Big Data Should be a Priority in Every College Curriculum

Every student could benefit from learning basic data analytics. So, should big data be part of the general curriculum. We think so.

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April 10, 2019
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As technology progresses, more companies are producing huge amounts of data as a by-product of their day-to-day operations. While I’m not one to claim that “most businesses are practically drowning” in a sea of data, it’s fair to say that companies wanting a long future had better start taking Big Data seriously.

To put this in perspective, many pundits in the field predicted a few years back that Big Data will double in size every couple of years until 2020. Moreover, despite the increasing demand for skilled people skilled in assessing, analyzing, and manipulating large chunks of data, the talent gap continues to widen. According to Inc.com, around 73 percent of companies have been neglecting their Big Data sets.

However, it’s not a matter of not wanting to understand the data they collect but rather they have no idea what to do with it once they’ve collected it. And the bottom line is unless companies hire someone who is capable of sifting through and managing data sets, they’ll continue to fall behind their competitors.

Implementing Big Data Into the General Curriculum

According to Kate Donnelly of NYSCI, “Most U.S. children are now growing up in a world where they encounter the effects of data analytics every day. However, topics of big data and data science typically circulate around traffic patterns, stock market trends, and digital information, topics that kids just cannot relate to.”

Donnelly went on to explain that her team at NYSCI recognized early on that the primary gap exists with their primary school-aged children (those between the ages of four and eight years old).

“Given that data science is an uncharted topic for most people, our innovative curriculum was an accessible and approachable way for parents and children to become co-learners and ease into this complicated, convoluted and intricate topic together.”

“By using our own exhibitions, the curriculum provided an opportunity for the families to take a deeper look at exhibits that are developmentally appropriate for the youngest learners,” Donnelly continues to explain.

Data Science Subjects Will Most Likely Be Treated Like Any Other School Subject

Throughout the Western World, grade school and high school educators have already begun requiring their students to start learning data science.

For example, in Australia, schools have added an additional subject to the traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic (known as the Three Rs): code. It’s already been a few years now that such subjects have been implemented in schools around the world.

Coder Academy, a contributor to Medium, wrote this:

“Australia is introducing the Digital Curriculum this year. Christopher Pyne, who was Education Minister when the move was first announced, said it was because ‘High-quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s productivity and economic wellbeing, both now and into the future’.”

Back in 2012, Estonia started introducing computer code to first graders in primary schools. If you’re wondering why introduce such a topic to children but seven and eight years old, ProgeTiiger, coordinator at Avenue Lauringson:

“We want to change thinking that computers and programs are just things as they are. There is an opportunity to create something, and be a smart user of technology.”

Global Workforce Playing Catch Up With and Still Outpaced by Technological

However, as technology continues to evolve, career recruiters are expecting potential team members to know more about tech-related subjects once handed over to the IT department. Even lower-level employees have grown accustomed to using high-tech gadgets to complete their everyday duties.

Nevertheless, the biggest issue plaguing the recruiting industry is finding candidates who possess up-to-date tech-related skillsets, such as being able to edit HTML, troubleshoot and fix minor computer system problems, or, in some cases, know how to use Linux-based systems.

Fortunately, technology is not always working against us. Thanks to advances in the Internet, those who already have careers and are expected to add skill sets to their portfolio have been fulfilling those requirements via online university courses.

Australia is one of the Western nations leading the way when it comes to the online college industry, with countless schools to choose from. Individuals with a little dedication can pursue online postgraduate courses in Australia towards degrees that include Master of Information Technology Management (two years, part-time), Graduate Diploma in Information Technology Management (16 months, part-time), or Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Management (eight months, part-time).

Conclusion

These days, have an education in tech-related areas nearly guarantees you a job almost anywhere, whether it be a healthcare facility, law enforcement, agency, digital advertising firm, and the list goes on. On the other hand, other certificates have their limitations as to where you would be a good fit.

Potential title: Should Big Data Be Part Of The General Curriculum?

Tagline: Every student could benefit from learning basic data analytics. So, should big data be part of the general curriculum. We think so.