New York Times Article Shows Continued High Demand for Data Scientists
Most everyone has experienced the influence of the so called “big data” spawned by new technologies, whether it is personalized recommendations from sites like Amazon or Netflix, tracking of social media behavior, fraud monitoring, or even new voter outreach strategies and polling methods.
Not surprisingly, industries and government have been waking up to the potential power of big data and the need for data scientists has continued to grow. In fact, the Harvard Business Review called data science “the sexiest job of the 20th century.” 1 A recent article in the New York Times highlights a report which finds that “the United States will need to increase the number of graduates with skills handling large amounts of data by as much as 60 percent... There will be half a million jobs in five years, and a shortage of up to 190,000 qualified data scientists.” 2
The article also noted that because data science is so new and cuts across many disciplines, “universities are scrambling to define it” and offer a cohesive, stand-alone curriculum rather than a collection of courses from other departments. At Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies, the online Master of Science in Predictive Analytics is an established program that uses real-world situations to prepare graduates who can leverage predictive analyses and modeling to drive decision making.
Northwestern predictive analytics students also work with SPSS, SAS and R — the leading technologies used in the industry of big data. Within the convenience and flexibility of the online format, students develop quantitative sophistication as well as the business leadership and communication skills needed to articulate analytics as a core strategy and transform data into actionable insights and statistically sound solutions.