IBM announced earlier this week that it would be partnering with 28 new business schools and universities across the world to fill the 4.4 million jobs that will be created to support big data by 2015. In preparation for the upcoming Fall 2014 semester, IBM will help universities expand and launch new curricula that will give students the right business knowledge and IT skills for data intensive careers.

“Taking advantage of the transformational opportunity presented by Big Data and Analytics has become a key priority for organizations around the globe,” said Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, Information and Analytics Group, IBM. “To embrace this growing opportunity, companies today must hire a workforce with a broad range of Big Data and Analytics expertise. IBM is dedicated to partnering with academic institutions and providing students with the skills needed to make an impact.”

Some of the course descriptions and universities are:

• Johns Hopkins University’s DC-based Center for Advanced Governmental Studies is offering a Master of Science in Government Analytics and a Certificate in Government Analytics to provide students with the needed skills to address contemporary political, policy and governance challenges.

• Case Western Reserve University is launching a new undergraduate program in data science and analytics in the Fall 2014 semester. This effort includes a major and a minor in applied data science, and eventually a post-baccalaureate certificate program.

• University of Missouri is developing an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics degree, providing students with access to IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture to have a comprehensive skill set in building, deploying, and managing cloud resources to analyze big data in journalism, engineering, informatics, and learning analytics.

The move by IBM is a calculated and strategic one. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an above average increase in employment opportunities for computer and information research scientists. Yet, IBM’s CFO study noted that while 82 percent of the companies surveyed believed that integrating enterprise-wide data is valuable, only 24 percent think their team is up to the task. Statistics like these make IBM’s partnership with universities particularly interesting.

By moving early, IBM is establishing itself among academic institutions and ensuring the universal demand for data scientists are met. Currently, IBM has invested $24 billion to build its capabilities in Big Data and Analytics through R&D and more than 30 acquisitions. Today, more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematician are helping clients use big data to transform their organisations.

(Image Credit: bensonk42)

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