demand is growing for IT pros with Big Data skills and experience, many companies will begin training their own workers to create new experts. Meanwhile, several Big Data education programs are popping up to help meet the new needs in the job market.

IT pros with Big Data expertise are tough to find, according to a recent survey from TEKsystems. The majority (81%) of IT managers agree there’s a shortage of workers with those skills and experience now.

As with any hot new skill, companies can beat the competition for data analysts and other professionals by getting in on the ground floor as those skills develop. That may mean offering Big Data education to employees currently on staff or partnering with educational institutions to get early access to the growing talent pool.

The latter approach is being taken by many big companies. IBM, for example, recently announced an expanded Big Data education program in which the company is partnering with more than 1,000 colleges to help get more students graduating with the necessary skills.

As part of the program, IBM gives the schools access to its technology, and makes employees available as lecturers. Many of the school’s IBM has partnered with have begun offering graduate and undergraduate courses in Big Data and related fields.

Attract Big Data experts early

Of course, most businesses can’t run a college outreach program to the extent that IBM and other huge organizations can.

But as more institutions add Big Data education to the curriculum, smaller companies are getting more opportunities to partner up with colleges and universities to recruit new employees.

One of the best ways to do that is to work with institutions to create internship programs, which will help attract the Big Data experts of the future before they begin their careers. Representatives from the company can also attend recruiting events and offer to speak to classes.

And, as many experts say it may be easier for businesses to create Big Data experts rather than recruit them, companies can consider offer tuition reimbursement for employees who enroll in those new programs.

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