Data science is a booming field of work and one of the fastest growing globally, but this extraordinary growth is creating unprecedented demand that has yet to be fulfilled. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has determined that over the next three years, there will be an additional 2.7m new jobs created in data science and analytics.
The need for an increase in data education is clear - McKinsley Inc. has predicted that there is currently a field-wide shortfall of around 40-60%, whilst the US data science industry will require an extra 190,000 employees alone by the end of 2018.
According to a 2015 MIT Sloan Management Review, around 40% of the companies who responded said that they were struggling to fill data analysis roles, whilst Deloitte's Analytics Trends Report noted that whilst there is a rising number of data-driven university courses, there are not enough to quell the shortage.
Analytics leader SAS is using its Global Academics Programs to deliver world-class data analytical skills to over 4,000 universities in an attempt to fill the void - a recent partnership with American University of Science & Technology has yielded a new post-graduate diploma in Data Science.
AUST is also working on promoting business mathematics in South Africa with an Analytics in Business post-graduate program that they hope will help to 'breed the best future data scientists in the market.'
Senior Manager of Global Academic Programs at SAS, Murray de Villiers, said: "Academia and industry must work together to develop courses that adequately prepare students for ‘real-world work’."
"This then should help to address the globalized, technology-driven business landscape that we now see in our rapid-paced world."
Riad Sakr, Vice President at AUST, said that he believes that Business Analytics and Data Science 'are not just passing fads.'
"It is clear that these new fields are long-lasting and valuable. Analytics are the skills, technologies, and practices that drive decision-making, and are vital for deriving maximum business value from organizational investments."