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Educational Partnerships Necessary to Close STEM Skills Gap

Educational Partnerships Necessary to Close STEM Skills Gap
From Recruiter - February 22, 2017

More organizations in more industries than ever before are now leveraging big data in order to achieve company goals. That also means more organizations are in need of STEM workers who understand how to interpret and use big data. Unfortunately, the high demand for STEM talent is leading to a growing skills gap between what employers need and what talent on the market can offer. Also contributing to this gap is a disconnect between what STEM workers learn in school and the skills/knowledge organizations need in order to effectively leverage big data.

As big data and its myriad applications continue to grow in relevance, its up to businesses to keep their STEM talent properly trained so they can meet the demands of the future.

More than five zettabytes (one zettabyte equals one sextillionbytes) of data exist today, with more than 44 zettabytes expected to exist by 2020, according to Big Data, Big Needs, a white paper from the University of Phoenix and STEMconnector. If the public and private sectors dont learn to cooperate more effectively, the global talent pool will fall far short ofwhat organizations need in the near future.

Everybody Needs Somebody Sometime

Higher education can keep cranking out STEM graduates and companies can keep hiring them, but unless institutions of higher learning and the corporate world learn to work together, there will continue to be a disconnect between the skills students learn and the skills employers require.

There is a lack of collaboration between higher education and industry to ensure the skills being taught align with the skills needs of employers, says Ruth Veloria, executive dean of the University of Phoenix School of Business. Higher education, both at the programmatic and faculty level, must stay as current and agile as possible on the competencies needed to keep pace with the changes in technology and growth of the availability of data.

To maintain that agility, public and private entities need to work together to build not only programs that teach new students the skills they need to dive straight into the business world, but also continuing education programs that keep the existing workforce abreast of changes in the field.



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