EMC urges colleges to create 'Big Data' courses

EMC has urged colleges to create more 'Big Data' programmes as experts predict millions of new jobs in analytics over the coming years.

Jason Ward, EMC’s Director for Ireland, Scotland and UK North, said IT analysts Gartner have predicted that, by 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support 'Big Data'.

Mr Ward said: "There is a challenge - a shortage of talent. Gartner estimates that only one-third of the IT jobs will be filled globally.

"So, colleges, partnering with Government and industry, should focus on how these skills can be developed for enterprise growth."

The IT multinational, employing 3,000 people in Ireland, has predicted that, by 2020, the number of servers will grow 10 times, and information managed by enterprise data centres will grow 14 times, yet the number of IT professionals will grow by a factor of less than 1.5.

"This trend is creating an IT skills gap which can only be filled by adapting our undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes. This is already occurring, with UCC, in partnership with EMC, IMI and SAS, recently launching a Masters in Data Business and Diploma in Data Business.

However, colleges should now move to develop more programmes covering the increasing role that the combination of IT, data, services, economics, innovation, business models, analytics and strategic data management play in the success of an organisation."

The Government wants to make Ireland a leading country for Big Data which, it claims, is growing by up to 40% annually.

EMC believes colleges should create more programmes that draw on interdisciplinarity, rather than requiring students to specialise at the start of their undergraduate programmes.

Mr Ward said: "Graduates need a breadth of skills and knowledge that equips them to handle the growing complexity of our economy. Our colleges can sometimes produce programmes that are over-specialised, particularly at undergraduate level, when they perhaps should be giving students the freedom to explore interdisciplinary courses and then figure out where their strengths lie.

"For example, data scientists need competencies across a range of areas, including maths, computing, science and sociology, new college programmes need to reflect that diversity."

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly designated May 17 as World Information Society Day.

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